Helping a Dog Get Over a Fear of the Nanny and Meeting New People

By: David Codr

Published Date: January 22, 2018

For this Lincoln dog training session we helped a nervous 3 year-old Havanese named Luna who was afraid of the family’s nanny.

Knowing that she was insecure around new people, I adopted some soft body language and movements to communicate I was not a threat. In the video below, I share a few other dog behavior tips to help dogs who are unsure, insecure, fearful and nervous when meeting new people.

I sat down with the guardians and Luna to discuss her dog behavior problems and how I could help. As a dog behaviorist, I have found that spending a few minutes discussing the dog’s problems, personality and day to day routine can provide me with insight that can help me come up with the best way to help rehabilitate a dog.

I learned that the humans were doing a number of things that inadvertently gave the dog the wrong message. Luna was clearly fearful of new people and so her guardians petted to try to console and comfort here. A natural reaction that many people make, but one that backfires.

Anytime you pet a dog, you are rewarding or enhancing whatever they happen to be doing at the time. By petting the dog when it was fearful, the humans and the nanny were actually making things worse despite their sole intent of wanting to make things better.

To help the nanny start to develop a positive relationship with the dog, I outlined a new arrival ritual that should help the dog stop being fearful when new people come over.

Going slow, using positive reinforcement, giving Luna space and the other tips detailed in the above video should all combine to help stop the dog from being anxious when new people come over.

Incorporating a daily walk with the nanny should help tremendously, even though its a short walk as dogs get over things by literally moving forward. Also, since dogs enjoy walks, this activity will help to foster a more positive relationship between dog and nanny.

By the end of the session, Luna was much calmer and confident with my presence. If the family and nanny can follow the dog training tips and suggestions I made during this in home dog training session, it shouldn’t take long before Luna and the nanny are pals.

We finished things up by shooting a roadmap to success video summarizing the dog behavior tips I shared during this session.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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