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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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timid new pup-help

3 weeks ago we got our first Hav (Lola). She is now 4 1/2 months and absolutely darling but she is extremly timid. She has a great time with our Golden Retriever and seems to have bonded with him. My husband and are having difficulty training her as she is so shy and won't even take a treat from me when I try to play or train her. Help
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 08:21 PM
Henry 2006-2018/ Kordelia
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welcome to the forum!
I am sure there any many members who can help you with this one - I've no experience.

We will need to see pics of your little one - Lola.
Best and welcome from me and Henry.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 08:27 PM
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I don't have a lot of experience with timid dogs but I would think building up her confidence with puppy classes or an individual trainer might help.
Todd wouldn't accept treats from me when he was a little pup. I found that things that he had to lick off of me worked better (cream cheese is his favorite!) The only chunk treat that he would eat was freeze dried salmon...now he loves most things but he's not overly fond of processed treats.

Eva, Mom to Todd....2 year old short hair Havanese
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 09:26 PM
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Welcome to the forum Martha! No answer for you, I am waiting for the experts to arrive to the forum.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 09:37 PM
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YOu could try this. Sit on the floor so you are at the same level as her. Put the treat on the floor close to her paws. Move a little back. See if she eats the treat. If she does, put another treat on the floor but far enough that she has to take a few steps towards you. If she eats that, put another treat on the floor closer by you. See if she eats that. If she does, then put the treat in your hand and lay your hand on the floor. Don't try to coax her. Just keep your hand out and just ignore her. It may take a few minutes. She'll eventually come over and take the treat. Put another treat in your hand and keep your hand a few inches of the floor. See if she eats that.

Keep in mind I wouldn't use full treats but maybe break them in half. A good treat to use are the Natural Balance sausage rolls. The have a strong smell that dogs have a hard time ignoring.

Chances are if your parents never had kids...you won't either...
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 10:02 PM
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We had a similar situation but our pup was eight months old when we got her and very timid and afraid of us. We tried a lot of things but patience is the best. Don't push too hard or try too hard. When they are timid it seems to help if you wait and let her come to you on her own terms. Consequently, you might have to just wait on some of the training which is what we had to do but in the last few months (we've had her 10 months now) she has made tremendous progress. She even comes to us without rolling over on her back in submission like she did before.....lol If I think of some more things that we tried, I will post again later. Good luck and welcome to the forum!


Kathie, Abby & McGee's Mom
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 08:05 AM
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I think sometimes when we get the puppies a little bit older it takes a little while longer for them to integrate into the household. When I first got Milo (at 5 1/2 months old) he was nothing like the havs I read about on the forum. He was sweet and did follow me around, but he was distant in a way and not at all the happy frisky puppy I anticipated. I actually thought there was something wrong with him but after awhile he came around and became my little lover boy.

It sounds as if she needs a little time to feel fully at home.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 08:47 AM
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I would definitely say get in some professional training. If even just an obedience class one night a week with the puppy individually, it really helps you cement a bond. I would also be very conscious with training a shy pup to not reward the behavior you don't want. I had the total opposite problem with my maltese, she didn't/doesn't really like other dogs. So while I was trying to get her attention on me with cookies, I was indirectly rewarding the behavior by pulling out the cookie when she was being a brat. So while some dogs wouldn't see this, my smart monster was thinking "growl at a dog and we get to have cookies!" I would also really look for games and behaviors that she naturally has that you can put yourself into. Dora was a pretty shy pup but she LOVES toys. She has such high prey drive that she couldn't ignore me dragging one of those kitty toys across the floor. It was great cause it was interactive game for Dora with a person. If there wasn't a person involved, the game wasn't as fun. Those type of behaviors really help. Also remember, she has to eat at some time, so I would take full advantage of meal time to get some interaction.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 09:35 AM
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Our Coton Chelsie (Cotons are close cousins of Havs) was very shy when we got her at 5 months. When a leash was put on her she would stand hunched over, not moving. She needed alot of cuddling, getting to know her new surroundings and that we were her family and she had nothing to be afraid of. She is doing wonderful now 4 months later but is still timid with strangers, and loud noises worry her. The longer your puppy is in your loving family the less shy she will become. That said, I still disciplined Chels in a firm but gentle way when she needed it and she responded nicely to that. Good luck.


Sweet Chelsie Coton
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 10:15 AM
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I think it takes time for dogs to acclimate to their new surroundings. Once that happens, I think Amanda hit the nail on the head. Get her into obedience classes. Maybe private lessons at first and then move into a class with other dogs. She will learn to deal with situations better and you will have a better dog in the end. Good luck.

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