Nervous Dogs ; Behavior Analysis

There are three reasons why our dogs, are nervous or become nervous.

  1. They are born like that. No breeding can control the physiology, behavioral attributes or personalities. That an individual dog may possess.
  2. Lack of socialization as a puppy, or a lack of socialization through out our dogs lifetime. We usually spend a significant amount of time, in the beginning socializing our puppy. Often as time goes on, we no longer give our older puppy or young dog, the continual required amount of contact with other dogs and people. That are essential to keeping our dog well socialized. The socialization process, must be done on a regular basis, through out the animals life. Without constant opportunities at socializing, we will eventually De-socialize our dog.
  3. A dog that in their mind, had a bad experience during the initial socialization training. This will usually happen with puppies, that started off with a little less confidence.

There are a lot of different degrees of nervousness, an individual dog can display. It’s not cut and dry, on whether your particular dog is nervous or not nervous. Also, whether your dog or puppy reacts nervously in a given situation. Has everything to do with the behaviors and body languages, exhibited by the other dogs and / or humans, that are present.

The Spirit Dog

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42 Responses

  1. Sorry it took so long…I lost this site when my computer crashed…just found it today! see answers to the questions below. In the mean time what I have been doing is taking Murphy to training classes to build his confidence and socialize him. Things have gotten much better but we arent where we feel comfortable all the time. Baby steps.

    Hi Shannon,

    I need you to answer some questions.

    ( 1 ) Do you walk Teddy and Murphy together ?
    If so, how does Teddy react with strangers ?
    Yes I take them both. Teddy is fine with people, she loves attention.

    ( 2 ) Is Murphy OK with some people and nervous with others, or nervous with everybody ?
    He is unsure of everybody, excluding me, my hubby, and my kids. He seems to be scared of outspoken loud people or people who really try to be freindly with him. I have instructed people to just ignore him and let him come to them when he is ready,

    ( 3 ) When Murphy starts to hide behind you, how do you talk to him ?
    i usually tell him is ok and pet him

    ( 4 ) Does it matter if the other person is walking a dog or not, when he gets nervous .
    Both

    ( 5 ) Can you tell, if the people he’s nervous around, are nervous around him ?
    Some are, some arent. But what I have learned in training is that I am projecting my fears on him, I am so scared he will bite some one and hurt them. I am working on it, it is hard for me to overcome but I’m getting there!

    ( 6 ) How do your guys act, when you have company in your home.
    If I know people are coming I usualy meet them in the yard with Murphy so he can run away if he wants to. I will be very freindly to our guests and leave Murphy watch me hug them and so him that they are freinds. After a few minutes we will go in the house. I tell my guests to ignore him and when he goes over to smell them then they can talk to him. If he’s ok with that then I will allow them to pet him but never from overtop. Then have to pet the side of his face or his neck first. Most times he leaves people do this but some times he wont go over to them. I dont force it.

    ( 7 ) When your playing with him, how do you talk to him ?
    I tell him hes mommys good boy in a very happy voice. I will play tug of war, catch, and give belly rubs. He also gets kisses for being a good boy.

    Althogh we have made pretty good progress, I would still love any more advice you can give. I feel the more knowledge I have the better of we all will be.

    Answering these questions, will give me a better idea, on what you need to do.

    In the mean time, when Murphy starts to get nervous, try and get his attention focused on you. And away from what’s frightening him.
    You do this by getting happy. I want you to forget about whoever is there, and focus all your attention on Murf. Get excited, don’t be embarrassed to act stupid with him.

    You will know whether or not, he’s paying attention to you, by his eye’s. If he’s looking into your eye’s, he’s paying attention. If he’s not, than he’s not. Not to vague I hope.

    Anyway, every time he looks in your eye’s, that’s when you have to say, “that’s my good boy, that’s my good boy, that’s my good boy”. Like a million times, or what ever happy phrase you prefer to say.

