Molly is very timid

Molly will be turning 4 months old in a couple of days.  She is very wary of new people & even people she has met before but is not around constantly.  When we walk her into anyplace different she balks on her leash and we almost have to drag her in, but most of the time are carrying her.  We try and coax her with encouragement and treats but don't want to have to do that forever. We are going to check out a doggy daycare center to see if that will help. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated♥ We have 2 other dogs at home so she plays alot with Bear our yellow lab.  We try and take her everyplace possible when we are able.  Thanks.

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    Above is the link to the quick explanation of the game called "Look at that " game. This was given to me from Charlie's trainer. She was the same exact way since she was a young puppy.... We want to make sure that, fear and anxiety toward to new people does not turn into fear aggression. ( That was my concern ) This "Look at that " game tells you to click and reward the second your dog looks at the stimuli she / he does not care for. It sounds like it doesn't make sense at first. But eventually, your dog will figure out the stimuli ( New people, dogs, etc...) is OK, and as long as she/he focuses on the owner, there will be nothing to be worry about.

    I hope this is helpful to you ....

    • Thank you Kyoko for the link.  We started the click treat training a few weeks back but I will try this for sure.
  • Melody was very timid when we got her.  I took her to a group class and she froze up.  She was very nervous, we got no where,plus she is not treat oriented. Adina suggested classes for her that require the dog to be very focused on the intsruction at hand, (heeling,walking,etc.) We started a private lesson and she was doing well with that. We only had a few classes and needed to stop, hopefully temporarily.  I had health issues with my Mother and with myself that have been a bit life altering of late.  I want to get back to that as soon as I can, as that focused attention was helpful.  She couldn't give attention to her fears,and to obeying at the same time. The other thing we did is got another puppy,who is not shy or timid. The confident dog has helped a lot.  Melody has learned to stick up for herself with toys, and plays really well with him. When friends come to visit, the new puppy greats them enthusiastically. Melody still holds back, but doesn't bolt out of the room as she did. Nancy's suggestions of taking Molly different places and having Bear accompany, is excellent, I think. I am pretty sure Melody was shy to begin with, and was not socialized a lot with people,when we got her at almost 6 months old. Exposure is huge, I believe.
    • We do take Molly to dog training and she does really good once she gets in the doors.  We also took her to a doggy daycare facility for half a day and she did well there running around the other dogs.  It seems her issue is more with people.  I think your idea of another puppy was good.  Molly loves hanging out with her Bear.  Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it.
  • I can't stress exposure enough. Go somewhere and sit. Sit at the park and watch. Sit at the entrance to a school and watch - even if it is from the car. Sit in the parking lot at the mall.  Sit at a bus stop. Go to the pet store and slowly walk around.  I would try to expose her to something every day that you can. You don't have to stay long, you don't have to get too close at first. It is good to take her with you but take it a step farther and just let her see what is going on before pushing her into it.  Sometimes they just need to get the smells and movement down first. Also do not coddle or tell her in a loving voice that it is alright because that gives her the idea that it isn't alright. If she is comfortable with one of you other dogs, you might take both so that she can take her cue from that one.
    • These are some really good suggestions, and we will definitely try them.  This is just new to us because our lab is so outgoing and just loves people and wants to be petted by everyone.  Thank you.
  • My understanding is that dogs naturally fear the new/unknown.

    I too tried to cajole and coax my dog into experiencing new things. It hasn't worked. The suggestion I got was to "be". Lead them up to the experience then when they become weary, just stop and let them become curious. No talking, no petting. If they get "stuck", use a smelly high-value treat to lure them closer.

    I used this method on one of the Labradoodles I had pulled from a nasty kill shelter in Texas. He refused to come into the house. So I just waited till he was curious about where I was or what I was doing. We took it very slow. Lured in inches by boiled chicken. Once we got across the threshold he got the JACKPOT of chicken. Second time is easier than the first, third easier than the second, etc.

    • Thanks for the response, I have tried working with treats but every new situation brings the same reaction.  We have overcome other obstacles with her and I know that we will be able to overcome this one as well. She is such a sweet puppy.  I really admire you for rescuing that doodle ♥
  • Our Bruno is timid with some things too. He does submissive peeing when he meets someone new and when we meet new things on our walks he just sits right down. Fear of the car also. Our trainer said worst thing to do is the treats and training which of course you want to do because you feel bad but she said it is actually showing the dog a reward for the behavior you don't want! Made sense when she said it. She said don't coddle, don't yell, just be firm and basically keep them moving in the direction you want them to go and no petting or praise until they have done what you want them to do. Good luck!


    • Thanks, we will try to be more firm, kinda tough though when they are so darn cute ;)
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