Dogs are optimistic creatures with four paws who like to cheer the world with their adorable smile. The tail wagging, the happy-go-lucky attitude, and loyalty make them your favorite pet. But some can be unique. They can be reserved, preferring to stay on the sidelines and watch action from there. The idea of hanging out in the park or at a party may not stimulate them. They are not the stereotypical dogs of your imagination. However, they are not abnormal either. You can attribute this loner-type characteristic to their nature, conditioning, or a mix of both. Nonetheless, the truth is they are introverts, something which also makes them antisocial.
People often argue that introverts may not necessarily be antisocial. While that’s correct, their introverted nature affects their socialization skills. Whether humans or animals, they tend to avoid direct contact with others. They can feel too shy to interact with anyone. Here are a few insights if you think you have an antisocial dog.
Signs of a shy or introverted dog
The root of your dog’s shyness or antisocial behavior lies in its anxiety triggered by the presence of other humans or animals. They can be too shy or scared to face others. How do you know if it’s frightened, nervous, or hesitating? Low posture, no eye contact, hiding, cowering, yawning, lip licking, trembling, running, barking, loss of energy, flattened ears, and others bear the telltales. While noticing things like eye contact avoidance and yawning can be tricky, you must familiarize yourself with your pet’s body language. It helps you be alert, especially if your dog suffers from anxiety and not merely from low energy.
The dog needs a dose of confidence to face others. Let’s navigate this phase with your dear furry slowly and gradually. Taking a boisterous approach can backfire. Start in a way so that the dog feels comfortable. Talk to him in a soft voice and pay attention to his posture. Also, your pet can have mood swings. Hence, be flexible with your planning. Encourage it to mingle with others but at their chosen pace. Does your dog hate being intervened by a stranger during walks? Let the well-meaning visitors know this and divert them. You can say your dog is healing from sickness or undergoing training. Cheerful and fun reinforcement training also helps them imbibe confidence.
Another confidence-building exercise can be tapping into their instincts through games. Think of something like hunting for a toy or searching for a treat. Such activities will enable your dog to focus on the joyful side of the action sans stressors. Suppose the ongoing construction work near the home disturbs his mental peace and makes him anxious. You can draw his attention to finding his favorite plush toy. Or, if they fear men in hats, specifically, you can ask someone to stand at a distance in the hat and spread treats for your dog in that direction but away from the hat wearer. The dog will focus on joy and observe him at the same time. It will allow the pet to associate the presence of a man in a hat with treats.
Depending on your dog’s level of anxiety and shyness, you can also decide to involve a trainer in this process for his well-being and efficient recovery. Eventually, his social skills can improve.