How To Train A Shy Timid Dog

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Last week we talked about Linus A Shy Timid Dog and his training. This week we’re going to continue updating you with the things we worked on in training class to help make Linus a more confident dog. Hopefully this will help anyone else out there who’d like to work with their shy, timid, or nervous dog.

Linus’s Week Before Training Class

A couple things I might mention that may be effecting Linus’s normal behavior is my puppy sitting duties. The past couple days I’ve been puppy sitting two dogs. A 14 week old yellow Labrador Retriever and an 11 year old Miniature Poodle. I wasn’t too concerned because in general Linus gets along with dogs in his own house.

Linus The Aussie Mix

Yellow Lab

The 14 week old yellow Lab is Ace and is a puppy in training with Guide Dogs of America. Ace came over on Monday and Linus was not immediately thrilled. I could tell Linus was not afraid, but more overwhelmed with Ace’s energy level. After about 5 minutes Linus decided it was time to play and would just knock Ace down as Ace sprinted around the house (he had the zoomies).

I can tell Linus doesn’t like it when Ace barks. I’m not too sure what it is he just kind of looks at me like: “Do we have to have another one of these little puppies?”

Miniature Poodle

Linus is afraid of Quincy the Mini Poo. Quincy only stayed over for a couple days and did not like Ace at all. Ace wanted to sniff Quincy’s butt, but Quincy wanted no part of Ace and just barked or growled at him. As soon as Quincy started growling Linus decided he would just ignore Quincy the entire time he was at our house.

Good thing for Linus Quincy pretty much just ignored him as well.

How To Train A Shy Timid Dog – Week 3

Even with all the distractions of new puppies and older dogs Linus performed quite admirably at week 3 of training. Once again our goal is to try and integrate Linus with the group. He doesn’t seem afraid of the other dogs at all. He seems more concerned with everything else around him including other dogs, basketball players, tennis players, racketball players, bikers, and families walking through the park.

  • After talking about how our week went we worked on our heeling to get the blood flowing. Linus and I walked at the rear of the group and followed all the way. While walking by the basketball court Linus got scared by an errant basketball and kind of shuddered. We were advised by our trainer to constantly praise and give Linus treats during our walk around the court to try and keep his mind off of all the activity happening around him.
  • Sit, Down, and Stay. We worked on these commands near the basketball courts. Linus and I stood further off to the side and worked our commands.
  • Sit, Down, and Stay in the grass with treats littered everywhere. Linus and I were part of the group during this exercise. He did a great job during these exercises.
  • Formal Recall. We worked on formal recall in the grass. Basically just like last week…have your dog in a Sit-Stay walk about 20 feet away from your dog and call his name. This time Linus wasn’t too enthusiastic about coming. He slowly trotted over to me and took his sweet time. He looked a little concerned with all the other dogs watching us. We did it a second time, but this time I showed him a handful of treats then ran from him. Slight improvement, but still not much enthusiasm from Linus. I need to work on this exercise with Linus with distractions.

All in all I think it was a successful week. Linus has met some new friends (Ace and Quincy) and hasn’t acted aggressive with either of them (although he is just ignoring Quincy). And during class he’s becoming more a part of the group.

If you have a shy, timid, or nervous dog let me know what actions your taking to try and build your dogs confidence.

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  1. My lab is 2 and has always been timid. When I give the dog commands it cowards and when we walk up to him he cowards. The dogs has never been hit just stern commands. I put a trading collar on him set to the beep and the vibrate and he cowards and Pees. Makes it very hard to train him.

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