An over-punished dog often lacks self-confidence. Therefore, you should allow such dogs to succeed. You need to help the dog gain confidence.
This is fortunately a simple process. Dogs are dramatically quick to learn from people when taught by nonphysical methods. Even a simple 3-part exercise, performed daily, can bring about a behavior change in a few days.
Responding to simple commands
The first part of the therapy involves teaching the dog to respond to simple commands.
Firstly, you need to crouch down, say “Rover, come,” and heartily praise when it responds, even if it only looks at you.
If the pet urinates on the way, you must continue with the praise. The wetting usually disappears as confidence improves.
When the dog comes all the way, you should pet your dog, preferably on the throat and chest so as not to cause any fear responses by having your hands over or on top of its head.
Most shy dogs usually come readily to a crouching figure.
The “Sit” command is simple, once the pet comes dependably.
Hold your hand up over the dog’s rump as you say the words, “Rover, sit”.
The dog usually looks upward, and you should praised it by happily saying “Good, sit,” but without bending down or petting it.
Patiently repeat this a few times and most dogs will sit down. You should pet your dog after praising it.
It is important not to bend over from the waist to pet shy dogs, as this movement often signals possible punishment. Crouching avoids bending over, and is friendly and reassuring.
You must avoid pushing down on its rump, holding, or otherwise manipulating the pet. Physical force is at the root of most submissive behavior and interferes with effective learning.
Avoid punishing the dog
The second part of therapy requires that owners avoid punishing the pet.
If other behavior problems exist, you must resolve them by using nonphysical methods and as light as possible.
Self-control is a major challenge to most dog owners. However, after they see the progress usually achieved in a few days, their feelings that the pet “needs to be told it has done wrong” usually crop up.
Any backsliding on the owner’s part is quickly reflected by regression in the dog. This feedback provides an effective control mechanism to which most owners are highly sensitive.
Responding to other people
A third step in correction is for dogs that respond submissively to persons outside the family. Gather a few friends to reinforce the owner’s teachings and the dog usually responds satisfactorily.
Correction in most cases requires only a few minutes on 2 or 3 occasions. Older dogs with a persistent problem may require longer training periods.
This approach to correct overly submissive behavior in shy dogs assumes the pet is healthy, so that no possible organic influence interferes with the learning capabilities of the animal.
You can normally expect total rehabilitation in about 6 weeks when you carry out the process daily.