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East Valley K9 Services


Do THIS for a Fearful or Shy Dog!

Do THIS for a Fearful or Shy Dog!

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word image 951 1 fearful or shy dog

Not all dogs are confident and self-assured. Just like people, you could have a fearful or shy dog.  

Different dogs have different levels of confidence and while that does not make them a bad dog, it is important to actively address fear or shyness in your dog!

K9 Fear or Shyness

word image 951 2 fearful or shy dog A dog’s fear or shyness will affect his quality of life and normal curiosity about the world around him. That is why it is so important to address these issues quickly and appropriately before they express themselves in negative and reactive behavior. Some fears originate in puppyhood, so effective socialization is critical.

K9 Socialization and Fears

Shy or fearful dogs often avoid people or things that scare them even if it is just perceived. That is why puppy socialization is so critical to help your pup gain self-confidence along with good social skills with other pets, people, environments, situations and even objects before unnecessary fears take hold.

If not properly socialized, the fearful dog may become depressed or disinterested but can also display negative, and even aggressive behaviors to relieve the fear.

word image 951 3 fearful or shy dog

Click here to learn about puppies growing up during COVID-19

and the basics you cannot ignore!

Fears Do Not Fix Themselves

word image 951 4 fearful or shy dog K9 fears, anxieties and shyness will not fix themselves. On the contrary, most fears will exacerbate into bigger fears and negative behaviors.

The best thing you can do for a fearful dog is to remain calm and assertive to support your dog and make them feel safe.

Do not encourage their fear or shyness by fussing, coddling or indulging their fearful response or shyness. While it seems reasonable to make a fuss, this will only reinforce your dog’s initial fear or shyness. It is better to manage the interactions that make your dog fearful or shy.

Dog Sports Build Natural Confidence!

Regular dog sports can help build confidence in the shy or fearful dog. Also, these activities serve to strengthen communication between the dog and human through verbal commands, hand/body signals, and overall movement.

These fun activities can also help build a dog owner’s own confidence in handling their dog and further nurture their shared bond. It will also encourage and reinforce your dog in looking up to you as his leader!

There are a variety of K9 sports for you and your dog including:

  1. word image 951 5 fearful or shy dogDisc: ideal for sporting/herding breeds
  2. Dock Jumping: ideal for dogs who love water/swimming
  3. Flyball: best for medium-size breeds
  4. Herding: best for herding breeds with lots of stamina
  5. Agility: ideal for fast dogs that possess “drive” and cannot be easily distracted
  6. Rally Obedience: best for dogs who love to please and excel at agility
  7. Scent work: ideal for hunting dogs and scent hounds

word image 951 6 fearful or shy dog Try a few different sports to find the one you both enjoy! Never force your dog to participate in something he is not enjoying (and that includes YOU too)! If you are not enjoying yourself, your dog will sense that and may also lose interest.

Not only are dog sports fun, but they also keep your dog:

  • Focused on positive activities with you
  • Focused away from any fears or shyness while
  • Naturally building his confidence

All dogs need a “job,” and dog sports naturally fulfills that need, burns up energy and challenges and stimulates the dog’s mind and body while effectively building their self-esteem and overall confidence.

If you have a shy or fearful dog and are not sure what to do to properly address it, bring in a professional behaviorist or trainer to help you. We can help too!

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Do You Have a Dog that is Fearful or Shy?

East Valley K9 Services help make happy,

confident and well-mannered dogs, even yours!

Want to become involved in dog sports?

We can help!

Call 480-382-0144 or send us an email.

Serving Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe and East Valley areas of Arizona.

Additional Reading:

Whole Dog Journal: Help Your Shy Dog Gain Confidence

Top Dog Tips: 11 Most Popular Dog Sports

VCA Hospitals: Puppy Behavior and Training: Socialization and Fear Prevention Dog Sports

Image Credits (Shown in Order of Appearance):

Image by Lisa Horne from Pixabay

Image by Katrin B. from Pixabay

Courtesy: East Valley K9 Services

Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay

Image by Herbert Aust from Pixabay

Image by susanne906 from Pixabay

Courtesy: East Valley K9 Services



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