Tips To Train A Shy Or Nervous Dog – Part 3 of 4

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


1       Some trainers suggest that you squat when greeting your shy or nervous dog.  Others suggest that you remain standing and they use a compelling argument to support this advice, especially if your dog is small.  They point out that when you put yourself at his level you then appear, to your dog, to be huge and this can make a shy or nervous dog feel terrified.  We see logic in this argument.


2       Always interact with him in a gentle, non threatening manner.  Do not approach him with your arm above his head and out of his line of vision.  Instead, keep your hands always in his sight and rub him under his chin or gently rub his ear.  He will quickly gain confidence and realize that you really are his friend and companion.


3       Be aware of how you look at him.  Direct, positive eye contact by you, especially if you stare or glare at him, simply adds to his nervousness.  Your recommended behaviour is to be gentle in your actions and softly spoken with your words.  In other words show him fondness and affection.


4       Be consistent in your training methods and your use of command words.  This advice of course is important when dealing with all dogs, but it is even more important if your dog is shy or nervous and lacking in confidence.  This applies to all aspects of his handling and training.  By keeping regular times of day for his various activities he will get to know when to expect each activity and he will be more relaxed during each training session.  This promotes good learning.


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