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How can we change the dog personality and build confidence and reduce his shyness and fear?

asked 2018-11-15 17:33:29 -0500

I adopted a dog from rescue 3 weeks back. He was surrendered by his owner. Hes is 4+ Years old maltipoo. He doesn't seems to be trained as he doesn't understand commands. It seems either he is shy or fear from others. He doesn't like to interact with other dogs and also with other humans when outside. He likes to be in the house and doesn't like going for a walk. I enrolled him for training classes but that doesn't seems to be working as he is not food motivated so training him is kind of tough. 2 days in a week we go to office and rest days in a week we work from home. He go to day care when we are not at home. But he doesn't like going to day care and is in his crate for all 8- 9 hours and he will not eat or drink anything. He has huge separation anxiety and we cant even leave him for a min as he starts barking. Can someone please suggest what should we do in this case? can dog personality be changed with time. We want him to be active and happy dog.

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Best thing to do imo is gjve them space and let them settle. Portray confidence as a leader, always be relaxed. Give love, but dont smother. They will come around...

Eric P.'s profile imageEric P. ( 2019-01-30 06:27:58 -0500 )edit

6 Answers

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answered 2018-11-22 22:54:50 -0500

I highly suggest you find a well rounded trainer to work with you and the pup. Having volunteered with animal rescue for 20 years it typically takes 1-2 months for a dog to settle in a new home so don't get discouraged. Best of luck and thanks for rescuing a dog in need.

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answered 2019-02-12 16:03:30 -0500

Maybe I can chime in as when I brought my little shihtzu home, he was scared of almost everything, including the wind. I have worked with Pippin extensively and still do to this day. We have worked in busy down town Toronto, I have worked him during parades, cultural events and even had him do a focused down-stay in the middle of a DJ arena. All those dancers and screamers provided excellent distraction and Pippin did amazing.

1: Keep your dog under threshold and minimize potential stress-inducers. Many people feel that socializing their dog is the first step to having a confident dog. This includes taking the dog to puppy class or the dog park. This can actually put more stress on an introverted or self-conscious dog. My dog is 8-years old and is now bullet-proof in most social situations but I am still hesitant to put him in his first intermediate dog class as sometimes you get dogs (and owners) that do not know boundaries and will let their 5 month old husky puppy smother your dog in the name of fun when in reality, your dog needs to be left alone.

2: If your dog isn't food motivated, you will have to build motivation and engagement in your interactions with your dog. At first Pippin wasn't confident in his environment and therefor wouldn't take food. I even made him a raw food bites and he still wouldn't take it. I was making the training sessions too long and I was asking to much from him. Keep your training sessions two minutes and under and don't end the training session when your dog tunes out. End it while the dog is still engaged so you are ending it with the dog wanting more.

3: Don't ask to much of your dog. Reward with verbal, food, toy, or physical praise. You have to make sure to know which reinforcement the dog likes. If the dog hates being touched, a physical praise could actually be seen as a punishment in the dogs eyes and may decrease the behavior that you actually are working to increase. Look for what turns on or drives the dog. It could even be a squeak toy sound.

4: Keep the dog learning in a very simple and safe environment for now. This includes training in your kitchen, living room, or a bed room. Taking your dog and trying to get a nervous dog to preform a down-stay in the middle of a busy store or a dog park puts to much on the dog. Keep it simple and keep it safe.

5: Hire a dog trainer. Make sure the dog trainer has great reviews and for an anxious dog, I would focus on a dog trainer that uses positive-reinforcement techniques. Confident dogs can handle punishments a bit better, but in your sake, focus on finding yourself a dog trainer that will work one on one with your little dog.

That ... (more)

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Excellent suggestions! Socialization is not a quick-fix, bringing a dog with issues in contact w/other dogs is not going to socialize it, it's going to add to its anxiety.

Cindy & Stephen G.'s profile imageCindy & Stephen G. ( 2019-02-18 13:16:21 -0500 )edit
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answered 2019-01-25 22:15:00 -0500

i got my dog at 9wks he was scared of everything inside and out except me he's now 3yrs old still is scared of new things but i can't drive but i live in a by petco so i took him there as soon i could they a puppy playtime thats free on weekends i took him to those he loves other dogs even then but he was also afraid of the world i got him from the county shelter i made huge strides but i still have a way to go because he still trembles and will go to the floor or hide behind me if he's afraid but i learned that you shouldn't pet them i talk to him in a soothing voice until he calms down then pet him otherwise he'll think that's how he should act you should also speak to a dog behaviorist rather than just a trainer because they would have more experience and might be able to recommend trainers to you if i could afford it i would have but i had to figure it out on my own

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answered 2018-12-04 14:28:48 -0500

Poor pups! It says a lot about how your furbaby was treated, in order for her to not be a naturally social animal that dogs are. Some good suggestions here, the biggest thing needed is patience. Don't try to fit her into a situation she's not ready for. Skip the walks, the socializing with other dogs, focus on her S.A. at home. Get her to really feeling comfortable in her home environment and comfortable with you leaving. Hire someone to come over the 2 days you can't be there, someone who can lovingly reinforce your positive training that you will do when you're there. I think long periods of crate time/doggy day care are both overwhelming for her now. Continue to make the outside world exciting, but don't force it. Once tiny hurdles are accomplished move on to bigger goals. And after all that, if she's gotten over the S.A. but prefers the home life, then so be it. Every dog is different.

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answered 2018-11-28 15:39:06 -0500

I would take him on more frequent walks where he can see and slowly get comfortable with being around people. Dog parks are always a great place to socialize your pet. With time and patience he will open up. Good Luck!!

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answered 2018-11-25 19:19:43 -0500

My dog spent six years in a puppy mill. She never had a name, much less any positive interaction with humans. My first step was to build her confidence. I praised her for everything from sneezing, looking me in the eye, or voluntarily coming into the room I was sitting in. “Good Girl Rachel!” Turkey Bacon helped a lot and I cook it just for her, hid pieces around the apt and when she found it...”Good Girl Rachel!” Turkey bacon and praise. 6 months later she plays and snuggles. She has a long way to go and still hates being outdoors, I take bacon outside with us but she is not ready to conquer the outside world yet. She does continue to progress. If I can do it, you can do this.

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