Is your Dog a Social Butterfly?

So you just got yourself a new dog, you have been day dreaming about all of the fun stuff you can do together like puppy play dates, dog parks, and introducing him to your cat. You come to find out your dog is timid scared and afraid of meeting any new creature.  Don’t panic, there are ways you can help your pup become more social, and comfortable. Keep in mind some dogs can develop anxiety. You need to figure out what exactly they are afraid of, and also consider the dogs past.  Is your pet new or a rescue? If you have a rescue dog or a new puppy the approaches are pretty much the same but sometimes rescue dogs can take longer to get comfortable.

A Few tell tale signs of a shy dog are tucked tail, noticeable panting, ears that are folded against their head, retreating into a far corner or space you both occupy, crouching, and inappropriate urination.  Helping your dog to become less shy can be a process that requires a lot of love and patience, here are a few tips that might help.

First: Start slow and steady when your dog is meeting a new pet, person, or animal, they can easily get over whelmed, if possible you want the newest encounter to be in a location your pet is already comfortable with, inside your house,  back yard or an area you frequently walk.  Try and only have one new encounter slowly increasing the amount of pets your dog comes in contact with at a time.  Start with one dog then let them meet two.

Secondly:  Try to get them out of their comfort zone, when your dog is acting scared or shy don’t praise or coddle them.  I know I just said to keep them in a comfortable area when meeting a new pet, but always keeping your pet next to you is reinforcing there anti-social behavior.  Instead praise your dog when he is being social, he will understand that it’s great to act social and hanging out, and playing with other pets is fun. Just don’t rush the process, you can’t force your pet to do anything, just be persistent.

Take your dog out with you frequently to get them used to noises, people and other animals.  Getting out of the house is a great way to let your dog loosen up.

If you are having a hard time finding other people to have puppy play dates with it could be because you aren’t grooming your dog well enough, try to get rid of your dogs tear stains can help, to look better and healthier.

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