Extremely Nervous, Shy, Anxious, Fearful Pup

by Alyssa

Hello all! My fiance and I have a 3.5 month old Mini Aussie who we brought home at 8 weeks and 3 days old. When we first picked him up to bring him home, he ran to hide under a table, and then tried to burrow into the couch while signing paperwork.

He's made HUGE progress, and we love him to death, but it's heartbreaking to watch him struggle so much because of his fearful, anxious personality. The vet has given him a clean bill of health to rule out any physiological issues, and we've been taking him to puppy preschool classes for 3 weeks.

We take him in the car several times a week to go to the local (not dog) park, dog friendly stores, and even to get ice cream. He is TERRIFIED of other dogs and has not had any bad experiences. The sound of a barking dog who's not in sight scares him to the point he wants to go running back to the door if we're in the backyard. We've worked on introducing him to male and female dogs, all of whom are small breed adults and puppies, and some are very gentle and leave him alone. However, he still shakes like a leaf and tries to hide or jump into a lap if allowed.

I've read so many books, watched so many videos, and talked to so many people for suggestions. Please help!

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Slow down and relax
by: Anonymous

We have had several aussies, one who sounds a lot like yours. I am a trauma therapist and we did several things that were not covered well on the dog literature. We didnhabebdoggie chiropractic done, which seemed to help. I would sugggest slowing down the exposure to different stimuli until he relaxes more. He needs to know that you guys will keep him safe and really get that he can trust you and you are a source of security. Given that, I would just let him be at the house. He needs to associate you with food and protection. One he really seems relaxed with you, then do one new thing repeatedly until he relaxes. Give him treats when he cues to you when scared. If there are too many new things, he can't desensitize to that many different stimuli in the same short time period.

by: Anonymous

Have you tried doggy day care? Even though your pup may be nervous around new pups lease continue to socialize. Our vet allowed us to drop our pup off at the office and they kept him at the desk. Our pup had people coming up to him all day and petting him and other dogs were behind the desk to socialize him.

Good luck... we have two Aussies and they are as active today as they were the day we picked them up.

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