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Most canines have proven to be very courageous over the years. Think about all those German Shepherds that have died in combat while protecting their owners. Or the number of times your dog has stepped up and saved the day when you were in danger. A dog as small as a Pekingese can intimidate a cow through his courage and bravery. However, like in any group, there are certain breeds that don’t fancy audacity, courage, and bravery. Granted, these qualities depend on the individual dog but some breeds tend to be more shy and fearful than others. Without further ado, here are the top 15 timid dog breeds.
With over 200 pounds of body weight and a mean intimidating look, one would imagine that a mastiff is a fearless dog. However, this big baby just so happens to be a scared-cat too. He is simply shy by nature. When his owner is attacked, this breed will not be quick to sink his teeth on the enemy’s body. Rather, he will stand between his owner and the threat while barking or growling. Other times, he will even stand behind his owner’s back. However, when pushed over the fence, this dog can also deliver a strong bite that can knock a person down.
This is also a bit of a surprise considering that Vizslas are popular for their hunting instincts. Most herders are not easily intimidated. This is because they have to chase prey down and if possible, retrieve them. Having a shy personality doesn’t quite cut it. Well, a Vizsla without proper training and socialization is the kind that is shy and timid. If trained and socialized in time, the shyness often flies off the window.
Maltese dogs are outgoing in general. If trained and socialized properly, these dogs can peacefully co-exist with both man and animal without any timid streaks showing up. However, some of them can be rather shy and nervous especially in new environments, people, and situations. Luckily, if they are introduced to new stuff, they can adapt and get comfortable.
Have you noticed timid behavior in your Papillon puppy that is a little of a concern? Perhaps he retreats to his crate when new people are around or doesn’t bark when strangers approach your house. Ideally, Papillons are naturally shy around strangers, but they get accustomed to them quickly. The behavior can continue if socialization isn’t done early enough.
5. Great Dane
Also called “the gentle giant”, the Great Dane is a calm and peaceful dog. Despite being very big, he can also be very shy. If you are an introvert, this dog may be the best for you. That is, if you can handle his sheer size and high need for affection and cuddles, of course.
6. Akita Inu
The Akita Inu is a special dog for special pet parents. Granted, he is very affectionate, loyal, protective, and more. However, his methods of showing affection tend to be different from those of other dogs. For one, he is very independent and not into plenty of hugs, kisses, and snuggles. When it comes to strangers, this breed can be very fearful and timid around them. Don’t expect him to socialize with your mother when she comes over to visit. He is likely to maintain distance from her the entire time. He just has a hard time trusting people that are not his owners.
7. Yorkshire terrier
Yorkies are curious, alert, and incredibly friendly. On the flipside, they can also be nervous and shy sometimes. Can you blame them? It is practically easy to feel scared when you are only 7 pounds and stand at a height of 8 inches only. The small size can get to a Yorkie and throw him into a timid streak for days on end, especially when in the company of big crowns and busy events.
If you know a thing or two about the Greyhounds, you can confirm that these dogs love spending time with people and other canines. There are just a few of them that are shy. As soon as they come home from the breeder, they might not be willing to leave the crate to pee. Even after weeks, they might not be willing to get out of the house to go for a walk. As you might know by now, socialization and consistent training will help with that.
9. Norfolk terrier
Compared to other dogs in the terrier family, the Norfolk terrier is less aggressive. Sure, he was bred to burrow animals but a lot has changed about him over the years. He is now playful, extroverted, alert, and friendly. However, when strangers come around, he might not be interested in making small talk with them. Thankfully, he doesn’t bite just because he is around new people and dogs. Often, this dog will keep his distance until the person is out of the home. After a few introductions with the person, he is likely to warm up to them.
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The Dalmatian is a medium-sized dog with a muscular and sleek body. He is graceful playful, energetic, and very sensitive. As a wonderful family pet, he loves spending time with his owners. He can easily take offence if he’s not included in things that happen in the home. However, if not trained and socialized, this breed can be very reserved, especially around strangers. When in the company of other dogs, the shyness can turn into some form of aggression.
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The whippet is popular for his super slender and athletic build. It is hard to imagine how fast this breed really is until you see him running at 35 miles per hour. Thanks to their agility, the whippet was once a beloved companion for poachers. For the most part, this dog is gentle, friendly, and amiable. Sadly, he can also be timid. If you notice this about your dog, don’t panic. Simply enlist the help of an expert trainer to help him come out of his shell.
If you’ve ever owned a Chi before, you know this dog acts too tough for his size. He may be small but his power and strength is remarkable. However, there are a few Chis that are easily intimidated and shy. A timid Chi doesn’t enjoy the company of too many people. He can get scared around bright light and loud cards. The shyness can graduate into aggression and fear. Luckily, with plenty of patience and training, a Chi can regain his self-worth and re-assurance.
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13. Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is a sweet little bundle of fur that is popular in the united States. This breed is loved for his adaptability. Whether you live in a big home with a yard or an apartment, a Lhasa Apso will fit right in. While males are outgoing and playful, females tend to be shy. If treated cruelly, they can recoil and become timid quite fast. A simple thing like yelling or using an angry tone repeatedly can scare them very easily.
14. English bulldog
The English bulldog is an affectionate and loyal small do breed. He has a reputation for being scary around other pets. This is because, if not trained well, he can become aggressive if he feels threatened. Additionally, they tend to be timid around strangers if they aren’t socialized as well. The only solution that works is early and consistent training to get them out of their shell.
Last but not least, we have the Beagle as a timid dog breed. Granted, this dog is very energetic and excitable. He’s just also on the shy side by nature making him a great companion for a calm person.
Timid Dog Breeds: Final Thoughts
There you have it; the top 15 timid dog breeds around. You only need to note that no matter the breed, any dog can have a timid personality. It all depends on a few factors such as socialization (or the absence of it), training strategies, and how safe the dog feels in his environment, just to mention a few. Be patient with your dog if he shows signs of timidity. Let him feel comfortable during training and around other people.
Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.