Neither of my dogs are fearful dogs in the traditional sense of the classification. I say this because I think any dog faced with a new situation can be a little fearful. Remember the pallet incident at the Mellow Mutt?
My point is I have no real experience dealing with fearful dogs.
Oh sure I’ve read about them. In fact, I even follow some bloggers who have fearful dogs, but that doesn’t mean I know how to deal with them.
Which is why when I saw this posted on the Bringing up Bella facebook page yesterday I thought it would be good to share with others who may be in a similar position as myself. (FYI, Leslie was quoting Debbie Jacobs at Fearfuldogs.com)
“Words of good advice for anyone entering our home…
Meeting a shy dog? Ignore them. If a shy dog comes up to you for a sniff…ignore them. Want to feed a shy dog a treat? Drop it and ignore them.
First impressions matter. If your first interaction with a dog does not create a fearful reaction you won’t have to put the time and effort into changing it.”
I wouldn’t have known this. Yes, I would certainly know to let the dog approach me, but once a dog has sniffed me my instinct is to reach out to pet them.
How many of you have the same instinct? Would you know not to reach out and pet the pup?
Our current house has a screened porch off the back door. Shortly after we moved in Hubby changed the hinges so the door will swing either in or out.
During the nicer months, the back door (while we’re home) remains open so the dogs can go in or out as they please. During the colder months, all we have to do is open the back door to let them out.
We’re lazy, what can I say.
When we first modified the door, both dogs, especially Delilah were afraid to push it open themselves. We had to go out and open the door for them.
But after a week or so adjusting to the door swinging behind them, they realized it wasn’t THAT scary and they could push it open for themselves.
If we hadn’t been patient and let them adjust to it at their own pace, we could have dogs terrified of that door. They’ve even learned timing when coming in one behind the other.
Do you have a fearful dog? If so, how do you deal with the situation when introducing new people/experiences. If you don’t have a fearful dog, did you know the proper way to greet them?