How To Handle A Skittish Dog

Aug. 26, 2011

Congratulations! You’ve successfully adopted or purchased a brand new puppy. Little did you know, this puppy is not just any puppy, this puppy shows unique behaviors. This puppy will show signs of separation anxiety; fear aggression; and shyness. A puppy or dog, which shows these signs are known to be skittish. A skittish animal usually comes from an abusive environment, or it can be a natural instinct. Not only can a skittish dog show separation anxiety; fear aggression; or shyness, but can begin constantly chewing on things, and biting.

To break your new puppy out of this habit, taking obedience classes; socializing your puppy with other humans and dogs at a young age can help. However, do not overdo training or socializing. Take it one day at a time. Spend 15-20 minutes at a dog park; or even go out for a nice walk. The best kind of training would be the sort which is individual, at the client’s home. Not only will this keep the puppy in focus, but within only a few months, your puppy will be able to experience “the outside world,” in a calmer matter. It is extremely important to teach your dog the recall command. How the recall command works is by the following:

1) Show your puppy a treat and then back away while saying, “_______, come.” (Make sure that you are using an upbeat, happy tone.)

2) Praise your puppy as it comes toward you. (Refrain from repeating the command.)

3) When your puppy is close enough, touch its collar, give your puppy a treat, say the release word and then walk a little bit away from the puppy.


If you practice this command on a day-to-day basis, you won’t have to worry about your skittish puppy running away. ALWAYS have a leash near you; as well as an emergency first aid kit for canines. NEVER leave your puppy/ or dog unattended. Even with the most secured backyard, anything can happen, at any given time. It’s up to you, the owner to make sure to work on your puppy’s skittishness.

Don’t praise your puppy for being shy, they will then think it is okay for them to always be afraid. However, don’t be abusive either. In a calm matter take your puppy outside, with his/her leash on, and every time a person or another puppy/dog comes along, ask that person if your puppy can smell them or smell their dog, if they sense that this other person is “ok,” as well as their pet, then sooner or later you puppy will begin to be playful with other people, and other animals.


For more tips, questions, or to inquire about my services, feel free to give me a call, (414) 507-5606, an email or check me out on the world wide web,


Thank-you for taking the time to read this, and good-luck!


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