Poodle Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a general question that hopefully someone can help me answer. Emily seems to be very timid around people and especially kids. I do not understand why she tends to shy around people. She was raised by hand and always given lots of love and attention and constantly handled. Yet when I take her out, she never wants to let anyone touch her. She shys away and pulls at the leash. I take her on daily walks (with people interaction), petsmart, the park etc. I thought that maybe she would grow out of it but it still doesn't seem to be getting any better. I had wanted to use her as a therapy dog (since I'm mastering in Psychology) but if she does not warm up to people or want to be touched I know that this is not possiable. Does anyone have any suggestions to help her get past this? Is this just a puppy thing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
You're doing the right thing by taking her places and meeting lots of different people. Try giving people treats to give her so she learns that strangers are a good thing! Avoid reassuring her while interacting with people as this will make her feel there is something to fear. Be upbeat and happy yourself.
I have two therapy dogs. One is a natural with people, the other takes some encouragement to interact. Interestingly enough, the one that is most reluctant is the one that is alpha in my house and is very confident in herself. She just doesn't really love having people touch her. I make her visits positive by giving the patients bits of treats to give her, and I'll have her do some tricks for treats.
Have patience with her, and just be aware that she just reserved by nature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,155 Posts
Is Emily on your avatar photo : ) ???

If yes - than she is not a puppy any more. She might be very young, 6 mos ??? - but far from being a real puppy .

That said - if she was not handled regularly by kids and different people during very early development (6 weeks to 12 weeks) - she missed extremely important period for that kind of socialization. Good breeders make sure that puppies while still at home encounter all kind of basic experience and those include kids and different adults. They are most easily "imprinted" at that age.

If she was handled only by her breeder and than only by you and just a family members - she did not have appropriate socialization and you will have to work hard to catch up with that.

She also needs to be evaluated by a trainer for natural shyness (which can be inherited) , so he will show you how to deal with that issue and how to train her the best possible way to come out of her shell.

If she way born shy - you will have much harder time making her relaxed around others - but it is not impossible with a lot of work. It is very encouraging that at least she is not shy/aggressive type - I would than advise you to just reconsider her therapy career.

Yes - bringing her to as many places as you can and as often as you can is a key - but you have to do it in appropriate way at her age and that is why I would suggest reading a ton of dog-training books and taking a one or two dog-trainer classes to have a "jump-start" : )))

Best of luck with everything !!!!

PS: Next time you look for a therapy dog - have a trained person test and evaluate your puppy for having a best potential for such work : )))
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,481 Posts
It sounds to me like you are doing most of the right things.

Whats interesting is we just had a discussion recently and led to many poodles or dogs just are this way. Is it ideal for therapy dogs? Time will tell. She is still young IMO - but the sooner you tackle the shyness they better the outcome.

Is she likes this in the home? Less social.

Olie tends to take a bit warming up when we are in public. Both Suri and Olie do not go up to people purposely, but are very friendly when we are with a more smaller group, then you can't get rid of them. It seems the bigger places keep them closer to us. I love this about poodles! My Poms will run in another direction first chance they got.

I would try smaller groups at a dog park. Or an outside small. Also playing games with treats from other people really helps. They can start working on trust this way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
My mother has a Spoo mix that was very very shy. We look her to the park and to pet shops that allow dog to come it. When we first started taking her we didnt let any one touch her at all because she was so shy.I thought it might traumatize her. After about 2 months of this she became very comfortable with people and kids. She then would walk up to them and want to be pet. We never made her let people touch her becaues I thought it would only make her want to shy away more. Just a thought it worked for use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
My Claire was very shy when we got her, and the breeder warned me before I got her that she was that way. I have found that obedience training has done wonders for her confidence. She now approaches people, doesn't mind small children at all. We just took things very slowly, my instructor said that she was amazed at the change in her in just the first 6 week class. Hopefully she will become confident enough to do therapy work as well. If not, oh well, she's still my sweet girl!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
It sounds to me like you are doing most of the right things.

Whats interesting is we just had a discussion recently and led to many poodles or dogs just are this way. Is it ideal for therapy dogs? Time will tell. She is still young IMO - but the sooner you tackle the shyness they better the outcome.

Is she likes this in the home? Less social.

Olie tends to take a bit warming up when we are in public. Both Suri and Olie do not go up to people purposely, but are very friendly when we are with a more smaller group, then you can't get rid of them. It seems the bigger places keep them closer to us. I love this about poodles! My Poms will run in another direction first chance they got.

I would try smaller groups at a dog park. Or an outside small. Also playing games with treats from other people really helps. They can start working on trust this way.
Thanks for the advise. No, she is not this way in the home at all. I do live alone but when family comes to visit she won't leave them alone. If I have a friend over she doesn't know well then she is shy. She sometimes will get under the bed until she feels that everything is "safe". (She can barely fit anymore, lol) When I take her out she will let people touch her but it takes a few minutes. If they are patient enough then she warms up. Yesterday I had her out in the courtyard and a little boy wanted to play with her tennis ball. After about 20 minutes she was bringing the ball to him and letting him touch her and licking him. She just tends to be quite reserved in the "meet and greet". I am going to try and carry some treats on me when I go for walks. Maybe this will help a little more to let her know that it is rewarding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
My Claire was very shy when we got her, and the breeder warned me before I got her that she was that way. I have found that obedience training has done wonders for her confidence. She now approaches people, doesn't mind small children at all. We just took things very slowly, my instructor said that she was amazed at the change in her in just the first 6 week class. Hopefully she will become confident enough to do therapy work as well. If not, oh well, she's still my sweet girl!
Thanks so much. I was going to start obedience classes a few weeks ago but found out I would have a class starting for the summer semester that was going to conflict. I still am going to try and get her in, hopefully in the next few weeks. I think that this will help a lot. She is such a sweetheart either way that I love her and I know that is what matters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
Yes, obedience class is the best! I have the same issues with Mochi (she's 8 months now). She's especially shy around kids. I mentioned this in another thread. But it took 6 full weeks for Mochi to come out of her shell and play with the other dogs in the class. After that, it seems she wants to go up to every dog an play with them now. We had a little girl in our obedience class too (about 8 or 9 yrs old). We did lots of handling exercises with Mochi and the girl during the class. She would treat Mochi every time her hand got closer to petting her head until she was finally petting her head and Mochi wasn't flinching.

She's still not perfect with kids, but she's definitely very curious around them. It's only a matter of time before she's totally used to being around kids. Hopefully by the time I decide to have my own, issue will be totally resolved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
My spoo was not well socialized as I expected when I got him (at 1 year old). He was fearful of men, even of my dh, and others. It took some time, a year or more, to get Sunny to be ok with dh and took handling and talking in calm and happy ways from my dh for Sunny to get over it.

For other people, I took him to new places with lots of people and dogs after doing a basic obedience class with him like our local farmer's market, parks, outdoor car shows, etc. It helped to go back to the same places even with different kinds of people because Sunny knew the place and became comfortable with it even as the people changed. Reassuring with my voice and words helped a lot too. I said things to Sunny like "good job", "who's that?", "isn't she nice?", "she wants to pet you", and "that's ok." The more I talk to Sunny like a person and tell him what's going on or reassure him the more he was comfortable with what was happening, even if a little girl runs up to him and pets him from behind startling him. I didn't have to touch him, just talk.

So that's how I would try with yours.

~Haley
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top