Why does my dog – never get into a group game straight away

By | October 19, 2018

At home, you would think Cleopatra is a very confident dog however when we are out she is an entirely different dog. This conduct led me to research why does my dog never get into a group game straight away.

Does the behavior of standing behind you, peeking out and looking worried sound familiar? This sudden shyness or fearful behavior could have become about from one or two causes.
One: There may have been an incident that did not appear to be major to us however it has upset her, and she now has attached it to being around other dogs outside of her home surroundings. I do remember a time a couple of years ago when Shaz was walking Cleopatra, there was an incident where another larger dog went to nip her, reasons unknown, and it did scar her. To us it was nothing major however to her being a small dog, it would have been a traumatic and frightening experience. Hence her sheepish behavior now.

Two: Cleopatra and your dog may just feel safer and more comfortable in their home surroundings where things are more in their control. When we are out, I act calmly and confident, so she knows everything is fine, and we are here to have fun. I do not make a fuss by petting or over encouraging her as this could instill this behavior. I am also mindful if there are a lot of dogs, small or large, I do not put her in that position, “being an only furkid we are” she is not used to a lot of dogs at once. The last thing I need is for her to nip or display a protective response and another dog react.

Cleopatra loves to play and run with her canine friends. Over time she has overcome, what could appear to us, this irrational behavior. Remember they are a pack animal and do look to us for guidance and protection.

Tip: It is sensible to size up who is top dog and who is who before bolting right in. A little safety Sam is Cleopatra, and that is fine, I am aware of this and proceed as appropriate. Know your dog, it helps.

Have you experienced any other different reasons for this type of behavior and how have you helped convince them this is not a scary situation? We would love you to add your comments below so we can all learn from this.

Until next time, take care of each other and keep having fun our friends.

Murphy, Molly and Cleopatra

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4 thoughts on “Why does my dog – never get into a group game straight away

  1. Jojo

    Dogs do have a very good memory and if something (or someone) hurt them they will remember it for years and thus one scary incidient can create problems for a long time.
    It might not always be a bad thing that a dog is careful and examines the situation before jumping to play with other dogs. If however the dog is too scared/shy then the answer might be to gradually get her used to other dogs and different situations again. This method can be used for other types of fear as well such as the fear of thunder or loud noises. By being exposed to it and gradually increase the noise the dog might get used to it and loose its fear.

    1. Helen and Cleopatra Post author

      Hi, I agree totally, as we do not being forced into a situation we are unsure about. Thank you for the helpful tip.

  2. Cathy

    My Lady, who just passed away 2 weeks ago, was also a dog that didn’t like to get into group games. Whenever she saw a bunch of canine friends, she would become very anxious and her reaction was a mixture of escaping and wanting to snap back. Even I was confused of what she wanted to do.

    Due to her lack of insecurity, I’ve never had another dog and she remained very attached to me for the last 10 years or so.

    1. Helen and Cleopatra Post author

      Hi Cathy, I am sorry to hear your “My Lady” has passed, it is never easy as they are part of our everyday life. A lot of love to you from Cleopatra and me. Yes, it is funny how we also feel insecure, and her behavior is a good example of why my dog never gets into a group game straight away. Some knowledge for when you are ready to get another lovely furfriend. xx


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