View Full Version : Timid Pup

19th November 2007, 11:28 PM
Maverick is glued to me at all times and has no problem playing with our cats and other dogs. The issue is that he's seems scared of my husband and every other human other then me. It bothers me that he'll follow people around but when they bend down to pet him he runs. I'm not sure what to do to get him to see they aren't going to hurt him.

19th November 2007, 11:43 PM
Dixie was timid at first too. She just wanted to be with me all the time. We started taking her to agility classes and her trainer told us we needed to expose her to at least 3-4 new places a week. So, we started taking her to parks where there were lots of people, Lowe's, Home Depot, Pet stores, and our family's homes. She has gotten a lot better. She even initiates going up to people and wanting them to pet her. She would have NEVER done that before. When we have people over, she now jumps in their laps. Our trainer also said to praise her if she makes the effort to greet people. She still goes to agility classes, and that is another outing for her. So, I say just keep exposing him to new people and places and praising him (keep some treats handy) when he acknowledges someone. Judy and Dixie (she is about the same age, born 3/13/07)

21st November 2007, 03:39 PM
They allow dogs in Lowe's and Home Depot!?


21st November 2007, 03:43 PM
I try as much as possible to expose him to people when out running errands. Only problem is now he is so use to greeting people that he senses are friendly I have to buy a belly band for him soon. He won't approach those that send bad vibes that is for sure. There's a big sign that says unless they are service dogs. I've seen this for myself. They don't allow pets in my Lowe's or Home Depot here in Maine.

21st November 2007, 04:10 PM
Like others mentioned, socialize him well--take him everywhere and expose him to as many people you can. However, ask people to pet him on his chest--the head is a very vulnerable area for a lot of animals...too vulnerable for strangers, especially. When he meets people, give the person a treat to give him (keep a small baggie with you at all times, that's what we did, and it worked!), this way he's associating people with something good--treats. We even went as far as to keep a baggie in the mailbox, so when people came over, they were armed with treats. He'll soon equate people other than you with treats.

Again, as others mentioned, get him into obedience training, this will help build his confidence greatly.

21st November 2007, 05:42 PM
I know you mentioned on another thread that your husband is perhaps thinking you should get rid of Maverick and finds his puppy behaviour frustrating, which would suggest maybe your husband isn't always enamoured of Maverick as it is, or at best, tolerates without always actively enjoying him? Just guessing -- but even if he doesn't feel he expresses this to Maverick, Maverick will pick up on his ambivalence. I'd guess this may very likely be the source of Maverick also being afraid or wary of your husband. Dogs read human body language and sense emotion pretty well, as do cats -- for example, my father never cared one way or another for the family cats we had when I was a child, which was expressed as indifference towards them. They sure sensed this -- they would never go to my dad yet were extremely affectionate cats. Dad on the other hand was the main trainer of our family Great Pyrenees and gave her lots of time and training from puppyhood on, and as far as the dog was considered, we were wonderful, but dad was her number one leader and she adored him. Such relationships are always two way. :) As I noted in the housetraining thread, you might want to consider the bigger picture and really discuss what to do next with your husband. :thmbsup:

21st November 2007, 05:56 PM
Karlin, as always a wealth of wisdom. That is exactly what happen with my pup who for all his shyness is eager to approach everyone sniffing them out and eventually befriending another willing victim. The only time he showed he was afraid was by running forward, stopped, backed up, and growl at the person who was exhibiting body language that made him feel fear. Which leads to expressing fear and aggression. Animals sense fear even when we think that individual may be alright in our eyes. Body language speaks loudly to these intelligent loving dogs.

22nd November 2007, 06:06 AM
My mill mama rescue is afraid of everyone but me.
I take her to petsmart and petco at least 2 days a week.
We just walk the isles. I fill my pockets with treats, and when we stop to chat with people I ask them to give her treats.
Sometimes it takes her 3 complete loops around the store but eventually she will accept them.
The cashiers as well as their trainers are used to seeing her now and know her by name, and are always happy to help.

My husband is a different story.
She has lived with us for 3 months now and is just now starting to relax a little bit around him. She is progressing, but it's very slow.
She has started sharing his pillow with him at night now, and I often wake up in the morning and can hear him petting her while talking quietly to her.

I know it's frustrating for him so I can only imagine it is for your spouse as well.
It's something my husband works on several times a day, every single day.
He has shown so much patience with her, and i'm thankful for that.
Like Karlin said, they are very smart and can sense frustration and anger.
Jen is right, I ask people to pet her on the chest and under her chin (which she loves). That way she can always see their hands.

Good luck and I hope everything works out for you, your husband and the georgeous Maverik =)