    You can start with that stuff, but get back to me with those answers.

    Theses might be of interest.

    https://thespiritdog.wordpress.com/Dogs-follow-our-emotional-lead-free-dog-training

    https://thespiritdog.wordpress.com/how-to-make-your-puppy-or-dog-less-nervous

  2. Last one I got was the, “didn’t know I was” on the 13th. Nothing in green eggs and spam either.

  3. Did you delete my last comment? Or am I totally losing my mind?

  4. Here I was thinking, you saw the reruns on A&E or something.

  5. didn’t know I was that old did ya!!!

  6. Wow, I forgot about the gap in his teeth.

  7. Heck ya…… 🙂
    I think it would be a hit show, no doubt…I remember link…wasn’t he the one with the gap between his two front teeth and the bigger fro…lol

  8. You mean Link, from like “Mod Squad”. Your probably to young to remember that show.

    I think the only thing I touched base on so far, is a couple of potentially “rip off “dog breeders.

    Although it would be pretty cool to round up, all the dog fighting scum. Build a death match cage, and let them fight for scraps of food.

    I bet you we could get cablevision pay per view, interested in something like that.🙂

  9. Wwhen I become famous people may be interested in what I personally have to say…..Lol
    Can I link to your site ..I like what you have going on about the dog fighting rings..I would like to use you as a source for info on that….I was actually searching out the internet yesterday for suspicious sites!!! Great Minds

  10. I actually typed in clasidog.wordpress.com, before I realized it was fidosplace.

    By the way, clasidog .wp is available if you’d like it.

  11. I think so!!! I was going to bring that up to the guys at ymswwc.com….lol

    Say what!!? -> “Hi ya, Clasibabe, um Clasidog,”

  12. Hi ya, Clasibabe, um Clasidog, http://fidosplace.wordpress.com

    It was a comment you wrote for,
    ” About the writers” at http://ymswwc.com

    Yea I’m not a big fan of sports either. Unless it’s watching dogs playing, could that be considered a sport ?

  13. I stumble on all kinds of interesting sites while researching for my blog….Thomas The Terrible from ymswwc actually just e-mailed me some good stuff (pitbulls /Michael Vick stuff)
    I may have you pegged all wrong but I thought you would get a kick out of their site….I have my morning coffee reading their stuff!!!
    And I hate sports!!! go figure…
    Glad you liked my article…which one??

  14. How do you find these thing’s. That’s funny stuff !

    By the way, you wrote a great article.🙂

  15. Hi Shannon,

    I need you to answer some questions.

    ( 1 ) Do you walk Teddy and Murphy together ?
    If so, how does Teddy react with strangers ?

    ( 2 ) Is Murphy OK with some people and nervous with others, or nervous with everybody ?

    ( 3 ) When Murphy starts to hide behind you, how do you talk to him ?

    ( 4 ) Does it matter if the other person is walking a dog or not, when he gets nervous .

    ( 5 ) Can you tell, if the people he’s nervous around, are nervous around him ?

    ( 6 ) How do your guys act, when you have company in your home.

    ( 7 ) When your playing with him, how do you talk to him ?

    Answering these questions, will give me a better idea, on what you need to do.

    In the mean time, when Murphy starts to get nervous, try and get his attention focused on you. And away from what’s frightening him.
    You do this by getting happy. I want you to forget about whoever is there, and focus all your attention on Murf. Get excited, don’t be embarrassed to act stupid with him.

    You will know whether or not, he’s paying attention to you, by his eye’s. If he’s looking into your eye’s, he’s paying attention. If he’s not, than he’s not. Not to vague I hope.

    Anyway, every time he looks in your eye’s, that’s when you have to say, “that’s my good boy, that’s my good boy, that’s my good boy”. Like a million times, or what ever happy phrase you prefer to say.

    You can start with that stuff, but get back to me with those answers.

