Ways To Boost Canine Confidence and Behavior: Many dog owners are quite familiar with their furry friends cowering behind them or acting out in unfamiliar situations. Dogs lacking confidence also exhibit behaviors like excessive avoidance, tucking tails between the legs, avoiding eye contact, overreacting to unfamiliar noises with fear or aggression, and submissive urination. The solution to these indecorous traits is boosting your dog’s confidence.
A canine that feels secure and self-assured will improve in behavior, decreasing instances of the above worrisome episodes. The good thing is that improving your dog’s confidence isn’t rocket science. This guide provides actionable solutions you can start implementing right away.
Ways To Boost Canine Confidence and Behavior
- Introduce routine training sessions
Dogs do well with consistent routines. Knowing what to expect makes them feel safe, boosting their confidence.
Many pet parents are realizing the importance of training. Statistics for 2023 reveal that 73% of dog parents used some kind of training, an increase of 16% from 2018’s 57%.
To begin with, consider reward-based training. Express gratitude to your dog every time they get a command correct. You could give them a treat, pat them on their back, or praise them verbally. Besides boosting confidence, this approach also strengthens your bond.
Patience is critical during training. Dogs don’t get to obey commands overnight. They might take some time to know exactly how to react to your instructions. So, be patient with them. Some dogs are fast while others are slow. Show understanding to your furry friend’s unique makeup, and they’ll view your training sessions positively, slowly building their confidence.
It’s best to start training your dog at the earliest age possible so they grow with a firm grasp of basic commands like sitting, responding when called, and loose-leash walking. Puppies as young as eight weeks can be trained successfully. Limit the training sessions to just 10 minutes daily for good results.
2. Enroll them in dog daycare facilities
Regular interactions with other dogs usually work wonders in terms of positive behavior change. Dog daycares provide an excellent platform for canines from different homes to mingle, play, and learn. Ultimately, your dog sharpens their social skills and confidence. They quickly learn doggy etiquette, and the lessons stick for life.
Besides socialization, there are many other dog daycare benefits, including avoidance of loneliness, not having to hire pet sitters, grooming services, ample exercises, change of scenery, and peace of mind for you and your dog.
Your winning point is choosing the right dog care facility. You wouldn’t want a crowded center or one with inadequate supervision. Before onboarding your dog, it helps to visit the premises in person and survey their cleanliness standards, staff-to-dog ratio, and general atmosphere. You’d also want to read reviews from other pet parents who’ve used the facility before. Their insights will help you make an informed decision.
3. Give them opportunities to socialize
Socialization is critical in boosting your dog’s confidence. Studies show that inadequate socialization often leads to behavioral problems in canines. You’d want to expose them to different environments, sounds, and people. These experiences help them adapt quickly and feel at ease in similar situations.
Dive gradually into this socialization spree. Going too fast may overwhelm them, making them anxious, fearful, or aggressive. You may want to start in controlled settings, for instance, a quiet recreational park in the neighborhood. As they adjust to the outside environment, take it a notch higher by introducing them to busier places with more people and fellow dogs.
Positive social interactions impart confidence in your canine. They start viewing the world as less intimidating and freely interact with other people and dogs.
4. Offer stimulating toys and activities
Mental activities are as critical as physical exercise. They help sharpen your dog’s brain, making them more self-assured.
An excellent starting point is puzzle feeders. They challenge your dog’s cognitive abilities by requiring them to crack a mystery to access treats. Your canine must push, pull, slide, or tip the toy in specific ways. This stimulates their brain as they struggle until they access the food stashed therein.
Another idea is giving them chew toys. It’s usually discouraging to see your pricey shoe turned into a chew item. Such aggressive behaviors are a result of boredom. Keep their minds active and engaged by providing a variety of toys. It’ll not only help curb unwanted behaviors but also boost their confidence by giving them a sense of achievement and stimulating them mentally.
Besides puzzle feeders and chew toys, you could also consider tug-of-war ropes, squeaky toys, hide-and-seek games, fetch toys like balls or frisbees, interactive electronic toys, laser points for chasing, and scent-tracking games. Explore even more information in relevant dog books for a rich variety.
5. Create a safe and comfortable environment at home
Every dog needs a safe space at home they can retreat to. Relaxing in their cozy sanctuary helps them reduce anxiety. It’s their go-to hideout whenever they feel overwhelmed or scared.
Another critical consideration is your home’s layout regarding dog activities. Have designated areas for different activities so that their maneuvers are predictable. Knowing where to go for each activity keeps stress at bay. And coupled with a comforting home environment, you’re miles ahead in your journey to rearing a confident canine.
Building confidence in your dog is the keystone to a harmonious home. The aggressive barks lessen and are replaced with blissful tail wags.
What you need is patience as you embark on this journey. Just remember, each dog has their own pace. Don’t rush the process. Aim at a gradual improvement over several months. Ultimately, you’ll have a confident dog ready to manage all situations.