Believe in Dog

Episode 17. Dog Mom & Dog Dad Round Table: Shy & Fearful Dogs.

October 19, 2020

Episode 17. Dog Mom & Dog Dad Round Table: Shy & Fearful Dogs.

We’re trying something different this week!  On this episode, we’re welcoming back previous guests, Mindy FitzGerald from Episode 2 and Liz Weiner from Episode 7. We’re also welcoming my husband, Tim, to the podcast for the first time.

Today we’re having a round table discussion about pet parents living with shy and fearful dogs.


We’re all at different places on our journeys with our pups:

  • Tim & I adopted our dog, Neno, in 2016 and he is the most fearful dog that we’ve encountered. After our previous pit bull ambassador dogs, we’ve had to adjust our expectations for Neno.
  • On Episode 7, Liz told us about adopting the fearful Millie and their journey together. Liz has now added more dogs to her household and shares how this has affected Millie. Liz also shares the perspective she’s learned from working at an animal shelter.
  • 2 weeks prior to the recording of this episode, Mindy adopted a 1-year-old working dog from a farm. This pup had never been on a leash, in a car or spent time in a house before coming home with Mindy. Mindy also shares her experience with adopting a dog during COVID-19.


 Some of the experiences we discuss:

  • How difficult it is to see your dog be scared;
  • Learning our dogs' limits and respecting their boundaries;
  • Questioning ourselves and our judgment;
  • The emotional toll having a fearful dog can take on pet parents and being honest about own limitations;
  • Seeing our dogs for who they are and adjusting our own expectations;
  • The different ways we’ve bonded with and gained the trust of our shy & fearful dogs;
  • Celebrating our dogs’ small victories;
  • Stepping out of our comfort zone as pet parents to advocate for our dogs; and
  • The rewards of taking on a shy & fearful dog.

At the end of the episode, I’ll give quick updates from Liz and Mindy about their pups.  We also remember 5 years since Tim & I lost our gal, Lucy, who is memorialized in the Believe in Dog Podcast logo.


Links Discussed & Favorite Resources:

Facebook Group: Shy & Fearful Dogs – The eXtraordinary Dog Community


Links from Dr. Zazie Todd's (Episode 9) Companion Animal Psychology:

8 Tips to Help Fearful Dogs and De-sensitization and Counter Conditioning


Find Liz online:


Find Mindy online:



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