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Here’s how to build your dog’s confidence

 by yunus on 25 Oct 2018 |
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Dogs that struggle with their confidence aren’t just harder to train; their quality of life suffers, too. There are a few tricks to overcome this issue.

Here’s how to build your dog’s confidence

Just like humans, your dog’s sense of self-worth can be impacted by factors from his personality or a lack of socialization to stressful situations and past abuse. If your pet is wary when it comes to new situations, chances are he’s suffering from low confidence. Not only does a lack of self-esteem interfere with Fido’s quality of life, but it can lead to problems training your dog and other behavioral issues. Here are a few tips to help boost your pet’s self-esteem:
 
  1. Start simple: One tell-tale sign your dog is suffering from poor confidence is balking when he’s asked to learn something new. Low self-esteem makes training harder, so start with simple commands that will boost your pup’s confidence. Always use the same command for the same trick and be sure to lavish your pet with praise every time he gets the trick right. Practice often, and eventually you can move on to more difficult types of training.
 
  1. Stay positive: Dogs suffering from poor confidence already feel doubtful, so it’s important to avoid negative corrections whenever possible with your pet. Instead, focus on praising him for the things he does right. If your dog is afraid of new places, for example, don’t scold him for stopping mid-route on a walk; instead, praise him for taking a few steps forward. Dogs are experts at picking up on our emotions, so try not to show your frustration when working with a timid pet. 
 
  1. Give your pet something good to remember: Every time you form positive associations with something that causes your pet fear, you take part of that fear away. Whether it’s offering a treat after he successfully performs a trick or playing with his favorite toy during an outing to a new location, you can help your pet overcome his anxiety by giving him something good to remember after facing a scary event.
 
If you’re not sure whether your dog is suffering from low confidence, look for signs such as following you obsessively, standing between you and an unfamiliar person, heavy panting or drooling in a new situation, and pacing or chewing at his tail or paws. Consider whether any changes in his environment may have triggered your dog’s stress, or if a past experience has shaped his anxiety. Once you’ve discovered the root of his fearfulness, you can begin working slowly and consistently with your pet to expose him to small amounts of the stressor, using positive reinforcement to work up to more intense versions of this trigger over time.

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Jean Givens
Jean Givens
United States, Lexington
14 Nov 2018
I have used Revolution in the past and been happy with it. I decided to foster two cats for a few months, and switched to an inex ... more
 
 
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