social phobia in canines, Question for Angellvets

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    social phobia in canines, Question for Angellvets

    I have a 3 year old 10 pound poodle mix who has always been extremely shy with strangers and when away from the house, in fact she trembles and won't look people in the eye.

      Very skittish on a leash, always in a  hurry to get back to the car/home, I have tried and tried to gradually get her over it but nothing has worked. 

    When at home she is normal, plays, barks and appears happy ...makes her needs known. 

    Would a dog like this benefit from a low dose of antidepressant medication?  Or should I leave well enough alone.   

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from AngellVet. Show AngellVet's posts

    Re: social phobia in canines, Question for Angellvets

    Hi Dog Lady,

    The most important thing to do for your poodle mix is to increase its socialization. It sounds like you're already doing this but I might suggest a few extra tips.

    First, stage these interactions with strangers in an area of the home in which she is most comfortable.  This could be where her bed is, a favorite napping or play area, or any other area that she associates with positive interactions. 

    Second, allow her to "drive" the interaction at every stage.  I would recommend that strangers not approach her but, instead, allow her to gradually approach them.  The new person may at first just sit quietly in the room with her (and you) and perhaps engage you in small talk without even looking at your dog.  This may go on for several weeks until she musters the courage to come over to investigate.  Just allow her to drive all of the interaction at her own pace.  Once this improves you may try a similar approach in different surroundings.

    Re: medication. Some dogs do benefit from anti-anxiety medication.  But keep in mind that medication without training is bound to fail.  For more tips on training you might find this Q/A with our behaviorist informative.  If you truly feel you need to medicate her in addtion to the above training refinements then your veterinarian can absolutely help you with this.

    Best to you,

    Joel Kaye, DVM, Angell Animal Medical Center

     
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    Re: social phobia in canines, Question for Angellvets

    Thanks,    I have been doing most of the things you've suggested, however I think a lot of is her personality... just like some people tend to be shy/introverted, but I'll keep trying!
     
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    Re: social phobia in canines, Question for Angellvets

    deleted/tmi

     
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    Re: social phobia in canines, Question for Angellvets

    error/delete   

     




     

     

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