    Theses might be of interest.

    https://thespiritdog.wordpress.com/Dogs-follow-our-emotional-lead-free-dog-training

    https://thespiritdog.wordpress.com/how-to-make-your-puppy-or-dog-less-nervous

    The Spirit Dog
    sf

  16. I adopted a 1.5 yr old english mastiff from a rescue 2 months ago. He is a good boy and has really bonded with my family. the problem is that he is afraid of other people, which is understandable. How can I help him overcome this fear and realize he now has a safe home? We have a German Shepard, Teddy, who he loves and plays with everyday. We go for long walks everyday and he is well behaved most of the time, but when a human tries to talk to him he cowars away. Also there is are other dogs we see everyday on our walks and most of the time he will ignore them but every once in a while he will get agressive and bark and try to pull me to them.
    When we went to the rescue to meet Murphy he was lovable and playful right away so I was suprised when we went for our first walk and seen how fearful he is.
    Any advice with this would be greatly appreciated.

  17. http://www.felonspy.com/ is also another insane site authored by puppyprofit.com

    As for the site you referred me to…you gotta love the term ‘Dogologist🙂..

    it’s been real…

  18. I kinda like the , Microsoft Windows mock up.

    Did you ever see this hoax.

    http://www.thedogisland.com

    Wonder if it’s the same person.

    have a great day, Michele

  19. Here’s an idea instead of us battling back and forth -apparently we are somewhat on the same side….I thought I would share with you a little something I discovered this morning to see if you have heard anything about this site or the sick individual who runs it….(and just to clarify I am not taking this site as a ‘real’ site but as a very warped joke)

  20. Good luck with shutting them down. Unfortunately, in the eye’s of the courts, dogs are considered property.

    What I find interesting is, how is it possible, for someone to be brought up on animal cruelty charges. When a dog is, in a legal sense, property. That’s like someone being arrested for housewares cruelty, for busting up their blender.

    So unless they change the laws, so they have a little more teeth to them. This stuff is going to go on forever.

  21. Trust me I live in the south, dog fighting is very wide spread here. It is made very obvious in the news ads etc what type of dog they are. Usually they are called game bred and they have a much leaner look to them then their typical breed standard and they go for a very high price. And I hate the breeders with a passion and I will do everything I can to shut them down!!!

    ‘Also, how did you came up with, “cow dog” trails, being fronts for dog fighting, from what I wrote?’-spirit dog

    I was being sarcastic,,,

  22. You shouldn’t be so defensive, and I wasn’t accusing you of anything !! All I was pointing out was something that you missed.

    By helping out animal protection groups, you learn how to read between the lines. Looking for certain wording, on breeder ad’s.
    That are selling fighting dogs.

    If you live in a reasonable populated area, check the classifieds for breeders ad’s, you should find an ad or two That are selling these dogs.

    Also, how did you came up with, “cow dog” trails, being fronts for dog fighting, from what I wrote?

  23. You accused me of promoting a dog fighting site…you bet your New York ass I am getting a little freaked out!!!I .
    Take my links out I don’t need your promotion…I even gave you free promotion to your site!!🙂
    Please show me where I make money from ANYTHING on my site….
    Thanks for educating me though I never realized all the ‘cow dog’ trials etc…were fronts for dog fighting rings…

  24. By the way, when they used dogs for hunting wild game. They used a dozen or so dogs, to take down the animal. In the process, a lot of dogs lost their lives.

  25. Michele, please relax a little bit. Your like, freaking out.

    Our sanctuary is smack in the middle of dairy farms and beef farms. When they slaughter cows they will put a bullet in their head, or cut their throat. They do not “sick” dogs on them. It ruins the meat and I’m sure the FDA wouldn’t be to happy about it.

    Cows don’t have to be rounded up. Like clockwork they know when their going to get their grain, and they line up waiting to come back in.

    One of the important parts of herding dog training, is teaching the dogs not to bite what they are herding.

