We have re-homed a four years old St Bernard. She seems shy of us and retreats. How can we help her and build the bond of love and trust which she seems to have lost? What do I feed her as she seems skinny and malnourished? –

89

The most likely cause of this reclusive and unfriendly behaviour of your dog may be insufficient social contact with people during her puppy life. Non-confident pets require very gentle training and lots of patience from their pet parents. Most shy dogs can become friendly with repeated positive human interactions/experiences. Usually these dogs must learn to trust individuals before accepting a friendship. Just be sure to let your dog set the pace of training. Never force your dog to do anything that makes her nervous. When your dog is frightened, it’s human to want to comfort your dog and say “It’s OK”. However, your dog assumes that you are praising her for being scared – which reinforces skittish behaviour. Only praise your dog when she acts confidently. If you have treats or one of your dog’s toys handy, give it to the family members or even friends. While you are still far away, toss the treat or toy, then just walk away. Repeating this exercise over and over, with you moving in closer and closer each time, will train your dog to associate you with good things, rather than bad experiences. Eventually, your dog will feel more comfortable around family members. You walk your dog and give her to people whom you meet and engage in conversation. Professional training may help to speed up the rate of progress and make the acceptance of family and people. Feed her reputed balanced and complete pet food that will care of all her nutritional requirements.

Question by –

https://www.dogsandpupsmagazine.com/
https://www.dogsandpupsmagazine.com/