We all get dogs because we love their companionship and we look forward to sharing them with our friends and neighbors when they come into our house. When we have a very nervous dog, our ability to share this experience becomes quite difficult. We always are deciding if we have to put our dog away when friends come over or if they are going to lunge or bark incessantly during the entire visit.
What we need to understand is that nervous dogs are often that way because of prior experiences or the lack of prior experiences. We need to be their leaders and mentors. This means that we need to socialize them to new experiences or redirect their past experiences that might have caused fear or trepidation into trust and focus.