7 ways to raise a confident dog

1. Expose them to a new experience

Dogs tend to become fearful when you don’t expose them to weird sights, smells, sounds, and situations. That’s why as the owner, you need to introduce your new puppy to at least one new experience per week.

2. Try agility training

You can build agility by finding something that your dog naturally loves and building off of that. If you have a slow-moving dog that is quite shaky, you can walk them over an A-frame time and time again until they are happy to walk over it, or even run over it.

3. Use the “Touch” Command

This technique works great for dogs of any age or any stage of training. You can start by holding a high-value reward folded in your hands and moving your hands towards your dog’s nose. If they move to touch your hand with their nose, say “touch” and “good” (or use another marker) and give your dog the treat. Repeat this process until your dog touches your hand without you moving towards them, and again, reward and praise.

4. Clear boundaries

You can teach your dog about acceptable behaviors and those that are not. This goes a long way to improve your dog’s confidence to make their own decision. So right from the puppy stage, you can set boundaries and stick to them to help your dog bring out the best of themself.

5. Hold a “place” in weird places

You can take your dog to weird places like ask them to hop on and hold a “place on them.” Good examples are the bench down the street, large rock, gallon bucket, fire hydrant, etc. You can ask them to hop on these objects and hold a place, but be careful not to go too high off the ground, except your dog can handle it comfortably.

6. Work on your confidence

The handler confidence also matters in building a dog’s confidence. This means your dog is watching you. When you go past another dog on your block, do you start walking at a different pace? Do you get super uncomfortable? Do you grip the leash tight or maybe even sweat a little? Your dog is watching you and knows when these are happening.

7. Advocate for your dog

You have to learn to be your dog’s ally if you want to help them build confidence. You don’t have to make them do the “touch” to your neighbor’s dog if you notice they are terrified of dogs.

Conclusion

Dogs tend to become fearful and anxious when they are exposed to a new environment or place that is strange to them. But the good part is that you can help them build confidence right from the puppy stage. You can also help older dogs develop composure and self-assurance by following the tips above. Don’t forget to reward your dog as they become better and more confident.

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