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What do you do if you have a nervous puppy?

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Why puppies get nervous

It is quite possible that a young dog will go through his early weeks and months in a state of high anxiety unless he is taught to trust unfamiliar humans.  Seeing people entering his territory or his personal space can cause a great deal of distress because he will see it as a threatening act.  Some people will treat this problem incorrectly by either doing nothing at all or by over-compensating. 

It is easy to forget that a puppy has some similarities with a human toddler and needs guidance, love and attention in equal measures.  The last thing that a dog owner should do is just ignore the problem and hope he will grow out of it.anxious

The consequences of doing nothing could be that the dog grows up with a long lasting fear of strangers.  His nervous beginnings will only increase as he gets older and can erupt at some point into displays of aggression.  A puppy needs just the right amount of human contact – too much and he will get spoilt like a toddler and think he can do what he likes.  Too little and he will retain feelings of nervousness and suspicion when strangers enter his space, and sometimes, even when his owner does. 

Probably the most significant factor in making a dog feel nervous though is how a person physically approaches him.  An adult human, for example, is considerably larger than a young dog and the sight of this large “creature” bearing down on him, particularly if these massive hands go straight for the face, can be a source of great alarm.  Obviously then it is important not to frighten an already anxious puppy.  Household machinery and loud noises can be equally worrying for them. 

Some puppies will be exuberant and even fearless and will react well to training.  Others will show nervous traits as explained above so will need careful nurturing.  Socialising with other pups of similar age or calm, sensible adult dogs will be a big help, provided yours is not overwhelmed by too many strange dogs at the same time.  It’s important to closely monitor your dog’s reactions to life going on around him.  If this is done properly there is every chance that your cute puppy will grow into a well-balanced dog.

The most important point to note is that doing nothing with a nervous puppy will lead to increasing problems as the puppy grows up. These problems are much harder to deal with when your puppy is older.

If you have a nervous puppy or know someone who does, then get in touch with Oakwood Canine Services on 01482 823555. You can get the help your puppy needs; getting them on the right track by building their confidence.


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