I have a 5 month old black lab puppy who is very smart and lovable.
My problem with her is that whenever she meets new people she either puts her tail between legs, hides behind me, and keeps barking. Or she will keep barking and retreat.
What do I do? Thank you!
Hi Chris Your pup is showing classic signs of shyness and fear, not terribly unusual but something that you need to overcome if she's to grow into a happy, confident adult dog.
It's also important to address this now because an extremely fearful pup or dog can resort to fear-based aggression if they feel cornered or threatened and this can be very unpredictable and generally doesn't end well.
The most important thing to do is to continue to socialize her in a very consistent, positive and on-going way. You'll find all the help, tips and advice you need about this on my Socialize Your Puppy page.
Secondly, I'd strongly recommend taking your pup to a basic obedience class so that she can get a little extra socialization in a controlled environment and you can get some hands-on help from a professional trainer. Being successful in learning to obey commands will help to bolster your pups self-confidence which is immensely helpful, it will also increase the strength of the bond between you. Very valuable experience.
Consistency and patience are key here and if you follow these tips on an ongoing basis you should be able to help your pup overcome her anxiety and life will be much more enjoyable for you both.