Originally Posted by mariestephanie
Roscoe is gonna be 4 months old on the 5th and he recently just finished all his shots. He seems to be REALLY shy with other dogs and strangers. Like today I took him to the dog park for the first time and the other dogs would come up and say hi and he would just run away all scared. And with strangers, he will come up to them to sniff but will run away and get shy when they are about to pet him. I'm really worried this is gonna be a problem when he get's older
Can anyone give me advice on how to fix this? Is it too late to socialize him? Please help
It's not too late, but if you have not been socializing him up until now, you REALLY need to work HARD on it now, exposing him to as many people and well-beaved dogs as you can. If he has not already been to puppy kindergarten (he should be finishing by this age) start him ASAP. If he has already done puppy K, get him into a "graduate puppy" class. You want a class where part of it is fun training, but a large part of the class is spent on off-leash socialization.
But class won't be enough, and dog parks aren't great. Try to set up play dates with as many friendly, well behaved dogs as you can. (at least several times a week) likewise, take him everywhere he is allowed with you. The bank, most hardware stores, pet stores and many out-door eating places, perfect for this time of year. Always keep a pocket full of yummy treats with you. Hand these to people who are willing to help you. (kids in the 9-teen age usually LOVE to help, but try to get all sorts of people involved) Ask them to kneel down on the ground and allow him to approach. When he does, let them give him a treat. If this is all he can tolerate to start with, don't push it. Don't MAKE him tolerate petting from strangers.
In Home Depot or Lowes, or Petsmart or Petco, (I'm sure there are other stores of this type too) you can put him in the seat of the cart and have people interact with him there. they won't seem so intimidating if they aren't looming over him. Just make sure you hold the leash firmly as you manage the cart so there is no chance of him jumping out.