Helping the Shy Poodle
If your poodle is the shy and fearful sort, socializing her is doubly important. But it has to be done more carefully and slowly. If you properly socialize your shy dog from the moment she comes to live with you, she'll be able to approach new people and situations with more confidence.
Start by introducing your poodle to a trusted friend. Arrange this in advance, telling your friend to let the poodle approach him at her own pace. Your friend shouldn't reach out to the poodle or look her directly in the eye.
Have your friend sit on the floor with a treat in his open palm and wait for the poodle to approach. When she does, she should be given the treat. If your poodle is so shy she won't approach to take the treat, your friend can gently lob treats in your poodle's direction, gradually letting them land closer and closer to him.
After your poodle is willing to walk up to the friend (and this might not happen in the first session), he might be able to scratch her under the chin.
With introductions between all new people and your shy poodle, instruct them not to look her in the eye or reach for her. Let the dog come to the person. Control all introductions until your poodle becomes more confident. Rather than trying to correct any fearful behavior, it is better to ignore it.
Play dates should be fun for you, too. You get to watch your puppy play — what's more fun than that? And you get to make friends with other dog owners. If your poodle becomes especially close to another dog, and if you trust that dog's owner, you might be able to swap pet-care services when you need to travel without your poodle.