Dear Murphy: My pup is a star at home but gets stage fright when others are around

Dear Murphy,

My dog Freddie Mercury is such a rock star at home with my family. He plays fetch, is house trained and follows all commands; he is so loving especially towards my children. Freddie loves to lay on the living room rug while the kids play. We have a big family and he gets nervous when  family members and visitors come into our home, as well as with people outside the home. How can I help my sweet boy come out of his shell?

Sincerely,

Freddie’s biggest groupie

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Dear Freddie’s biggest groupie,

The goal is to build confidence within your pup and not have him cling to you, the owner. Begin with walks outside the home on a leash, with an introduction to people and other animals in environments outside of the home. Allow Freddie to get used to busy places, and allow visitors to stick their hand out and let him come to them. According to famous dog trainer Victoria Stilwell, “Some dogs will become more accepting of people if good things always come from them such as toys or food. Throwing food in front of your dog allows him to see where the food is coming from while still keeping distance – the same can be done with a toy. If your dog is more accepting, then a treat from the hand might work. Always be aware of his comfort levels and watch for signals that he might be uncomfortable. See more at: https://positively.com/dog-behavior/aggression/dog-human-aggression/#sthash.xNqoa6jF.dpuf

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