Fearful Puppy Socialization Class

If your puppy is stand-offish, runs away, barks at or just cowers / shuts down when it sees or is approached by another dog, its something that should be addressed as soon as possible. A healthy puppy should be curious and very open to new experiences.

There are many reasons why a puppy becomes fearful; born in a puppy mill, something bad happened during one of its fear periods, a lack of socialization, lower self esteem or a stressful puppyhood are the most common causes.

Sometimes its just coincidental. Your puppy is looking at a dog out the window and you slam a door during one of its fear periods. Because puppies and dogs learn through association, that puppy may now associate the appearance of an unknown dog with fear something scary is about to happen. That fear can compound very easily unless it’s addressed.

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, you need to address the situation as soon as possible. The longer you delay, the stronger the fear response will become.

We created our Fearful Puppy Socialization class to help puppies get over fears and gain confidence through positive experiences. We use Dog Psychology and something called habituation; putting an out of balance dog around a confident one. By pairing your pup and other puppies who are in the same boat with a good playful role model puppy, we can help them want to come out of their shell.

We back things up with a pair of instructors who can help guide and support them when needed.

Anna Serratore comforts a fearful pup (left) while Meghan Paintin praises one for good behavior.

Unlike our puppy classes which run an hour each week and starts with 30 minutes of instruction, this class is shorter and dedicated to socialization time. We will occasionally include short lessons based on the pups in class, but the goal here is to put your puppy into a low stress situation where they can come out of their shell on their own. We achieve this by putting them in a safe place where they can build confidence and have the motivation of other puppies of a similar age and size.

This video shows Charlie, a fearful Border Collie from our puppy classes along with Rex, another puppy class student. We arranged a play date between fearful Charlie and Rex who excels at luring fearful puppies out of their shell to play. Before we started filming, Charlie was cowering in the corner and bearing her teeth at Rex. But Rex was persistent, and that dedication payed off, big time.

The play time from that video was really the inspiration for our fearful puppy socialization class. We recognized that since we have over 100 puppies in our Puppy Classes each month, we are in a unique position to pair fearful pups with a playful role model to help it show the insecure pups the way.

Our fearful puppy class meets Saturday evenings for 30 minutes and each class runs for 4 consecutive weeks.

If you have a fearful, anxious or insecure puppy when its around other dogs, we want to help you and your little buddy. Fill out the form below and we will contact you to discuss your pup’s needs and how we can help.

Fearful Puppy Class Submission
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