How to Introduce People to Shy Dogs

By: David Codr

Published Date: April 1, 2024

introduce people to shy dogs

For today’s Santa Monica dog behavior help session, we provided tips on how to introduce people to shy dogs to help 2 year-old Shih Tzu Noah.

I started the session by spending a few minutes at the door being passive. When you have a shy dog meeting someone for the first time, the best thing the new person can do is to hold still and let the dog come to you. We often think that petting a dog is the best way to make friends but if the dog is uncomfortable around new people, this can be too much.

Once Noah had given me a good sniff, I pulled out some treats and gave him a couple. Every two or three treats, I tossed the treat behind Noah. This is a dog behavior tip for shy dogs because it helps them move away and recompose themself. I talk about this a little bit later in the session in the video below.

We spent the first part of the session going over a number of dog behavior fundamentals like how to use marker words and the benefit of and the benefits of a lick mat.  I also shared several other tips to help shy dogs feel comfortable around strangers.

One of the fundamentals of positive dog training is to go with the dogs pace and this is even more important when you’re dealing with dogs who are insecure around new people. There were a few times where Noah moved away from me or stopped engaging in the exercise.

When this happened we would stop and discuss the situation a bit as well as use it as an opportunity to point out his cut off signals. You can’t really train a dog longer than a few minutes in one stretch so it’s important to be observant and paws or stop when a dog starts to communicate that it’s reached its limit or as close to it.

How to Introduce People to Shy Dogs

Anytime you have a dog that is not comfortable around new people, you want to look for ways to create introductions that help the dog feel secure and confident. I pulled out my camera and handed it to the guardian so that she could film me as I shared a number of secrets to help shy dogs greet people for the first time.

If you have a dog that is uncomfortable when new people visit your home, you should definitely check out the free positive dog training video below.

I love to help shy dogs greet people with confidence because I know its going to make a real quality of life difference for yars to come. Many people dont understand the dog’s behavior and think its mean, aggressive or reactive. but in fact, the dog is just uncomfortable. Thats one of the reasons that punishing or disagreeing with a dog who is barking or lunging is one of the last things you should ever do.

There are many dogs who are insecue around new people or houseguests. But if you go slow, use positive methods and go at the dog’s pace, you can help them feel relaxed when meeting a stranger. It takes time and practice, but if Noah’s guardian practices a few times a week, she should see his behavior improve little by little

We covered so many other things like Dog Consent in this in home Santa Monica dog training session that I recorded a roadmap to success summary video for the guardian to remember everything. You can get some free dog behavior tips by watching the video below.

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This post was written by: David Codr