Caissie Canine Instruction: Introducing an Anxious K9 to People
We begin this week’s “RUFF TAILS” featuring a beautiful Pyrenees named Bella.
Bella is a sweet 4-year-old Pyrenees mix rescue from Texas. Her kind heart and gentle disposition makes her a wonderful family dog. She loves to lounge in the backyard, swim in the pool and going on walks. She absolutely loves kids of all ages and cats!!!
As an alpha protective female, we are working to balance her behaviour around other dogs in her own environment. She’s made a new best friend Blue. She completed our family when we adopted her 3 years ago and we’re so thankful to have rescued her.
Welcome to Doggie Dialogue
Socializing a dog with anxiety needs to be done gradually and at a slower pace. When you go slow, with a positive reinforcer, like praise or a high value treat this can help reduce the stress and fear.
Having a nervous dog can create challenges when introducing them to people or other dogs. It is important for you to educate yourself on the body language of your K9.
The “fear/stressed” body language you are looking for in your own dog is a tucked tail, stress yawning, avoidance, a hard stare, barring teeth, stiff body, growling, barking or lunging.
All these above signs are letting you know your dog is uncomfortable with the situation. It is best to remove your dog away for the person or other dog. Once the triggers are away, try to redirect their focus by asking them to “sit” and reward them with a treat.
Remember most dog bites happen when your K9 is on leash.
Never force your K9 to meet other people or other dogs. Let your dog decide whether they want to meet and greet.
When your have company over at your house, start with confining your dog in a separate room until everyone has settled in, then let your dog make the first move. Let your dog come to them. Remind your guests, that low energy is needed, no touch and no eye contact.
Should you need help with this behaviour feel free to reach out to Paul for any additional advice or training.