Using Positive Training to Help an Anxious Puppy Relax When Being Touched

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 16, 2017

In this in home puppy training session in Omaha we helped a 5 month-old Boston Terrier puppy George stop being an anxious puppy when being touched by people he doesn’t know.

George showed some anxiety as soon as we stepped into the door; moving away repeatedly, stiff body language and movements. Puppies of this age are usually pretty fearless so I chatted the guardian up about George’s backstory. Turns out he spent most of his critical socialization period on a farm.

As the video found on the above link mentions, the CSP is the most important developmental period a dog goes through. This is where the dogs start to gain confidence through positive experiences. Its likely that being on a farm, George didn’t get exposed to a ton of different people which led to his anxiety around people.

I recommended that George’s guardians expose him to as many different people as possible in the next few months. This is even more pressing in George’s case due to the lack of early socialization and the weather turning cold which will limit opportunities dramatically.

To make sure George’s introductions to new people go well, I spent a few minutes sharing some positive puppy training tips to help him stop feeling anxious when meeting new people.

I wish I would have started filming sooner as George responded to this positive dog training approach very well.

George’s guardian should take note of any person type that he seems more anxious around. Kids, tall men, people in hats, uniforms, beards, etc can all be disconcerting for a puppy. In cases where George is more anxious or nervous, repeated introductions and exposures may be required. They should keep intruding him to these cases until he is calm any time he meets someone with those characteristics. By introducing George to them this way they will help him gain confidence and stop being anxious around new people.

Because his guardian wants him to learn to walk with a loose leash in a good heel, I suggested he sign George up for one of our puppy socialization classes (301) which trains puppies to walk in the heel position.

We wrapped up the puppy behavior and training session by shooting a roadmap to success video filled with many of the puppy behavior tips I share with my clients when I work as an Omaha puppy trainer.

Roadmap

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