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sudden shyness around the house

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My ten month old BC puppy has become somewhat fearful/shy around the house, or at least that is how I interpret it.


She was fine before we left town for Christmas. She and my other BC spent 5 days at a friend's house, where by all reports she was fine. They have 2 dogs so she undoubtedly spent a lot of time playing.


But when we brought her home Monday evening (3 days ago), she started acting strangely. At home, when I'm moving around, she spends a lot of time under the kitchen table, looking at me nervously, and just looking uncomfortable. When I'm in the other room working at the computer, she settles down and sleeps, also under the kitchen table. Before this, she spent most of her time sleeping on the couch with the other dog.


When we go out for a walk, she occasionally gets quite fearful when we go out the door, quivering with her tail tucked between her legs. But once we get going she's fine, totally fearless, loves people, etc.


There is no stimulus for this behavior that I can see -- loud noises don't bother her, nor do corrections. She's just like this most of the time in the house.


At other times she'll come out and act normally, herding the cats, etc. She does seem to act more normally when my wife comes home in the evening (I work at home and as a result she rarely gets left alone). I know that puppies can go through fear stages, and if that's what this is it may have been tipped off by spending 5 days at our friend's house and then coming back home again.


My vet took a quick look at her and found that her temperature was normal and couldn't see any obvious signs of a problem.


Any thoughts on what this might be, and how best to deal with it? I'm basically ignoring her when she acts this way, except to call her over every once in awhile for a pat on the head, because I don't want to reinforce the behavior.

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"I know that puppies can go through fear stages, and if that's what this is it may have been tipped off by spending 5 days at our friend's house and then coming back home again."


I bet it's that. She's weirded out about something. I think not making a big deal about it is a good idea to see if it works itself out. If it doesn't...is she treat motivated? Play motivated? Perhaps do some of your work at the kitchen table if possible and throw a treat down there occasionally. Take a few more frequent breaks during the day for a game of fetch or tug. It sounds like she started associating you with something scary perhaps. Trying to change that association to a good one again is something to try. Perhaps you can let her see you having fun with the other dog and she can think, "oh that looks good, I'd like a part of that". If she's having trouble at the door, try to distract by doing some puppy push-ups (sit-lay down-repeat) at the door before going out..have her follow a treat out the door...perhaps follow the other dog out if he/she is a source of confidence for her. Just some ideas. Hope it works out soon. :)

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