5 Ways To Stop Animal Abuse And Prevent Animal Cruelty Hand Shy, Head Shy – 7 Steps to Help Your Dog Overcome This Behavior

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Hand Shy, Head Shy – 7 Steps to Help Your Dog Overcome This Behavior

Many dogs, most often puppies that have not been treated by the breeder, or animals that have been abused, or rescued from abandoned shelters. This is especially true of a hand going towards their face or going over their head. Unfortunately, they cannot tell you what negative experience they have had with human hands. Many perceive this action as a threat. Usually, some form of abuse, lack of socialization, or neglect is the cause of this overwhelming behavior. Never adopt a dog with this behavior problem. This can cause them to become more fearful and/or possibly aggressive! Fearful dogs can be dangerous dogs. Be patient. You can help them overcome this fear and make a positive association in your hand.

What you can do to help your dog overcome hand shyness:

1. When approaching your dog, approach slowly and at a slight angle. Approaching at an angle, you will not appear as large and threatening than if you approached straight ahead. You can also sit or kneel down so you don’t pose a threat.

2. Slowly reach out and stroke the dog under the chin, keeping the hand in the eye. Avoid “sharp” movements with your arms. Speak softly and calmly. Praise the one who allowed you to touch them. If they will accept it, reward them with a treat.

3. Enroll your dog in obedience classes as soon as possible. Find a local trainer who practices positive reinforcement, non-punishment methods. Work on verbal corrections, a calm tone of voice, and non-threatening body language rather than physical corrections.

4. Work on remembering so you don’t have to catch it. Welcome, call your dog by name and say, “COME!” Praise and reward them when they come to you. Rub it under your chin. For some dogs, it helps if you sit or kneel when you call them.

5. Practice positive reinforcement. Reward your dog with lots of praise and gently pat him under the chin. Reinforce your happiness by speaking in a soft, calm tone of voice to show him/her that you are pleased with his/her behavior.

6. Give your dog massages as often as you can. Work the whole body, but focus on the head and neck area. Speak softly during the massage. The more you do it, the more reliable and quiet they will become. Through this positive experience, they will learn to associate your hand as something loving and good.

7. Tell family and friends what you are trying to do. Instruct them on the proper way to approach and pet your dog. Don’t hesitate to correct them immediately if they are doing it wrong.

Bottom line: Your dog needs to make human hands non-threatening. The more loving hands associated with a positive experience your dog feels, the sooner they will welcome them. As your dog becomes more comfortable with you, your family and friends, start taking him to places where there are new people to meet. Explain to them what problem you are working on and ask them to approach your dog. They can start by simply giving the dog a treat or toy. Since your dog is more comfortable accepting food or toys from strangers; make it easy for them to pat your dog under the chin, then reward the dog with a treat or toy. This way your dog will accompany human hands bringing a loving, gentle touch and other good things. Be patient, calm and steady. Over time, you’ll see a more confident dog that welcomes human touch.

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