Confident Dogs Are Raised Right
A confident dog is a dog who is sound in mind and never asserts himself unless he’s being threatened.
Raising a puppy takes time, energy and patience. Early puppy socialization is your first step in building confidence. Here’s why: https://shewhisperer.com/early-puppy-socialization/
Let’s talk about a Service Dog for a moment. One of the most important distinctions between a Service Dog and your dog is that the pup was taken into all kinds of situations, trained in obedience and socialized with anything and everything from the time the pup was 8 wks old until the pup turned 2 or her age of maturity. The first 2 years of a puppy’s life are the years in which we as puppy owners can build and instill confidence in our babies.
Taking your pup to puppy class at 6 months of age and then thinking you’re done is the biggest mistake most puppy owners make. Training a pup for her first 2 years consistently, patiently and diligently is what makes a puppy grow up to be a well-adjusted thriving adult dog.
It’s also fun to get creative in training these first two years when everything is so new and exciting that training is actually fun for both you and your dog.
If you want the dog that can go anywhere, be with everyone, like all dogs, cats, kids, cars, horses, sit quietly while you eat and have guests, you gotta put the time in.
Here’s how to build confidence in your puppy:
Sleep with your puppy the first two weeks. See more info here: https://shewhisperer.com/theres-puppy-pile-cute/
Have puppy play dates as soon as you bring your puppy home.
Take trips to the vet just to get a treat and go home, not just for vaccines, check ups and when sick.
Go for rides in the car often and to fun places.
Encourage your pup to explore different environments while you observe learning how she learns, moves in her world.
Bring your dog with you whenever you can and introduce her to 100 faces/places in 100 days.
Go for hikes off leash in safe places, letting your dog be a dog.
Create your own agility course in nature. See a downed tree? Teach UP to your pup and then lift her onto the tree and when she feels steady on her feet, ask her to take a few steps until she can jump up all by herself and walk along the trunk of the tree.
Teach obedience at home first and then everywhere you possibly can and make it fun. Make training sessions short and focused with tons of playtime before and after.
Teaching the STAY command is one of the best confidence builders you have. It teaches focus and patience in pups.
Expose your pup to other friendly animals as often as you can.
Know that every interaction you have with your puppy is a training session. Either you are training the pup or she’s training you.
Teach games; fetch, tug-o-war, hide and seek. In teaching these games you are teaching these commands: Get It, Drop It, Ready, Hold, Wait, Go Find It and much more so games are also great teaching/training sessions.
Learn how to read dog body language so you will know when you need to intervene, do more training/exposure if you see your pup is too cautious or over excited. Get Dog Decoder app to help you help your pup.
Do all of this until the dog hits her age of maturity and you’ll have one of the happiest and most confident dogs you’ve ever enjoyed.