It’s really not right to use dominant methods on a shy dog. After all, the dog isn’t misbehaving, it’s simply afraid. And now that we have scientifically-proven methods for desensitizing your shy dog, there’s really no reason to mess around and waste time. What the dog needs is desensitization.
What is desensitization?
Let’s say that your dog reacts in fear every time she sees another dog, even from a distance. You look at her body language. She’s trembling, pulling away on the leash, or trying to escape to the car. She might start crying or whimpering. If she’s very afraid, she might even start barking. You might say that she is “sensitized” to the presence of other dogs, and reacts accordingly.
Many a dog that turns aggressive was simply a scared dog that was improperly diagnosed as dominant aggressive. And “correction” techniques used to force a shy dog to curtail the symptomatic behavior — the crying, the barking, etc. — simply made the dog feel worse. Now, the dog is not only afraid, but not allowed to express her feelings or behave in a normal way for the situation.
All that tension, built up over time, may eventually erupt in aggression.
Think of it. All living creatures have two options when presented with a threat — fight or flight.
Your shy dog is on a leash, and therefore is unable to run away. If you’re correcting her behavior, you’re adding tension to the situation. Dogs can handle this mistreatment for awhile, often for years, but then can simply lose it one day. And we’ve all read the articles. “My dog was so sweet and good with the kids for years. And then one day she attacked.”
Desensitization is exactly what it sounds like. You take a dog that is overly sensitized to other dogs, or cars, or loud noises, or whatever else is bothering it, and you show it that there is nothing to be afraid of. You have to know what you’re doing and be very careful so that you don’t make the dog worse, and that’s where an experienced trainer can help.
If you’re reading this article, chances are that you saw one of my ads and you want better for your shy dog. You recognize that it’s not the dog’s fault that she wasn’t taught early in life to be more self-confident. The last thing you want to do is make her feel worse. After all, she’s the joy of your life!
If you’d like more information, please feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (559) 675-8005.
Thanks for reading and for loving your shy dog.
Positive Pet Training