She was more fearful than shy...and it played itself out in her being aggressive. Medication is always a last resort. It took about 8-9 months but essentially, we started by getting within a comfortable distance (determined by her) of someone walking by and she'd get a reward, food, pet, etc so long as she stayed calm. next step was to allow her to approach people...I was amazed at how few people know the correct way to approach a dog, even when you tell them, "uh, that's not good could you please just stand still, with your side to the dog and don't bend down toward her" So once that step was complete, next step was to have people we met along our walks give her treats... That's the foundation...rewire the stranger reactive dog from "Strangers = danger to strangers = treats" Finally, I began asking people to give her cues.."sit" "down" etc. Now the entire neighborhood loves her and she's everyone's favorite at the supply store. Most any dog can be counter conditioned and it's a GREAT feeling of satisfaction when ya do it. So that was my long way of saying that I would give the dog any sedating liquids, etc. Thunderstorms, different story because so far, no one has been successful at counter conditioning a dog who has thunder phobia. Note: this is why, when people get a puppy they should introduce the dog to dozens upon dozens of people (particularly men and kids) from the age of 8-14 weeks. It'll set the dog up for great social skills. When this doesn't happen, you're always working against how the dog wasn't socialized properly.