ARF’s Shy Dog Socialization Program


ARF seeks a special group of volunteers to work with ARF’s Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist Dr. Barbara Pezzanite, CPDT-KA to help socialize the shy dogs who are currently residing at ARF. ARF’s Shy Dog Socialization Program is designed to help dogs adapt to all types of situations such as unfamiliar people, various environments, and novel objects to prepare them for a smooth transition into their forever home. The dogs in this program were no doubt not adequately socialized during a sensitive period of development, ~7-12 weeks of age. Progress of each dog will vary, depending on the degree of shyness, age of the dog, individual personality, and previous exposure to people, places, and objects.

Rehabilitation of ARF’s shy dogs will include the use of socialized, dog friendly dogs to aid in the socialization process. The underlying rationale for the use of social dogs is that dogs learn social skills from other dogs. Therefore, the social dogs in this program can help teach the shy dogs appropriate social behaviors. Social dogs, because they tend to be more confident and outgoing than shy dogs, will serve as models and emotional support for the shy dogs. In addition, various basic training techniques will be implemented.

Children 10 years and older are welcome to participate but they must be accompanied by an adult (one child per adult). This is NOT a dog walking program; volunteers will interact with the dogs to help them get more comfortable around people.

Classes are held Thursday afternoons from 1:30-2:30pm at the ARF Adoption Center in Wainscott. For more information contact Jake Kommer at or call 631.537.0400 x202.

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