    The problem with “facts”, as you call it, tend to be unreliable when it comes to dogs.

  26. Here I made you your own special avatar

  27. p.s. to bring down a boar or a wild hog you would need a rough and tough no nonsense dog…
    I pegged you so right… I figured you were a New Yorker!!!

  28. What do you think they call it when they kill cattle or pigs or lamb…or livestock… for meat???
    That would be ‘butchering’.
    The dogs were used to ’round them up’… there is a whole class of working dog out there called ‘cattle dogs’ or ‘cow dogs’ that go into competitions etc…Why don’t you tell these guys they fight their dogs and see what happens!!!
    Guess you never saw ‘Old Yeller’ he was a ‘cow dog ‘

    ‘http://fidosplace.wordpress.com/2008/05/08/cow-dog-trials-2008-trialevent-calendar/

    English Bulldogs were solely bred for this purpose to bring ‘BULLS’ down….but they were never known to fight each other!!
    You need to get some of your facts straight!!!! Before shooting off your mouth!!!
    Michele Aka Clasidog

  29. Some of the copy from the site.
    ———————-

    “Originally used to catch cattle for butchering. I still us them for that today.”
    “We use them on cattle and boars, today.”
    “They don’t play, when it’s time to go to work”
    ” They will catch ANYTHING, YOU PUT THEM ON”
    “And have power to control it”
    ———————————–

    This is all copy that plainly tells, individuals that are interested in potential fighting or guard dogs. How tough and nasty their animals are.

    By the way, I’m from Brooklyn, ball’s is not a problem for me.

    The Spirit Dog

  30. I am absolutely mystified as to why you seem to think this site breeds fighting animals!! There is absolutely nothing of the sort anywhere in their site that would even hint at that factor!!
    The site owner is obviously a ‘good ole boy’ I agree, but that does not mean he fights dogs!! He has working dogs he raises cattle, he even advises that pups be introduced to other dogs at an early age to prevent dog aggression. I am wondering if it is his ‘breed’ that makes you think this…I have a pit bull, by the way!!
    It is this kind of thinking and jumping to conclusions that has brought the Breed Specific Legislation into our lives and destroyed the ‘lives’ of many dogs!!!
    As far as 99% of good dog owners I cannot count how many stories I have heard of pups dying due to Parvo, their owners not having the money to afford the vet treatments or the knowledge to treat themselves. Or better yet, of Vets saying there is no cure..there is nothing that can be done!!

    “99% of the good dog owners, are not going to follow that protocol”- spiritdog

    That statement in itself is utterly ridiculous not to mention contradictory – a ‘good’ dog owner will have no problem following protocol, never mind staying up around the clock in order to save their dog’s life!!
    Why don’t you take a poll….and see how many people would be more than willing to do whatever it takes to save their dog!!!…….Lets see if you even have the balls to print this comment!!!

  31. It’s probably best if we don’t use human terminologies, when describing canine behaviors.
    A dog is not going to be laying in the other room, thinking, ” How dare they put me in here”.

    If every person that came into our house, was comfortable with dogs.We wouldn’t have to many problems.
    But that is not the case. A lot of folks are not comfortable around dogs.
    So we remove our dog, from a situation that can turn out bad ,for both guest and dog.

    On the subject of parvo. The site you have a link for, does have good information on treatments. 99% of the good dog owners, are not going to follow that protocol.

    Veterinarians, have a hard enough time, getting their clients to administer the simplest of treatments. Never the less, round the clock treatments.

  32. Socialization of our dogs is one of the most important factors that must be taught…so many do not realize that when they put their dog away in another room to prevent it from jumping or licking their guests, they are alienating and teaching mistrust.

  33. […] Shelton Hull wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptLack of socialization as a puppy, or a lack of socialization through out our dogs lifetime. We usually spend a significant amount of time, in the beginning socializing our puppy. Often as time goes on, we no longer give our older puppy … […]

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