The cause of shyness in dogs may be simply its personality. Sadly though, a dog that has been abused, will demonstrate behaviours that are ultra- submissive, such as excessive urination. As dogs are sociable animals, they do like to know where they stand in relation to the rest of their immediate social group: they are naturally part of a hierarchical pack; therefore any activity that involves socialisation will help to boost confidence.
Dog Training Activities
Exercise, is a great reliever of stress. Agility training can be a good form of this as it improves social interaction and gives opportunities for coaxing with the right amount of praise and treats. It’s not necessary to invest in a set of expensive equipment for this; it’s possible to improvise with household items. Even basic obedience training where good behaviour is rewarded and negative behaviour ignored can work wonders. Set aside regular times with your dog: at least 30 minutes, in 10 to 15minute bursts.
Shy of People?
If dog is nervous around people, have a friend help out with gradual desensitization. The friend should not make any bold moves: basically anything that might appear potentially threatening to the dog, particularly do not look the dog directly in the eye. Slowly allow the dog to investigate the friend, with the aid of treats held in the hand, use a low stance, and a calm and measured tone of voice. Once the friend can look directly at the dog without any adverse reaction, then physical contact can be made via petting, such as gently rubbing the chest. Attending classes in obedience and agility are also a good way to stimulate social interaction with other dogs and owners
Good Owner Behaviour
In improving a dog’s confidence never underestimate your own behaviour to the animal. If you are consistently failing to put the lid on the dustbin, or leaving chewable articles on the floor, how can it your dog’s fault if he instinctively responds to these stimuli. What follows are situation where the dog is constantly subjected negative reactions from the owner. After all, no one constantly needs to be told that they are wrong. Body language and tone of voice also should be regulated. It’s best to communicate in a calm, low voice, and to get down to the dog’s level. Most obviously, never be harsh or abusive.
Never be abusive to your dog as a method of teaching (or at any other time), as this type of treatment may have lead to confidence problems in the first place. In many ways, dogs are similar to children. Confidence in dogs comes with praise and gentle instruction. Follow this method and your dog will definitely feel much better about his life, and your house won’t smell quite so bad!