Join Date: Nov 2017
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I think all of the action you’ve taken is exactly right. My puppy took a couple of weeks to really settle in, so I think giving it a little more time is a good idea. In the meantime I think avoid reacting to fearful behavior. I don’t agree with the idea that giving any kind of attention to a fearful puppy will reinforce fearful behavior, though. If he hides behind you because there are big, scary, new people in the room, let him, just don’t pick him up and coddle him. Sometimes the fear is legitimate, and my experience with my own puppy is that he just wanted to know there was a place he COULD hide, and then he warmed up.
If I was in your situation, I would focus on helping him become comfortable in an ex pen (or whatever area you’re using to contain him). I’d arrange to have lots of friends and family stop by, even just for 10 or 15 minutes, for the next couple of weeks. Knowing he has a place he feels comfortable and safe, I’d start opening the expen door when people are around and letting him come out and explore on his own. By “on his own” I don’t mean unsupervised, since you don’t want to create a new potty training problem, I just mean that he is able to make the choice about whether or not he approaches people. I really don’t think it will take long before he wants to see what’s going on. If he isn’t approaching people or getting more comfortable by next week, then you’ll at least have some good information about his interactions to share with puppy kindergarten or a trainer. Again, that’s just what I would do knowing what I know now about my own Former-scaredy-cat puppy.
My puppy was on the shy side, and by 1 year old you would never know it in a million years. Even if she is on the fearful side after she settles in, you’re being proactive early in the game, and puppy behavior is quickly and easily shaped at this age.