It is a great joy when you welcome a new puppy into your family. You cannot wait for them to get to know you and your friends. Unfortunately, many animal shelters are understaffed and the animals do not always get all of the human socialization they need. Your puppy may be intensely shy around you and others for a while. With a lot of love and a little patience, you can teach your pup some social manners.
Join the Crowd
One of the quickest ways to encourage a shy dog is to bring him around people. When you are taking him for walks, lead him around groups of people. Dogs need to be exposed to a variety of people. In public, he will meet people who look and sound different. Eventually, he will see that you are calm and safe and that other people are not a threat.
Look, But Don’t Touch
Until you have seen how your dog reacts to a stranger’s touch, be careful of allowing people to pet him. Nervous dogs can feel threatened and can bite. While your dog may be acting out of instinct, a dog bite can be dangerous. Dogs have bacteria in their saliva that can cause serious infections. You can also be named in an expensive lawsuit if your dog bites someone. Remember that you are liable for your dog’s actions. According to an expert with Scherline And Associates, dog owners are legally obligated to keep control of their pet and prevent it from damaging any property or person. When the puppy is used to people, you can let people carefully introduce themselves.
Let Him Hide
If friends come over and your dog scurries under the couch, resist the urge to drag him out. Dogs have to get used to people on their own terms. Just allow your puppy to observe from his hiding place. When he sees that you are calm and the strangers are not a threat, then curiosity will get the best of him and he’ll emerge to greet the newcomers.
A Relaxing Treat
Provide your guests with a little plastic bag of doggie treats. Let the puppy sniff around at everyone’s feet and get used to them. As he does, softly talk to him and assure him that everything is safe. Before your friends offer him a treat, let them offer their closed hand for the dog to sniff. Only do this if your dog is not prone to biting. When your friends give him a treat and talk softly to him, he may relax and allow them to pet him. Next time you have company, he will remember the scent of your friends and may befriend them.
There is a reason that dogs are called man’s best friend. Dogs crave acceptance and the company of people. Since you probably have a lot of people in your life, it is important to socialize your new puppy. Shy puppies can be gently encouraged to trust people and will likely not be a biting threat. With a little work and patience, your puppy will soon learn to be the life of the party.