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Lesstress for Dogs

Natural Support for Canine Stress and Anxiety

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Help Your Shy Dog Gain Confidence

Pet Care Tips 3 min read
Photo of a dog on a leash looking scared to represent a shy dog.

A shy dog shows typical tell-tale signs of discomfort and may require attention. Next time you receive a visitor in your home or take your pup to meet a new pet, pay attention to how your little one reacts. If they bark, put their tail between their legs, or hide, they feel insecure, and that stress may lead to severe health conditions in the future. Know what symptoms to look after and easy ways to help your little one gain confidence in new situations.

Identifying the Cause of a Timid Pup

Just like humans, dogs have their temperament, which may vary according to different factors. One of the aspects that can affect your little one’s sociability levels is their breed. Akita Inus, Yorkshire terriers, Greyhounds, and Chihuahuas, for example, are known for being more timid, introverted, and anxious.

Excessive seclusion caused by stress can deteriorate your pup’s quality of life and health.

The presence of other animals in the same household and the age at which they became a family member can also interfere. Rescued dogs may have more shy and introspective behaviors, as sometimes they have had traumatic past experiences, which can trigger fear-response. 

In that same sense, while some pups like to be near us and cuddle all day, a shy dog might be very independent and prefer some alone time. It shouldn’t be a concern if this is a normal response based on their personality. The problem is when their quality of life decreases due to excessive seclusion. 

How Can I Help My Shy Dog?

Most pets will react to changes, as new situations might be scary for them. However, if a dog shows extreme discomfort and the following symptoms regularly, you might want to visit a veterinarian or behavioral trainer:

  • Hiding
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive barking
  • Growling
  • Biting
  • Urination by submission
  • Gasping for breath
  • Trembling
  • Tail between legs
  • Curved posture 

If your vet rules out any health problems that might be causing these behaviors, most times, lack of stimulation is the cause behind a shy dog. Pets that live alone, do not walk or were separated early from the litter tend to demonstrate this trait more often. These are easy ways to help your shy dog gain confidence in those cases: 

Play Therapy

A photo of two medium sized dogs playing with a soccer ball to illustrate ways to help your shy dog socialize.

Play is a common characteristic of social animals, which includes humans and dogs. A shy dog adapts better to the environment when they can count on enriching activities that stimulate the senses and their innate instincts. However, we must read the dog’s body language to understand whether they are willing to play and stop when they show any sign of discomfort. 

Socializing a Shy Dog

Experts recommend socializing dogs at a young age because they are more receptive to new situations. A puppy is more likely to face new things with curiosity than fear. But no matter your little one’s age, it’s crucial to always slowly and gradually introduce them to new people and pets. If your shy pup shows signs of fear or discomfort, it is time to stop. It is time to try another approach when they feel comfortable and confident again. Patience is key!

Positive Reinforcement

Reinforce positive behavior when your dog does something that shows improvement will go a long way. If your pet calmly lets another dog smell them or come near, encourage that with a praise or a treat. Anytime they seem comfortable and calm around new experiences, use a kind voice or offer their favorite snack to show they’re on the right track. 

Supplements Can Help Promote Confidence

If you believe your little one needs some extra help calming aggression and easing agitation before being exposed to any of these new experiences, natural supplements could be the solution. Our supplements are gentle and might take some time to show their full benefits, so we recommend starting your little one on any of these formulas a couple of weeks prior to the stressful event.

NHV Lestress is a herbal formulation that acts on the nervous and immune systems, calming dogs naturally. It also helps to reduce hyperactivity and excitability and reduces destructive behavior. 

NHV Stimmune helps balance the immune system and can be a considerable aid in proactive and active care, as stressful situations can sometimes trigger diseases. 

The fragrance of herbs like Lavender, Chamomile, Lemongrass, and clove on our NHV Coco Furcare topical blend can help calm dogs. Just spray a few times on your puppy’s neck and let the pleasant scent do the trick. In addition, this topical spray is known for helping to keep the coat and skin healthy. 

Socialization is crucial to help your little one develop into a happy and healthy pup! Patience and love are determinants, and we are always here to guide you through it all. If you have any questions about caring for your shy dog, feel free to reach out to our pet experts. Click the button below, and someone on our team will be happy to help. 

Dr. Barbara Benitez DVM, MS

Dr. Barbara Benitez DVM, MS

Dr. Barbara is a veterinarian from Brazil with a specialty in pet nutrition. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine in 2006 from the University of Uberaba. In 2010, Dr. Barbara received her Master’s of Science in Pet Nutrition from the Federal University of Minas Gerais. She has over 15 years of experience in research and development in the pet food industry. When Barbara isn’t helping pet parents, you can find her spending time with her family, including her senior dog, Caze.

Published: March 30, 2023

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