How To Help A Timid Rescued Dog?

Figuring out how to help a timid rescued dog can be challenging as these dogs are usually victims of abuse and neglect. Read on and find out if you have a timid dog and how to help a timid rescued dog feel more comfortable.

Timid rescued dogs are typically afraid to leave their shelter, be alone, or be with strangers. Gaining the trust of a rescued dog that is scared of everything can be a bit of a challenge. But, it can turn out to be one of the most rewarding experiences associated with living and sharing our lives with dogs.

Building trust is one of the most important foundations in figuring out how to help a timid rescued dog. Trust is key because, without it, a fearful rescued dog is going to feel vulnerable.

Before you gain knowledge on how to help a timid rescued dog, the first step is to identify signs of a timid dog.

Signs Of A Timid Dog


Timid dogs may be less interested or may even be scared by new situations. They might also show anxiety or stress by barking, growling, or lunging. While this might not be the most effective approach for a specific problem, it is common for dogs to exhibit these behaviors to protect themselves from danger.

A fearful and anxious dog will always try to keep his head down and away from the source of his fear. He might also choose to hide somewhere else in the house, or act aggressive or be defensive. If he is cornered by something he is afraid of, he might choose to escape by running. Separation anxiety is also another common sign of a timid dog.

If your dog is terrified of something and you try to encourage him/her to interact with it, they will either freeze or attack you. It’s best to avoid anything that could cause fear in your dog by teaching them how to deal with the stimuli safely.


There are different types of shyness: social phobia, performance anxiety, separation anxiety, and general anxiety. These are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Social shyness is a common form of shyness in dogs. These dogs are typically wary of new people. They’re a little more cautious around strangers than other types of dogs and may take a while to really warm up to you.

Dogs can also be shy with other dogs or in various contexts. They can be shy or scared to go to the park to play with other dogs, be in a moving car, or visit the vet.

Sound sensitivity

Sound sensitivity is when a dog is afraid of sudden loud noises. The sounds of fireworks, thunderstorms, and motorbikes among several other sounds, can be frightening to these dogs. When they hear these noises, the dogs will likely go away to hide.

How long does it take a rescue dog to adjust?

How To Help A Timid Rescued Dog?

We humans have all kinds of personalities. We’re different people at different times, in different situations, in different moods. We often express ourselves in different ways depending on who we’re with, what we’re doing, what we’re thinking, how we feel, and even where we are.

Dogs are no different they can be affectionate or independent, approachable or shy, playful or energetic, or even timid or fearful. The only difference is their owners. Timid rescued dogs require some special attention.

When you want to help your dog overcome fear or aggression, it helps to remember that they’re still a dog! They may not like being approached by someone they don’t know, but that doesn’t mean that they’re dangerous. If a dog becomes scared, it’s normal to want to cuddle and calm it down. It can take some work to help a fearful or aggressive dog, but rewarding them for doing the right thing is well worth the effort.

Avoid anxiety provoking situations

Canine anxiety is a serious problem. For some, it can be difficult to know whether a dog needs additional help, or how to handle it when a dog does. Strangers and unknown dogs can be a source or trigger for anxious or fearful canine behavior.

Many people choose to go the extra mile to care for their dogs by ensuring they live in a home that is safe, clean, and well-kept. This might not be a typical “care package” but in fact, it’s a necessity for many, as they do not just want to be good pet parents, they also want their dogs to feel safe and comfortable.

Go for walks

When you take a walk with your pet, you’re helping them gain the confidence they need to become a full member of the family. They’ll be able to enjoy a lifetime of happiness and contentment, and your relationship will become a true family affair.

Positive associations

The best way to help a timid rescued dog gain confidence is to expose them to what frightens them at a low intensity. When you expose them to these fears, remember to pair the fear with a nice treat.

If the dog shows unwanted behavior such as barking at other dogs or strangers during a walk, ignore that behavior rather than punish. Try to always reward wanted behavior to build a positive association with those behaviors.

This is a very common tool in a therapist’s arsenal. When applied to people with phobias, it helps them overcome their fears.

How do you know if a dog is insecure?

Read more about 4 Useful Tips On How To Handle A Jealous Dog.


How long does it take a rescue dog to adjust?

Every dog is different. It can take days, weeks, or months. It’s not easy to transition a dog into a new home. You have to give him the chance to adjust.

How do you build confidence in a rescue dog?

Training and proper socialization from the time of rescue are essential. Remember to work with the dog at its pace. The last thing you want to do is hurry the dog up and increase its anxiety.

How do you know if a dog is insecure?

An insecure dog lacks self-confidence. Whenever an insecure dog gets confronted by something such as a loud noise, strangers, or other dogs, they can perceive these as a threat and will try to get away from the interaction.

How do you socialize a nervous dog?

When socializing a nervous dog, it is important to ensure that all stimuli presented can be controlled. The owner should do the best they can to ensure that the dog is not exposed to frightening sounds. However, they should carefully introduce these sounds so that the dog knows of their existence.