Timid Doodle

I have a beautiful doodle who is scared of her own shadow and I don't know what to do about it. I got her when she was 14 weeks old and she had very little socialization so she came to us with this timid behavior but I thought I could fix it with lots of love... not so. 

She's great at home and not scared of anything but the minute I take her out she acts like she's been beaten severly. I mean she cowers and hides behind me. It's horrible.

I need advice on how to work with her to help her to get out of this. Thank you in advance.

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  • Or, may be you can get her used it by starting somewhere she is comfortable, like right inside of the door with door wide open.

    Since the weather is getting nice may be you and your puppy can sit at the door looking outside, give her some kibbles while sitting there.... And may be sit right at the porch and do the same, depends on how your house is structured....She may gradually get comfortabe more and more about being outside....

    • That's actually a good idea about a place she's comfortable with... because I feel like I'm only making it worse bringing her into scary situations like Petsmart, downtown.. etc..

      Thanx for the helpful advice.:) It means a lot.

    • Yeah, that may be too much at first....
  • Jackdoodle was 14 months old when I adopted him, and he was the same way. Outdoors, he was terrified of everything.

    I hired a trainer/behaviorist to advise me, and the advice was to keep getting him out. I was to talk to him in a cheerful, upbeat tone, but NOT act sympathetic. No saying "It's okay" when he displayed fear, instead I was to praise him and say "Good boy!" in a very upbeat voice. We walked several times a day, widening our area as he became more comfortable. Over time, the things that frightened him became familiar; that rock on the corner, somebody's trash cans, etc.  Then we took to the road; we went to pet supply stores, vets offices (just to sit in the waiting area), farmer's markets, playgrounds, auto repair shops, anywhere dogs were permitted. Three times a week, minimum. We also took a very small (5 dogs) socialization class for adopted dogs, where we practiced very basic obedience commands and mostly just hung out together.

     JD has very few fear issues now. Occasionally, a loud sudden noise will startle him when we're walking, but sometimes it startles me, too. It just takes time and exposure, it will get better!


    • I will continue to do just that. I was working a full time job so I was not getting her out as much as I'd hoped for but I was recently laid off so now I have all the time in the world to work on my dogs. Losing my job is horrible but I'm trying to see some positives in it.. UGH.

      Sounds like you really went the extra mile for your dog and that is so awesome. I want to do the same for mine. It makes me sad to see her so scared. :(

      I took her everywhere with me yesterday and saw very little improvement.. I'm in for the long haul. 


  • Molly is shy...she was timid when we first brought her home.  We kept her basically only around us until her shots were completed, then we took her out in public and I was very surprised since I have never had a timid dog before.  We enrolled her in puppy classes, take her to the dog park frequently and on walks with our lab Bear.  She tends to copy the behaviors of Bear (AKA Happy Dog, title bestowed on him by our vet ☺) so it helps that he is very tail wagging and friendly and people loving.  She is now 6 months old and had a quite a breakthrough yesterday.  Our neighbor Molly (our doodle was named after her ♥) came over and Molly actually snuggled up to her on the couch.  

    There is light at the end of the tunnel but it is alot of work.  

    With Molly I think it was inherited from the mama...who was very timid around us when we went to pick up Molly.  Willow (Molly's litter mate) is also very timid like your doodle and Patti is having a struggle with her.  

    How old is your doodle?


    • Mine is a year old and I don't believe it is genetic.. I believe it has everything to do with her lack of socialization at the most important developmental age of 8-12 weeks. 

      She virtually lived the first 14 weeks of her life in a big puppy box with another younger litter.. and at the time the breeder I got her from had 2 litters so she got very little interaction with humans besides the very basics. The breeder gave her to me for free because she had held her back for another family who backed out at the last minute and she was already 14 weeks old at this point so she just needed a good home before it was too late for her. I felt bad and thought I could just love her and she'd be fine. I also have a large family so I knew that would help her as well and she is fine at home and a very happy dog except when it comes to strangers or going to new environments.

      So I'm going to take all of your advice and continue to take her out to new places on a daily basis. :) Thanx everyone.

  • How old is she now? If she's still young, some of the shyness will go away or get better, the more experiences she has. I have a puppy mill dog who was the same way when I got her at 6 months old. Now she's 4 and still has some aloofness in new situations, but is much more open to new things. The more she gets to see and do, the faster she will realize it's OK. Take her to the dog park, the beach, for rides in the car, to Petco and make sure those experiences are fun and upbeat. Introduce her to new people, too, but don't force her, she'll mature and accept more if she's exposed to more.
    • Thanx Lynne and I really hope so.. she is a year old now and I blame some it on myself for not taking her out to new places and meeting new people enough but now that I don't have a job anymore I plan on devoting a lot of time to her. I have taken her to the dog park lots of times but other dogs is not really her problem.. it's new people and environments so I plan on working on that.
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