Dogs are delicate, loving creatures with varying temperaments and personalities. However, shy, sensitive dogs may need help building confidence and trust. Read through these tips before adopting a sensitive dog.
Prepare Your Home Ahead of Time
One of the first things you do before bringing a shy pooch home is to create an inviting environment for them as soon as they walk through the door. Adopted dogs will take some time to adjust to their new home, but preparing ahead of time can help ease their feelings of stress or fear.
Prepare your backyard first by having a tall and deep enough fence to prevent the dog from jumping over or digging holes. Inside your home, all doors should close and lock, and your windows must be able to close. These safety measures can prevent your new dog from entering hazardous areas or stop them from slipping out the door.
Compile Their Triggers
Sensitive, shy dogs can have a multitude of triggers that can induce feelings of fear, anxiety, and dread. One tip for adopting a shy dog is to keep a list of their triggers so that you know what can evoke their fear responses. Plan around their triggers to ensure your new home feels safe and secure.
Furthermore, dogs with separation anxiety need to understand that when you leave the home, it doesn’t mean they will be alone forever. Avoid separation anxiety mistakes such as relying on punishment. The point is the work with their emotions rather than their behavior.
Give Them Time To Adjust
In the three months following the adoption, you must give them time to adjust and learn to feel comfortable. New environments for adopted dogs can become incredibly stressful, so give your dog the time and care they need to adjust on their terms. Practice patience and allow your dog to explore their new environment. They will eventually feel more inclined to work with you.
Help Them Build Confidence
Dogs that experience shy, sensitive responses to everything may feel as if they’re doing everything wrong. However, fearful dogs need positive reinforcement and faith in their owners so that they can slowly come out of their shells. While not all dogs lose their shy, sensitive personalities, it’s possible to help build confidence with training, time, and trust.
Help your dog by creating positive associations with difficult situations, such as exposing them to their fears at a low-intensity level. Using a tasty treat, their favorite toy, or positive verbal cues can help them become more confident in the face of new experiences.