Training A Fearful Nervous Dog

Training A Fearful Nervous Dog.

A common problem in dogs is low confidence. This can be caused by many things, such as being the lowest pup in the litter, being mistreated, not being socialized as a pup, having a traumatic experience, etc. Or it can just be a personality trait. These signs include:

– shyness and cowering around strangers, men, adults, etc.
– rolling into a submissive (belly-up) position
– submissive urination (not to be confused with housetraining problems)
eg. dog urinates when petted, when someone comes home, when disciplined
your dog cannot help this
– tail held low or between rear legs
– fear biting (not to be confused with aggression)

To help a dog low in confidence, you must build up his or her confidence. An excellent way to do this is through obedience training. As the dog succeeds, he will gain confidence in his abilities. Here are some guidelines.

  1. We will use consistent training techniques.
  2. We will use lots of praise, and as little correction as possible.
  3. We will use encouragement, praise, and rewards to get the dog to perform.
  4. We Will start with no distractions and add distractions very slowly.
  5. We will always set your dog up to succeed.
  6. We will begin with non-threatening exercises such as “Heel” and “Sit”, before working up to more submissive postures like the “Down”.
  7. We will build your dog’s confidence through praise for having carried out the obedience commands correctly, if you can imagine yourself being good at something and people praising you for it, you too will gain in confidence.

Testimonial from a previous customer who contacted us for help with her nervous dog. Orlagh’s dog was low in confidence, but as you can see below, Tizzie is now a fundraiser/ambassador for IDFD

Testimonial From A Previous Client

Orlagh’s dog was low in confidence, but as you can see below, Tizzie is now a fundraiser/ambassador for IDFD

Tizzie Doodle.

Hi Henry and Kerry,
I am so sorry it has taken me this long to get a testimonial off to you. I can’t tell you the number of clients I have recommended you to because the work you did with my doodle girl Tizzie was incredible.
As you know, I never had a problem with her obedience or general behaviour just her lack of confidence/fear of strangers that set in at about 9 months which resulted in her barking and growling at strangers, especially men (not good when you run a grooming salon and your dogs are expected to ‘meet and greet’ all the time. We have since discovered that our neighbour had been consistently abusive to the dogs over the wall when we were out, shouting at them, teasing them and throwing things at them (we thought it was the builders on the other side) – she still hates him but that’s ok…so do I 

I was a little apprehensive handing her over but I needn’t have worried, the instant she walked around the corner with Henry on the day we collected her I knew that something had changed. She had a bounce in her step and just a happy confident air about her.
Well time marches on and I now foster a pup (Tizzie’s half sister) in training for an Irish charity. Tizzie has become an ambassador for the charity and a demo dog. We spend many of our weekends in shopping centres, Grafton St etc and often go to schools summer camps etc to explain all about the charity’s work. Tizzie ADORES clicker training and she can now remove gloves, socks, sleeves of cardigans etc. she retrieves dropped items and targets to push buttons, light switches etc. with her paw.
When fundraising, she is rubbed, petted and touched by people of all ages coming at her from all angles and she greets all the attention with a hanging tongue and wagging tail. We are having a ball!!
Sorry this is soo long – you can use whatever part of it you want to. As soon as I get the finances sorted I have 2 bichons that are going to ‘bootcamp’ to get Henry-fied!!
I have attached a few recent photos of Tizzie out and about meeting people. Hope you like them – we could never have got here without you.
Thanks again from the bottom of my heart, you gave me back the dog I always knew she was but got a little lost along the way.
Orlagh x
(& Tizzie Doodle)

Initial Session Is 2 Hours Long & Includes Assessment.


If Needed, Any Further Session’s Will Be 1 Hour Long.