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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a nervous dog?

Homer seems to be very nervous, especially around males.... my father in law is a breeder and reckons our dog's breeder was very heavy-handed with him.

Has anyone come across this before? Thanks!
 

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Maggie is kind of a nervous dog herself, around other people and dogs that is. We always try and make new encounters as non-threatning as possible, and never force her to interact. Usually if we let her hide behind us, after a few minutes she'll come around and start to socialize. Treats can be helpful also...give the person a treat to hand to Homer. I think some dogs just take more time to warm up to strangers.
 

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My Lottie was (and still is) a very nervous dog - she had been a kennel dog for her whole life until she came to me, and she came with many issues. She's been here 3 years and is still extremely shy - tho she is also extremely loving with me. It's taken a lot of patience and TLC on my part to get her to be the sweet, loving little lady she is. I picked her up at 5:30 pm in Spokane at the airport on Wednesday afternoon - the next day she was at my vet's for a check up - she had such badly broken/abcessed teeth that he IMMEDIATELY performed emergency dental surgery and discovered that at some point her little jaw had been broken. He removed a dime sized chunk of dead, black bone from her jaw - which neither of the previous owners admitted to knowing about. How old is your Homer? He will probably be easier to get out of his shyness if he's younger. Some dogs do just seem to be more shy than others - so he may not have been abused. Just give him lots of love and attention. As Gale said, some dogs just take longer to warm up. My Chloe was always shy around strangers - but I think it's because I live alone, and she was never exposed to a lot of other people. She's gotten better as she's gotten older - and I take her more places with me. Once she gets to know someone she's fine.
 

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Java's definitely NOT nervous around new people and environments. The only thing I need to work on with him are larger inanimate objects. For some reason, he's totally spooked by the doggie gates.
 

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Chloe is a little nervous at first around new dogs, and even dogs she knows...

I would simply reassure her, but not over do it. Let Homer feel secure, that you are there for him. Don't force on him situations where he feels uncomfortable. Also it's important that you socialize him, at first not in dog parks, but play dates with dogs you know are assertive but gentle, he will learn to copy their behavior and confidence.
 

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do not reasure!!! ever! You're basically praising the bad behaviour when your doing that. mother dogs nudge their pups forward when they are struggling socially. so just stand behind him and gently nudge forward, have the male in question carry something amazing treat he never gets normally. like Cheeze wiz or something really yummy, and everytime he sniffs the man, he gets a teeth, after a while he'll want to get closer and maybe get petted just work slowly, encourage ALL sniffing, it signals curiousity, and make sure your volunteer moves slowly at first. Overtime the problem should go away and people will just be people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks to all for the advice...

i did read what you said Sephly somewhere else on the web so am going to try that approach with strangers.

In the meantime, i have been giving Homer plenty of TLC and encouragement, esp with our neighbours dog which he seems fine with. Its only male adults that scare him, not children at all. We often have lots of family and friends that call up to our house and he is generally ok with them all except the males!!

We'll keep helping Homer anyway and will keep you all updated.
 

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I think the reassurance would be proper when the desired behavior is being observed. In this instance, reassuring Homer when he is social with male dogs would help him understand that he's doing something that you like.
 
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