Fearful Puppy Matchmaking Class


Is your puppy afraid of other dogs? Lunging, barking or snarling when it sees other dogs? Or does it shake, freeze, shut down or act submissive?

It’s important to understand that being a fearful puppy is not normal. Puppies should be curious, open to new things and looking to have fun all or most of the time. If your puppy is fearful around other dogs, that is a big warning sign that needs to be addressed immediately. The longer you delay, the stronger the fear response will become as the puppy is literally practing being scared.

Puppies develop early confidence and social skills by having positive experiences around other puppies and adult dogs in their Critical Socialiation Period. Puppies who do not get this early socialization often act aggressive or fearful when they are around other dogs or puppies as a coping mechanism.

We have seen a spike in undersocialized and fearful puppies in our puppy classes since CoronaVirus started.  Our instructors took it upon themseleves to start having some of these fearful pups stay after class when there was another puppy in class who had a complimentary personality and energy.

By hand picking a suitable puppy to play with, our instructors set these fearful pups up for success. The fearful pups started to come out of their shell and develop confidence around their new puppy pals. The more positive experiences they had, the more confident and social they became. As a result of this after-hours work our instrcutors put in (Our instructors are awesome), many of the puppies got over their fearful behavior completely!

Without even knowing it, our instructors laid the foundation for our Fearful Puppy Matchmaking service. Here is a video of a fearful Border Collie named Charlie who cowered in the corner or snarled at pups who apprached for his first 2 puppy classes. One of our lead Instrcutors Anna asked puppy Rex to stay after class.

After a few mintes, this is what happned.

We regret we dont have a before video of Charlie’s behavior as the transformation to the behavior in the video above is striking. What started out as a few informal post puppy class play sessions developed into our Fearful Puppy Matchmaking Service.

Here is how it works.

We admit a group of 18 fearful puppies each month and invite their guardians to bring them in for a short meet and greet. The instructors observe your pup individually; determining their level of fear, confidence, play style and personality.

After evaluating all the puppies separately, the instructors select two puppies who’s energy and play levels are complimentary for one another and schedule a time for the two pups to meet up for a supervised play session once a week for 4 consecutive weeks. While we hope to pair all the pups up, the quality of the match is everything. While rare, in some cases, you may need to wait for the next month’s group of puppies to find the ideal match for your pup.

Once your pup has been paired up, our Booking Coordinator will notify you of the time of your pup’s play period for the next 4 weeks.

We start the pups out in designated safe spaces, a fenced off part of the room for each pup. Giving your puppy a safe place to go anytime they feel overwhelmed or fearful is the first step towards regaining their confidence.

The 4 weeks of curated play time is supervised the entire time to ensure its a positive experience for both puppies. The instructors are experts at reading canine body language which is crucial. Knowing when to encourage and when to lay back and let the pup’s interact when the time is right takes an experienced eye. Fortunately we have a few at Dog Gone Problems.

Our goal is to build your puppy’s confidence and social skills to a level that will allow them to enroll in our regular puppy classes. For many puppies, a 4 week class provides them with what they need. But for pups with more severe cases of fear, repeating the class with another pup is sometimes needed.

For more information or to sign your puppy up, fill out the form below.

Fearful Puppy Class Submission
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