Tips To Train A Shy Or Nervous Dog – Part 1 of 4

For convenience, we will refer to your dog as “he” rather than “he or she”.


If you have a shy or nervous dog, these training tips should prove helpful to you.  Once again we urge you to always remain patient especially when things go wrong, as they sometimes will.


1       To optimize his learning, remember to treat him in a happy, cheerful and enthusiastic manner.  One good way to build his confidence is to talk with him whenever you spend time together, which includes when you take him for a walk.  Show him and tell him that you are having fun.


2       Walk in suitable places, preferably in near-by quiet locations, in the early stages  Look initially for a quiet place such as a park or unoccupied school oval, where he will feel comfortable.  Gradually increase the distances traveled and the number of places visited as he progresses in his training and gains more confidence.


3       Do not carry him in your arms during these sessions.  He must walk everywhere if he to really benefit from these exercises.  He will not learn correctly if you carry him.  Obviously this does not apply if danger threatens.  When a threatening situation occurs, quickly remove him from the unsafe environment to a safe and familiar place where you know he will be happy and relaxed.


4       Steadily extend your walks to places which will put him outside his comfort zone.  If he becomes too uncomfortable then return him to a familiar and comfortable area and begin the process again.  Be patient, and revisit these more stressful environments gradually.


5       Exhibit confidence and perseverance.  Be in no doubt that your goals will be achieved as your dog gains confidence.  His enjoyment and his trust in you will steadily grow.  Remember that he can read your body language so be relaxed and positive at all times.


We wish you every training success and years of enjoyment for both you and your dog.