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Have you ever noticed how often confidence is misunderstood? It’s not an excuse to become cocky or a bully. Real confidence is not coming from ego but from feeling secure and self-assured. This is the type of confidence your dog needs.
Whether your pet is a seven-week old mutt or a 10-year old Doberman, all dogs need to develop real confidence that will allow them to display appropriate behavior; thereby making them well-rounded household companions.
How to Build Your Dog’s Confidence
1. Allowing your dog to experience a sense of accomplishment is an excellent way to build his confidence. One way to help your dog understand that you are in charge and at the same time trust you in keeping him safe is through obedience training that makes use of positive methodologies. Remember to keep your training sessions short but upbeat and fun. Make sure that you reward the desirable behaviors that your dog displays and you ignore the undesirable ones. Remember, if you choose to enroll him in an obedience school, ensure that the dog trainer employs positive training methods.
2. Socialization greatly helps in raising a confident dog. This can be attained through situations where your dog can be familiarized with different people, other dogs, and new experiences. You may take your dog to neighborhood walks or dog parks, to dog-friendly restaurants and establishments, or to events where he’ll be exposed to a variety of different people and animals of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Make sure that you introduce your pet to new situations slowly and gently. Overwhelming him will be counter-intuitive. Remember to praise him the moment he demonstrates confidence.
3. Another ideal way to promote confidence in your dog is through exercise, a proven stress-buster. Take your dog for a nice, long walk and then praise him along the way. Try playing a game of fetch or practicing an agility course, and then praise him for performing well. Making your dog feel good about himself is a sure way to build his confidence.
Helping Your Shy Dog Out of His Shell
Shy dogs generally lack confidence and are basically unsure of themselves. Anything that helps build their confidence will improve their overall well-being, mood, and behavior.
Aside from the techniques mentioned above, you may want to try desensitizing your shy pet to help him gain confidence. In this process, you gradually and slowly introduce your dog to the things he is afraid of. It is essential that you let him advance according to his own pace. Remember to reassure him that you will never push him past his level of comfort.
Remember, a confident dog is happy, well-mannered, and friendly – not a bully. He feels safe and secure, but understands his role in your family dynamic. He is open to new ideas and enjoys new experiences, maintaining a pleasant demeanor throughout.