Kennel Shy – Behaviors, Origins, and Tips to Help Your Dog Get Over It

Puppies and dogs must be confident, playful, and confident. Unfortunately, many suffer from a syndrome known as “kennel shyness” or as some vets now call it, kennelosis. These animals are usually the ones found in shelters, pet stores, and hideous puppy mills. Unfortunately, they acquire peculiar behaviors and irrational fears during their confinement, mainly due to the lack of socialization and human interaction.

The behaviors of a shy pet in kennels almost mimic those of people with autism. The animal may appear fearful, withdrawn, shy and unable to bond, powerless to respond. They may appear flat, display a sense of detachment, fail to act in response to play with people or other animals, lack self-confidence, possess obsessive-compulsive behaviors, constantly hide, and / or be hypersensitive to normal noises and activities. They are usually in a perpetual state of stress and nervousness, unable to relax.

Physical responses could include uncontrollable shaking, shrugging, shyness of the head, and little or no bowel or bladder control. They appear in a constant state of panic.

Some who are exceptionally fearful may exhibit antisocial behaviors, such as growling, growling, and possibly seriously biting if they feel cornered or threatened. This could even happen with those they know.

They may stare “with deer eyes” or refuse to make eye contact.

Be on the lookout for eccentric behaviors with elimination. They can eliminate only in their cage / kennel or specifically, because that is the accepted norm for them. They may refuse to walk on grass or carpets, because they have rarely or never been allowed out of their cage or kennel or given the freedom to roam a house.

They may show self-fulfilling obsessive-compulsive behaviors, such as walking in circles, chasing their tail, endlessly walking, chewing on objects or themselves. You may find them obsessed with a single item, such as a toy or a blanket. Others find self-gratification by persistently barking or whining relentlessly.

Most of the time, the origins of this condition are excessive confinement in a cage or kennel, severe punishment for matters beyond your control, lack of socialization / human interaction or it could also be a learned behavior from a shy kennel mother .

Depending on the severity and how long the animal has suffered, it often determines whether there is a successful change. It is time and patience to help them develop their trust and confidence in you. And that is just the beginning! You can start by going down to their level. Don’t tower over them. Be patient. Allow them to come to you. Don’t chase them. The transition is based solely on your comfort level.

Find something, anything that they respond positively to. It can be a toy, a special gift, or a tennis ball. Use it generously as a reward for any upbeat behavior.

Keep activities short. Always end on a positive note. Leave them wanting more interaction with you.

Praise, praise, praise! Praise every attempt or small step of progress.

Stay calm, keep your tone of voice soft.

Slowly socialize your pet. Nothing drastic. Keep it short. Keep it positive. Hikes and car trips are a good start. Don’t take care of or pamper them if they seem nervous. They will usually be watching you to see how you react to various situations. By displaying nonchalant behavior, you will teach them to associate new experiences with self-confidence.

Don’t rush them! Be thankful that you won every little obstacle. Remember that this is more difficult for your pet than you can imagine.

Bottom line: a shy kennel animal is not a happy animal. There is no question that they are a challenge. If you are willing to accept the challenge, be prepared to make a serious commitment of time, energy, patience, and love to help them overcome this aberrational behavior. Note that some never do! Raise the bar slowly. Use tons of praise. With confidence comes self confidence. With self-confidence, a happier dog arrives!

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