What is Shyness?
Just like people, our pets come with different temperaments and personalities. Some are outgoing and friendly, while others tend to be a little shy and may need a little time to warm up to new people or unfamiliar animals. It can become concerning when a pet is overly shy, and in most cases, these pets lack confidence and are more anxious than other pets.
Very shy pets often cower away from people and become scared in new situations or around unfamiliar people. They may be more solitary and interact less with the other pets, or always seem to be on the outskirts of the action.
Some shy pets also constantly seek your approval and may display a number of neurotic behaviors when they are anxious such as tucking their tail between their legs, over-grooming, urinating at inappropriate moments, running away or submissively rolling over. Keep in mind that when some animals become very frightened, they can become aggressive. A shy dog may end up biting a stranger if it feels cornered.
What Causes Shyness?
While there will always be the debate between nature and nurture, there is usually no cut and dry answer to why some pets are shy and others aren’t. Some suggest that it is a personality trait that they were born with, while others propose that it was a result of their social and environmental experiences within the first few months of life.
In some cases shyness can be the result of previous abuse or mistreatment, making it a fairly common trait in older pets adopted from shelters. Whatever the underlying cause, shyness is not something that needs to be a problem and with some confidence building exercises and calming measures, you can help your shy pet become more self-assured and calm.
Help for Shyness
As a prominent symptom of shyness is fear and anxiety, natural herbal and homeopathic ingredients with calming and anxiety-reducing properties have been very beneficial for treating shy and timid pets. The tropical herb, Passiflora incarnata has excellent calming and anti-anxiety effects and is often used to treat anxiety, shock and tension.
Scullcap is also well known for its soothing and relaxing qualities and has been used as a natural way to treat a number of anxiety disorders. Lastly, the biochemic tissue salt Kali. Phos. helps relax those with nervous dispositions or those sensitive to change or stress.