People shyness causing lack of focus

I got really disheartened because I couldn’t get Coco to focus on me during training sessions, she wouldn’t sit at heel, had limited success with stays and wouldn’t wait to do a recall. Yet she did it all fine at Bark in the Park and passed her Good Citizen Bronze award.

Today I’ve been to a new pre-agility class, held in a field. Away from the other dogs she did sit-stays and sit-waits without fault until someone else came near. Likewise she was fine doing tunnels if she could see me but panicked if she couldn’t see me at the end of the tunnel. The trainer asked me if she was nervous of people.

So now it all adds up. She can’t focus on me when there are other people around because she is too worried either that I will leave her, or someone else will do something to her?

I’ve known for a while that she is nervous of strangers because she barks at people she doesn’t know who try to give her some attention, though she is usually ok with doggy people and doesn’t bark if there are other dogs around.

She is very clingy with me at home and prefers to be in the same room as me, crying if I leave her to go into another room. OH said she wouldn’t settle in the lounge whilst I was at a meeting the other night too, though she is fine in the kitchen which is her main room if I leave her in there.

I’ve told OH that he needs to do more walking, feeding and playing with her but what else can I do about the other people problem? She was quite well socialised at the puppy stage but she’s been wary of people since about 4 months. She will happily take food off any stranger if offered, but will go back to barking at them once she has swallowed it.

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