Fearful and Shy Dogs – Getting to Touch
Keep those treats nearby. They will come in handy.
During this process do not try to trick your dog into letting you touch him. That will only cause the dog to distrust you. You will be proving to the dog that humans are up to something and can’t be trusted. It is not worth it in the long run.
If it’s possible (and sometimes it is not) see if you can get the dog to touch you first. Sometimes that opens the door for them to let you in for touching. How?
-When giving the dog a treat, hold the treat in the palm of your hand allowing the dog to sniff and possible even lick your hand as he gets the treat.
-With the next treat add a little peanut butter on the treat. Let the dog have it from the palm of your hand. Do this until the dog takes the treat happily and is enjoying the peanut butter treat.
-Now put some peanut butter in the palm of your hand. Set the treat on top of that. Offer it to the dog. Hold very still and do NOT try to reach out to the dog. Let the dog move as they wish. When the dog will take the treat and then lick your hand to get the peanut butter, you can move to the next step.
-Do the same as above but gently slowly move your fingers as the dog gets the treat and peanut butter. When dog is comfortable move to next step.
-Continue with the peanut butter and treat. This time reach out. Do not touch yet. Just reach out until the dog is comfortable.
-Again with the peanut butter and treat. Now reach out and try to touch the dog UNDER the chin and slowly rub back and forth. Use slow gentle movement. If the dog pulls away, do not move your hand. Hold still and let the dog know you are not trying to trick him. When the dog is comfortable with this touch move forward to the next step.
-You are not only touching but you are establishing a base to build your relationship with the dog on. You are teaching the dog that you can be trusted. This is huge process using baby steps to get there.
-Continue with treats and touching. Next try touching chest area. When dog is comfortable move touch to the ear area, then back of neck, then back. Move over the dogs body. Save the top of the head and top of neck for last as these are spots that might lead the dog to think you are trying to grab him.
Now that we have established a good slow touch, we can move forward. Stay tuned! You are doing it and your dog is feeling more relaxed!