When a Puppy Seems to Be Afraid of Almost Everything

Anyone who has spent more than a few minutes in the company of a dog will know that, just like humans, each dog has an individual personality. It follows that some dogs may be more anxious than others, but when your new puppy is nervous about each and every person and situation they encounter, you've got a problem. This problem needs to be solved as quickly as possible since it's only going to become more significant as your dog grows up—especially if their fear leads to aggression. So why does your new puppy seem to be afraid of everything? 

Your Puppy's Best Interests

As much as you want to stay at home with your new puppy all the time, basking in the warm glow of their cuteness, this isn't necessarily in your puppy's best interests. A great deal of fear that a puppy experiences can be a fear of the unfamiliar. Have you been appropriately socialising your puppy as much as possible?

As Well-Socialised as Possible

There are specific instances in a young puppy's life when socialisation isn't recommended (such as the prescribed periods of isolation after certain key vaccinations). However, outside of these fleeting periods, the onus is on you to ensure that your puppy is as well-socialised as possible—in a variety of settings, allowing them to meet not only a variety of people but a variety of other dogs.

Two Birds With One Stone

You can very much take a two birds with one stone approach in socialising your puppy. Enrol them in a local puppy school at the earliest possible opportunity (check with your vet about the earliest possible date, allowing you to adhere to any post-vaccination isolation periods). You and your puppy will learn basic obedience, which can be expanded upon with follow up training sessions at home, or at the local park. But the foundations of your dog's future obedience will be established at puppy school.

Instinctive Interaction

The other benefit — and this is the one that will help your puppy to overcome their nervousness about new situations — is that your puppy will be forced to interact with other dogs, as well as their owners. Your puppy will instinctively play with their classmates and will be familiarised with the presence of other humans outside of its immediate family unit. 

There are no guarantees, but you should find that the whole process is fairly organic. Little by little, these obedience and socialisation sessions will coax your puppy out of its shell. It's a brave new world for your brave new puppy.

For more information, contact a puppy school near you.