Timid Puppy


New Member
Hi Everyone

I got my puppy just three days ago. She's very timid, she won't even leave her bed, is this normal? I've had puppies before but they weren't as timid as this always playful!!:msniwonder:


Experienced Member
Was she handled a lot as a puppy and raised inside the house with the family? I think if you want to start offering yummy treats that are easy on the tummy and healthy like baked skin free chicken and trying to entice her with toys that might help. What breed is she and where did you get her?

I would also go to the vet and to a complete check including fecal and bloods to be sure there isn't a physical reason she's listless. All kinds of things could be an issue like worms or heart murmur. Be sure she had her vaccinations and if she just did ask the vet if she could have had a reaction to them. Sometimes that will make them feel bad for a few days.

Lack of socialization could also make her very shy. Does she have a crate? If so you might cover it with a blanket to make it seem like a safer den and put a nice treat like a frozen puppy kong in there with parts of her meals or small healthy treats.

It takes dogs about 8 weeks to get used to a new place so some time and patience might be in order. Start trying to train and lure with treats, cuddle her, pet her and let her know she's safe and that you really are fun to be around.

Great free download on how to start interacting. http://www.siriuspup.com/beforebook.html

Good luck, hope all turns out ok. :dogwink:


New Member
HELP Agoraphobic puppy

I need some serious help with Jewels. I have had her for a month now. She uses her potty pads, but wont go outside. Everytime outside she runs straight back to the door and whines. She hasn't gone to the bathroom at all outside. She is petrified of people and noises. I am really at a loss as to what to do with her, it is so embarrising to have a puppy like her. I am getting mad at attempting to have her out for walks. Today I am getting dressed and takeing her to the Doggie park and putting her in the park and just gonna go sit down and read a book. I don't know what else to do with this puppy!!! I love her to pieces, and she is very good in the house. Unfortunately she is going to get to big to use a potty pad the rest of her life. She is a chocolate lab mix with blue healer. I need some serious advice as to what to do with her. If I put her in crate all she does is whine, and I live in apartments, so I can't have that.... HELP ME PLEASE....:dogangry::msncry:


Honored Member
Staff member
Your anger and frustration is probably escalating the problem. Even though you do love her, you can't help but get frustrated when she won't leave the house, and she knows it. One thing you do NOT need to do is try to force her to accept new situations--for instance, taking her to the park, a place where she will be extremely scared of, and just making her take the stress. This will make her issue so much worse. You have to baby step her progress--one step out of the house, two steps out of the house, three minutes in the front yard, thirty minutes in the front yard, etc. You can't just force her to go outside and expect her to relax "eventually."

Crate training does not mean sticking her in a crate and leaving her when you're gone. There is a lot of training that must go into it to get her adjusted to the crate. I'll find some links for you explaining this. :)

All in all, if she is that severe, you MUST go to a behaviorist. Look for professionals who specifically use positive reinforcement techniques. The members here can give you all the helpful advice in the world, but without the aid of a professional to help you apply it, your pup will not make any progress.

AVOID trainers and techniques similar to that of Don Sullivan, Cesar Milan, etc. For a timid dog, I believe these methods will ruin your dog. You can't dominate a timid dog into accepting something. It just doesn't work.
Good luck. Keep your chin up.


Experienced Member
My puppy stays crated when I leave and I leave her with a nice frozen kong to work on while I am gone. You need to do some foundation work with this puppy to and do short periods in the crate when you are there with food and fun and she gets out and all is fine. She has to learn that not every time in the crate is a long time and she needs something to do. There are all sorts of food puzzles to entertain and kongs are great safe things too. To be fair she is 4 months old and the longest a puppy needs to be crated is 3-4 hour max without a break for potty, exercise, interaction, and some reassurance that you'll always be back.

Some good books on the topic. I'll Be Home Soon by Patricia McConnell, Cautious Canine also McConnell, The Other End of the Leash by McConnell.

Great sites for kong recipe ideas are below. You can also put ur dog’s meals in kongs and fill with broth or such and plug with peanut butter on the ends and freeze. This takes a nice long time to eat and gives them something to occupy their minds. Remember for a puppy a whole day in the crate is like a month or a year. It's forever. Start by putting some good treats in the crate and let her go in and get them and right back out. Then as she gets comfortable close the door just for an instant and open right back up and she comes out. Work up time gradually to 1 minute 5 to 30 while you are there. Then let her out and be calm and matter of fact so it's no big deal that she's coming out or going in. My adult uber chewers take about an hour to finish a well constructed kong.

Read notes about what foods are bad for your dog on these sites, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, really rich fatty foods, too much peanut butter and u get fat puppy, sugary things like corn or lots of grains.


You need to learn how to properly crate train a puppy to make sure they are confident and that you'll be back and they're fine. It comes in little steps not just one big one. If you only put her in the crate when you leave for a long time it will be a more negative thing for her. Baby steps are better. Have the crate in a room where you are and she can see you. Leave on a radio or TV for some company. If she came from her mom and a litter of pups it's really her first time all alone and that's very scary for almost every dog.

Do NOT get mad, impatient, frustrated, or upset. This tells ur dog there is something to worry about and maybe they shouldn't trust you. You want to build that bond of trust and your dog will come to trust that they are okay and that you are there to make sure of it.

Our dogs must stay alone some times in their lives and making sure we give them the emotional tools to guide them is our job. We don't get mad at babies that cry unless we're unrealistic mean people so we mustn't get mad at puppies either. We teach them what to do instead. Unless we teach that they must guess and they won't always guess right. :dogwink:


New Member

Thanks for the replies. You know the advice about the crate is very good, I just gave up on putting her in there. I will set it up again and try. I am not familiar with a kong. But I am very interested because you said it last for hours. She loves to chew on her bones for hours. So please tell me more. My patience and understanding is growing because of your responses. I can't begin to tell you how much this means to Jewels especially and myself. I love her to pieces and I believe she will be the best friend I have always wanted in my life just never have had. Anything I can do to build this bond I am willing to try. I was going to use the crate when I went to work, but right now am unemployed temp. so have about a month to work things out.:doghappy:


Experienced Member
Look at the sites I gave you for recipes and get her a medium or large one at petco or petsmart and fill it up. Don't pack it too tight or they get discouraged and give up. It's sort of like a chemistry experiment. When u get it right it's great. I plug the little hole with peanut butter. Add a little non sweetented plain yogurt or lf ricotta cheese mixed with just a touch of honey or nono-sulphured molasses. Maybe a few carob chips like 12 small. A layer of shredded chicken, then plug the bit hole with peanut butter. I may stick a long piece of jerky or a biscuit through the PB and freeze it. You can also put their meals in a large kong and freeze-fill with broth and it will last longer. Mine also like apple sauce, mashed bananas, cut apples, berries, and sometimes a treat of cooked egges. Liquid freezes harder so broth will last a longer time than PB will. So layers that last are the key. :) I think you'll find that keeps her occupied a long time esp a puppy. :dogtongue2: