A shy dog can be the result of genetics, a traumatic experience or an inadequate education with little contact with other dogs and strangers.
A dog is shy when there is inhibition, distrust or fear in a certain situation, which can cause toilet training and even anxiety attacks in the dog. This article explains why dogs are shy, the different reactions of a shy dog, how to prevent this canine behaviour, and four guidelines to help a withdrawn dog.
Can dogs be shy?
Shy dogs can have aggressive reactions because they feel insecure and unprotected in situations they do not control
Canine shyness is a character trait inherited from his ancestor, the wolf. It is a characteristic of dogs that are very sensitive to external stimuli, such as noise , or the presence of unfamiliar animals and people.
Canids – among them, the dog or the wolf – as predators that they are, must act with great caution to avoid unnecessary risks that endanger their survival.
This behaviour explains, in part, the inherited shyness of some dogs. But when this characteristic that helps guarantee canine survival is exaggerated, it prevents the dog’s normalized relationship with people, other animals or certain situations. We are facing a sickly shyness of the dog, which may need canine psychological therapy.
Why is my dog shy?
Shyness in a dog can be due to hierarchical issues within the group, so that the dog is submissive and shy because he is not the leader of the pack. Keep in mind that there is a rule that is often repeated: from shy parents, shy children. The sickly shyness of the dog is a common reason for consulting canine educators.
The shyness of the dog can also be treated. But a shy dog is very difficult to lose his self-consciousness completely.
Consequently, the ideal is to be able to determine the cause of the shyness of the dog, although it is not easy, because the origin may be genetic. The shyness of a dog can also lead to anxiety. It usually occurs with dogs that have lived isolated and deprived of freedom. The behaviour of dogs that have experienced these situations are nervousness and a tendency to compulsive destruction.
Shy dogs, how to recognize them?
There are dogs that, in response to shyness or inability to cope with certain situations, respond aggressively. Others may have panic attacks and run uncontrollably or hide. There are those who relax sphincters and urinate or defecate involuntarily.
Another reason for the dog to be shy can be isolation, lack of coexistence with other animals or an inadequate education, in which the dog’s socialization has not been taken into account since it was a puppy with its mother and siblings. as well as with other animals and people.
How to prevent canine shyness?
Proper socialization from when the dog is a puppy is the best way to avoid shyness
An overprotected dog is more likely to be shy than one that is not the center of attention. In addition, canine play plays an important role in establishing an emotional relationship between owner and dog; and it is an appropriate therapy that allows the dog to release its energy and become uninhibited.
Playing with the dog helps to create emotional ties and complicity that will be useful for them to function in their social relationships.
If we want a balanced dog, we must lay the foundations to achieve it from a young age. On the one hand, it is necessary to enrich the first experiences of the puppy , which must interact with people and animals, as well as get used to its environment, with outings to the streets, the park or trips.
However, if the behavior problems caused by the shyness of the dog cannot be solved by the owners, and they create many problems for the dog to adapt to certain types of daily situations, such as relationships with other people or animals, it is advisable to go to an expert in canine behavior, to determine the causes of this unhealthy shyness and assess the procedure to follow to solve the problem.
Shy dogs, tricks to help them
The technique that canine educators usually use with shy dogs is gradual exposure to various situations that cause shyness. This is the case of a dog that is shy and withdrawn in the presence of unknown people and animals in its environment, which will be gradually subjected to this situation until it is better tolerated.
Here are four guidelines to help a shy dog .
1. Rule out a veterinary problem in the shy dog . If the degree of shyness of the dog prevents him from interacting normally and triggers aggressiveness, anxiety and inability to face certain situations, such as interacting with strangers, consult with the veterinarian .
2. Try to determine the cause of that shyness . For example, if it is an adopted dog , you have to find out if it has been abused . Although it is not always possible to determine the reason, it can also have a genetic origin.
3. To prevent a dog from being shy, from puppyhood it must be socialized correctly: interact with people and other dogs and face different experiences.