(Closed) how to deal with a skittish dog?

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 4
2821 posts
Sugar bee

How socialized is she around other dogs and people?

I’m really not sure about what to do.   But I’d just try to provide as much comfort and treats as possible when she gets scared.  Let her sniff your shirt when she gets scared of it or the vaccuum when it’s off  (though those loud noises might be hard to get over).  I’d also push her a little with little things.  If shaking things makes her scared get a treat that you can shake or shake something and then throw her a treat, it might scare her a bit at first but she’ll start to associate rapid movements with treats?

Post # 5
431 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

My Cockers outgrew this tendency, but some dogs are more prone to it.  It’s not necessarily anything a previous owner did to make her behave this way –some dogs are just nervous dogs.

Post # 8
2607 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

First, if she hasn’t been to obedience classes, I would start there.

Second, when she does get scared, what is YOUR reaction?  Do you ignore her, get angry, or do the whole “Oh, baby, it’s okay!” thing and try to reassure her.  If it’s getting angry with her, (which I’m sure you don’t do) or cooing at her, you are only going to make the problem worse.  What people ususally see as reassuring a dog basically tells her it’s okay to be scared.  Ignoring her reaction, or moving slowly and allowing her to sniff the item she’s afraid of is better.  Praise her for any calm behavior, and for moving toward the item she’s afraid of, even if she doesn’t actually get close enough to sniff or touch it.  It’s a start.

Also, I would recomend doing a Nothing In Life Is Free program (NILIF).  It’s basically an easy way to show your dog that YOU are in charge, that all good things come from you, and that they don’t need to worry.  It’s beneficial for ALL dogs, but can really help put an unconfident dog at ease.

Also, activities like agility give a dog an outlet for their energy, stimulate their minds, and builds confidence.  You might want to give that a try.  It has an added bonus of being fun for the owner, too!


Post # 9
544 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Your precious pup might have been abused?  Though I am not sure it explains her skittish behavior totally.

My Philly man is scared of balloons.  Barks & growls…..trieds to run away from them every time he seems them.  I have no clue where the heck that came from??

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