Click here to Register - Forums By Dog Lovers for Dog Lovers > Canine Training > Puppies » shy dog issues
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-02-2010, 04:32 AM   #1
Been Around A While
pennycantu's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Louisiana/Hurricane Central
Posts: 275
shy dog issues

i have a long haired chihuahua that will only come to me and not enthusiastically. he's wonderful with other dogs and plays confidently with them but shys away from human contact. i've had him since he was 12 weeks old and he was never abused. what can i do to make him more confident?
pennycantu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2010, 04:46 AM   #2
Been Around A While
Shara's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Amarillo, Texas
Posts: 3,030
Send a message via MSN to Shara can try taking up his food and only feeding him through human contact. Or try string cheese. You need something that is high value for him to learn to come with enthusiasim and confidence. If hes very high toy drive, use that.
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ♥
"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ♥
Shara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2010, 12:48 PM   #3
Been Around A While
JessicaR's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,096
I would hand feed him, and keep some really good treats with you, liver usually works really good.
here is a great liver recipe that is great for training.

parboil beef liver and let cool
cut liver into 1/4 inch cubes
place on baking sheet, sprinkle with garlic powder
bake in a 250 degree oven until dry, about 1 hour
store in refridgerator
JessicaR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2010, 02:46 PM   #4
Been Around A While
BetterDog4U's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Eastern Iowa, USA
Posts: 3,673
Your dog simply does not trust humans. You need to build that trust before you can do anything else.

As the dog's primary care givers, you and your family members need to spend time "bonding" with the dog. This is the single MOST important thing that you can do to create trust and respect.

I usually start this process by spending a few days at the dog's level. This meens spending the day on the floor playing, petting and cuddling with the dog.

At first the dog may not come to you, so just sit there and dont push it. (Maybe have the TV or the stereo on). Put some food or treats in your pocket or on a table that you can reach from the floor. Use the food or treats to lure the dog toward you and give small peices when the dog comes around you. Speek to the dog in calm, quiet and happy tones.

The important thing with this is to be on the dog's level and give him/her easy access to you and allow the dog to come to you when it feels comfortable. Once the dog comes to you, you can slowly engauge in petting, playing. The whole purpose is to build a relationship, so this is going to take some time. I usually put a sleeping bag and pillow on the floor and spend 24-36 hours non-stop with the dog. I even sit on the ground when we go outside. This may not be practicle in all cases, but the more time you spend, the faster the dog will bond with you.

Once your dog trusts you, carefully introduce him/her to other people.
Another great way to build confidence is to do frequent but short obedience training sessions using tasty treats and large amounts of lavish praise.

Offer tons of lavish praise while you are playing fetch, tug-o-war or other games. Make sure you let the dog win these games. This will help build confidence. When you want to end the play session, simply pick up the toy and say "That's All". Then praise the dog for ending the session.

Once your dog has become comfortable and confident with an area or group of people, you can start to slowly introduce new people, places and things. The key here, is to make it fun for the dog and to do it very slowly ... at the dog's pace.*

Introducing your dog to new people:

Here's one approach I have used several times:
The dog is afraid of people: I have a trusted friend enter the area very slowly with his back turned to the dog. It is very important that the person entering the room or area does NOT make eye contact, touch or talk to the dog.*In fact, its actually be better if no one even makes a sound during this period of time.*

Once the dog realizes that the person is in the area, gauge the dog's response. If the dog is calm, reward it with quiet praise (such as a very soft "Good Dog"). Once the person has gotten to within 10 feet of your dog, have the person drop several of your dog's favorite treats (one at a time) in front of the dog so that the dog sees that the person is a good thing. If the dog reacts poorly, (depending on the severity), adjust the position of the person and the dog (moving them away from each other) until the dog is able to relax. Once relaxed, reward with quiet praise and a few small treats. Repeat as needed until the dog is able to approach your friend without fear. The final goal is to have your dog take treats from the person's hand.*But this can take weeks to do. Don't get in a hurry. (The progression should be: take treats from ground, then from the ground in front of the person, then from the ground with person kneeling, then sitting, then from the persons lap, then from the persons hand.)*

During this desensitization period, If your dog tries to hide behind you or looks for you to comfort it, you must ignore it. The dog must have time to work out the problem and find out that there is nothing to fear and that the person is a source of good things. The more times that your dog is exposed to desensitization, the faster this will happen. But be careful NOT to flood the dog with this stressful situation. "Flooding" can make the problem worse. After a period of time, your dog will gain more and more confidence and begin to loose it's fears. As the dog become less fearful you can phase out the treats. Keep in mind that this may takes several weeks or even months to do. It will probably not happen in one or two sessions. Just be patient. The results will be worth the time you invest.

The same methods can be used for desensitizing the dog to anything it has a fear of. The key here is to reward the dog for staying calm and excepting any situation you introduce. The role of the owner is to project a feeling of relaxation, confidence, and complete control. It is crucial to show your dog that there is nothing to fear.
- Michael -

Full of Life ... and Herself - Visit PATCHS' Website
Loving Friend & Faithful Companion - Visit NEKA's Memorial Website
My Little Buddy for 15+ Years - Visit CHIP's Memorial Website
BetterDog4U is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2010, 08:52 PM   #5
Been Around A While
SchnauzkyLVR's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Washington
Posts: 477
betterdog4U said it best: "Your dog simply does not trust humans. You need to build that trust before you can do anything else."

Some good advice posted ...i wish you luck!
~*:: BATMAN ::*~
:: "Dogs are miracles with paws" ::
SchnauzkyLVR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2010, 10:45 PM   #6
Been Around A While
pennycantu's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Louisiana/Hurricane Central
Posts: 275
i'm thinking about it, he's a totally different dog outside than he is inside. he comes to me and fights for affection with the other dogs which i'm sure is just a dominance thing but he lets me pet him and pick him up outside. when we are inside, he just snoops around a bit and retreats to the kennel. if i call him he'll come to me, sniff my hand and then run away. he's so cute, i'd love to bring him places but i hate him being scared. i'm going to try the being on the floor with him, which will be hard for me with my back and knees but i'll try as best as i can. i do have a family and the responsibilities that come with that so i can't be on the floor with him the entire time, but i think i can devote at least 7 hours for a few days with him by ourselves. then I can put him in the kennel or out to play with the other dogs. i have a 7 month old lab, and she needs work too so i have to split my time between my 3 dogs and my family and it's not going to be easy. i guess if it was easy though, he wouldn't be afraid of people to begin with right? i'll be back on in a couple days to update. thanks again!
pennycantu is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply - Forums By Dog Lovers for Dog Lovers > Canine Training > Puppies

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 07:36 AM.