How to Cure a Dog of Timid Behavior

Remain calm around your timid pet to keep him from being upset.

Remain calm around your timid pet to keep him from being upset.

Your dog may be timid because he is predisposed to have a timid personality, or he may be reacting to something that happened earlier in his life that has left him frightened. Patience and understanding are the best treatments for timidity.

Items you will need

  • Treats

Step 1

Determine common things that trigger your pet. Is he afraid of everything? Loud noises? New people? Knowing what sets your pet off allows you to preemptively calm him.

Step 2

Distract your dog while you are exposing him to things that frighten him. For example, keep treats in your pocket. When you are walking him and see a stranger approaching, start talking to your dog, slip him a treat or two, and continue on your way. The goal is to keep his focus on you as he passes the stranger.

Step 3

Take your time when working with your pet. He may not show improvement for weeks or even longer, and he may never become exceptionally bold. Just continue to work with him.

Step 4

Allow an escape route. Making a timid dog feel trapped will increase anxiety. This means not allowing strangers to approach your pet while he's against a wall, forcing him to remain outside during a thunderstorm, or allowing any other behavior that makes him feel exposed to his fear.

Step 5

Set a routine. A regular schedule makes it much easier for a timid dog, because he will know what to expect. Walk and feed him at the same time each day, and use familiar paths when walking.


  • A timid dog is also a dog that may bite. While working with your dog to build his confidence, it is also important that you watch for signs he may be ready to snap at you or others.

About the Author

With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.

Photo Credits