Dog Behavior Training: Methods of Working with a Shy Dog
Shy dogs are more common than most people think, but unfortunately many dogs who suffer from this affliction are never seen by the general public because of their impairment. Shy dogs range from those who scurry away when someone walks by, to those who bite when approached. No matter how vehement their behavior, however, there are ways of not only managing it, but solving the problem.
Symptoms of a Shy Dog
Most shy dogs will exhibit several different behaviors that show you their true nature. They can display flattened ears, glassy eyes, pant oddly, tuck their tail between their legs, and refuse to make eye contact. They may run away scared, urinate inappropriately (also called submissive urination), bare his teeth, bark, growl, or perhaps bite.
Why is He Shy?
When looking at ways to start dog behavior training, you'll first need to figure out exactly why your dog is shy. There are two families of debate on this topic; the current model states that shyness is genetic in dogs. However, as always with animal-life behavior, the debate about nature vs. nurture rages on. A mother dog may teach her shy behaviors to her pups, for instance. However, you should also check with your vet to make sure there aren't any medical reasons as to why your dog seems shy. And finally, you'll want to observe your dog to make sure that it's not just dog behavior training that is required ? perhaps they never really learned how to socialize properly in the first place. If this is the case, then you should be able to use some very effective dog behavior training techniques to fix this issue in no time.
Methods to Overcome Shyness
The first thing you should do is read as much as you can about your dog, its temperament, breed, and any related issues that may be contributing to his shyness. Also make a point of reading up on dog behavior training methods. Talk to your vet, other pet owners, local dog clubs and the SPCA to get ideas, too.
Then, take your dog to the vet and have him checked out thoroughly. Poor hearing and eyesight can contribute (or even cause) this problem, as can epilepsy, chronic pain or an ear infection.
Then, make sure that you've spayed or neutered your animal. Breeding them, unless you are highly trained to do so, won't help at all. Plus, you'll be increasing the life span of your pooch in the process.
Dog behavior training is the next step of the process. Learn more about what distracts your dog (both with his individual personality and breed), what motivates him, and whether or not he was bred to work with humans. Determine what his prey drive is (the want to chase things), pack drive (the want to be in a pack, or belong to a human), and defensive drives (fight and flight). Knowing this information will change your dog behavior training dramatically.
Now you can start with the obedience training. Try and look for local schools that can help you get started on this process, because doing it on your own can be a bit overwhelming at first. Let the school know why you want to investigate dog behavior training, and what goals you hope to accomplish with your dog. Also, look at some agility training for your dog as well, to keep his body in tip-top condition.
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