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Training Tips of the Week
Wednesday, November 08 2017
 How to build confidence?


Confidence and how to help building confidence back especially with adult dogs,rescue dogs, dog that had bad experiences.

There is a lot of work to do in order to make your dog more confidente but most of all you need to take it slow and have patience. There is no magic formula that will boost your dog's confidence. 

First very important rule is to protect your dog at all cost from wrong enviroments or negative situations while you are working to boost his/her confidence. The more you expose your dogs to overwhelming situations the worst their confidence will become.

There are a lot tricks and training that you can do to boost confidence:

- shaping using a marker: shaping is a way to teach your dogs to learn to "try and succeed" in offering behaviours in order to be rewarded. You can shape behaviours using objects or yourself as a target like a nose touch or a target touch and then going to more complicated behaviours. 
Keep your training always successfull rewarding a lot and rewarding also very small behaviours so that your dog will enojoy the session. If your dog is successfull his/her confidence will grow 

- body awarness and balance work: using different objects or the environment out on a walk you can teach your dog to be brave enought to try to walk on different surfaces.
Using always positive reinforment and the help of a marker and letting your dog take his/her time you can mark and reward any sing of bravery that your dog will offer towards a new object. You can use boxes, ladders, jumps, planks (on the ground and the raised), plastic and other different materials, fitness cushions and wobble boards, small see-saws, tunnels, poles or cavalletti. Be creative, build every new object gradually you nerver want to creat a fear reaction, you want to boost confidence

- If you can spot the reason fo theif fear and lack of confidence, even if that being more then one, you can work on counter-conditionioning and desensitisation to help the dog creating a positive assosiation with the trigger that is causing a fear reaction and doing so you can change in time the emotional response.

- nose-work can be very rewarding for a dog as every dog love sniffing! Nose-work can also boost confidence in a dog as it can change the way your dog sees an environment or a situation. Ingaging in one of your dog's favourite activities, sniffing, will help with stress managment and stress release and will give dogs that are scared a coping mecanism to be able to deal with a situation.

- playing is a great confidence building, your dog will angage in a tug-of-war game with you and will make your dog feeling cool. You need to start in the easy environment of your house and then move it to other situations. 

- tricks training, general training, agility training BUT KEEP IT FUN AND POSITIVE. Any type of training will help. Learning is a great antagonist of fear and insicurity. It's the same with people, if you learn something then you feel more confidence and cool. If you dog knows they have done something new and they have success in doing it, the feeling will boost their confince. 
I'm sure everyone saw their dogs having that look of satisfaction when they understand something and then they learn it and can repeat it again when you ask! 

Do you need help with your dog confidence?

Posted by: Dogs Country Club AT 06:28 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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