When getting a new dog, there are plenty of things that you are probably thinking about such as, “Am I feeding him the right brand of food?”, “Is he happy with his new bed and toys?” “Which brand of treats should I get him?” “Does he like his new forever home?” or even, “Does he like me?” If your dog is particularly shy, then it is often difficult to know if your dog likes you or not. Because a shy dog may act a little distant or fearful around you.
Fortunately for you, your dog is likely thrilled to have a forever home and probably does like you but is just a little unsure of both you and his new surroundings.
Understandably, it could take him a little time to open up to you and begin to trust you. Not to worry, over time he will get used to his new life.
The important thing to note is that this is all very new for him. He has just been taken away from his life as he knows it to live with a stranger. For these reasons, it is understandable that your new dog might be feeling a bit shy or even uncomfortable around you.
However, there are plenty of things that you can do to help him feel at ease when you first bring him home. By both remembering and practicing the following tips, you will be sure to make a great first impression and let your furry friend know that he can trust and open up to you.
Approach them slowly
When you are first meeting your new furry friend, it is an emotional experience and as tempting as it is to want to run up to them and give them a hug upon first meeting them. It is important to remember that this isn’t what is best for them and it can even scare them.
Remembering that they are still unsure about you, because you are still just a stranger to them and always being respectful of their personal space, will go a long way in establishing trust. This way lets them know that you respect them and do not wish to harm them.
Being extra kind and gentle with them is very important to make sure that they understand that you have their best interests at heart.
Let them know that they can count on you to feed them
When you are first bringing them home, you will, of course, be feeding them but the goal is to not only feed them but make sure that they are aware that you are the one providing them with food regularly. This allows them to learn that you are a stable provider of food in their life and as a result, they will learn to trust you as well.
Food is very important to our four-legged friends and being the one to give the food in the eyes of an animal, is everything. When they learn that they can count on you to give them food consistently, they will then view you as the leader of their pack and they will automatically trust and look up to you as a result.
Give them space
Just like humans deserve their space, dogs do as well.
Another very important thing to remember when you are living with a brand new addition to your household is, giving them their space.
If your dog is especially shy, then he may not feel comfortable being anywhere near you at all. Fortunately, this is easily changed through your new friend becoming more familiar with you.
Not forcing them to be any closer to you than they are comfortable with is a very helpful practice for dealing with this. Letting them know that you are aware of their discomfort and that you also do not wish to push them into a situation that they are not quite ready for is also very helpful.
This plays hand in hand with the approaching them slowly idea. Giving them their space will also let them know that you respect their privacy and space and that you also are not a threat.
If your dog is extremely shy, he may feel a bit uncomfortable accepting food from you. If this is the case then placing the treat on the floor in front of you, rather than trying to get your dog to eat it from your hand, can be a helpful way of letting him know that you trust him.
Remember that this is a large adjustment for not only you but for them as well and forcing an interaction will not help but rather make matters much worse.
Giving them their personal space and respecting their time alone is a very helpful practice.
The last and final thing to remember in order to get a shy dog to open up is an underrated virtue, patience.
It will take time for your new puppy to learn that they can both open up to you and trust you. However, this will also be incredibly worth it.
Time and time again, dogs have shown to be both excellent and trust-worthy companions that are loyal and kind to their owners.