Tip of the Week: When You Need a Helping Hand
A dog who ducks away from an adopter’s outstretched hand may not make a good first impression, and may spend more time in the shelter than he has to.
Here are 5 easy steps to help your canine wallflowers realize that hands bring wonderful things:
- Hold a treat in front of the shy dog’s nose
- Hold your other hand still, slightly above the treat hand (as shown in the photos).*
- Wait for the dog to place his head under your hand, and feed him the treat.
- If the dog won’t take the treat, try again with your hand hovering above his head.
- Repeat until the dog is comfortable bringing his head near your hand, then try a gentle stroke down his neck as he eats.
* Note: with very shy dogs, you may want to start with your right hand under his chin rather than above his head.
Have other volunteers and staff try this exercise once you’re successful, to show the shy dog that other people’s hands are “magic,” too—and can make cheese appear before his very nose!
Watch how quickly this shy Chihuahua “gets it:”
How else can we lend a hand? Leave your questions about shy dogs in the comment box.
Photos: Amy Cook