While I can and do teach people how to work with their shy dogs, some people just seem to be naturals at this kind of work. My nephew seems to be one of those. Perhaps it comes from learning how to best work with his two younger brothers, 8 and 5 years old. When I work with families with young children, they often comment that raising a dog is much like raising a kid. So my guess is that my nephew’s skills he applied with the dogs here were learned by living with his younger brothers.

It was fun to watch my nephew win over the Doberman. By the time he left, he could easily approach the dog, the dog would approach him, he could sit and pet the dog, and play with the dog. My parents were here at the same time, and they never quite were able to do any of that with the Doberman.

For some people, the skills it takes to work most effectively with dogs – especially shy ones – seem to come naturally. For others, I am sure the skills are learned in other areas of their lives and are then applied to dogs. For others, it will never be quite as easy as some people make it look. I’m glad to see that my nephew already has many of these skills at 10 years old. I am excited to see the day when his family decides to add a dog to their household.

How are your skills at working with dogs? Are you a natural or have you had to develop your skills over time?