Our new pup, Duke E. (a.k.a. Duke Ellington)


New Member
HI! Our new pup, Duke E., is just nine weeks young! he is a sweetie-pie~ "Duke E." likes to chew on everything in sight- or should I say smell? We have had labs before and Duke E. is a Labrador-Golden mix.:dogtongue2:
Question for anyone who has time to read and respond:
Duke E. is terrifically shy for a pup-:dogunsure: the shyest one we've ever had:dogunsure:
and in 35 years of marriage, we have had LOTS of doggies!!!
What can people do to help pups get over their shyness?
Or, will he outgrow it?
Duke E.'s Mom


Experienced Member
Welcome to DTA!

I guess CollieMan could help you with shyness (does a word like this exist?).
He has a very shy dog, and he could solve it really great.


Well-Known Member

Welcome to the academy.

My advice is...I wouldnt worry about your puppy being shy, like people puppies/dogs are all different. I'd avoid force him into doing things too quickly as he may become overawed by it and get frightened; let him go at a pace he is comfortable with. He will grow in confidence as he learns things are safe. Also, give him heaps of praise when he does things you like as he will gain confidence from you being happy with him.


Experienced Member
first congrats on ur new pup... :)

I respectfully disagree about not worrying about shyness. some dogs may be okay but in my experience many are not and waiting allows the learning socializing window to close with age. those lunging leash aggressive dogs u see were most likely anxious dogs that were under socialized. it's as important as the right food.

i also have a really shy--should i say recovered shy Golden and fostered a very very shy Golden/lab x last year. the foster was so shy because she had been left in a back yard and had not met other dogs or people. the result was an unadoptable mess. after struggling to make life good for a shy dog i went on a learning mission. I did a video on YouTube about her for her new forever parents. she's now in a great home and a happy happy girl. [media]http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lpAyoZI24wg[/media] My former shy dog helped her get through it. so i feel pretty strongly it's important to nip this in the bud.

dogs do not get over shy or anything really w/o guidance. socialization is very very important. 8-16 weeks are the most critical socializing months in a dog's life. you need to get him out with u and meet other dogs in a safe positive way. enroll in a puppy kindergarten where you go and stay with all puppies and owners and watch what should be supervised play by the trainer. it's an hour of delightful bedlam.

patricia mcconnell in her puppy primer (strongly suggested read, quick short, cheap & great/)discusses the calculated risk of going out before final shots. she and most certified applied animal behaviorists agree the importance of socializing outweighs the small risk of contracting something. now that means that u don't go where unvaccinated dogs will surely have been like dog parks and pet stores. but u can go to play dates at vac'd friends' dogs houses or have them come over, puppy classes where they require proof of vacs, in ur yard just to watch dogs/people go by. he should meet as many people possible too.

meetings should be positive low pressure no forced contact. people come in, ignore puppy, throw a few treats near him and ignore. soon people become pretty interesting. just don't let them pick up pet/restrain a wiggling puppy trying to escape. dog encounters should be with known friendly dogs off leash..tangled leashes can be very scary.

he needs plenty of legal things to chew and i would crate/gate a limited area u can watch. don’t give ye run of the house. pick up all items that are not to be chewed and u get guaranteed success. kongs are the ultimate safe toy you can leave with him and even freeze to occupy for hours. i'll put a bunch of great recipes at bottom. you can freeze his meals in them, so if u feed kibble u might need to add meat broth or some canned food so it will freeze as a block. plug the ends with a little peanut butter and stand in a mug in the freezer. i keep 6 or do ready to go.

to help over his shyness teach some tricks as a huge confidence booster, play tug, fetch is perfect for his breed and will make him joyous. the biggest thing at this age is to give him good experiences with which to understand and judge everything new he encounters in life. he has a little less fear now than he will as he ages and is learning faster than he ever will again. so i really encourage being proactive. fear is the biggest reason behind aggression, house soiling, fighting. as he learns and practices he'll get better and more confident. fight to not isolate and protect, it won't have your well-intended outcome.

ignore fearful behavior and praise/reward brave. you don’t want to coddle or pick him up protectively, aww are u scared poor baby it's ok. it is okay to touch and comfort but no hiding behind you and possibly rewarding/reinforcing scared behavior.


seriously consider a puppy class/kinder and experiencing as much as he can safely and low pressure.


Well-Known Member
You are right...I didnt have much time to post when I replied. I meant dont become overly worried by it as he will probably pick up on your unease and this will make him worry more. Like I said in my first post I would still socialise and encourage him to explore/experience new things, but dont force him into things he isnt comfortable with too quickly...just slowly build him up to it.


Experienced Member
point well taken :dogwink: i am guilty of speed reading sometimes. good as u say to go slow & not force.