5 Appropriate Ways to Raise Confidence in Dogs
A confident dog is the one who is adamant towards living an independent life even when they have their hooman around. It isn’t like they are born with this trait; they learn to become one with the help of their hooman. How does your pet dog react when you are leaving the house for work? Has it been difficult for you to keep them alone? How do you raise an independent dog? Confidence helps keep them in their control, they become less aggressive, more responsive and calmer whenever they meet a new human or an animal. Below you will find more about this personality trait and methods to help your pet dog become one.
Confidence is one key element that keeps the motivation level high even in dogs. It helps keep their fear and antisocial behaviour at bay. What makes a dog less confident? or How do you know if your pet dog lacks confidence?
When a dog is fearful about something or someone, it will either show submissive signs by hiding from it or act defensive by showing signs of aggression. In similar ways, you will be able to notice a change in their body language when they lack confidence. Pet parents often fail to recognise this behavioural impact in dogs, and it becomes a part of their personality as they grow up.
This insecurity in dogs is common to both humans and dogs, yet dangerous if not work in time. Once this indication is not acknowledged it becomes a habit just like a human react to their first day of school.
How do you build a dog’s confidence?
Confidence is a boost in personality which is reflected in a dog by a way of their walking style, daily routine, reactions, agility, social behaviour and more. However, if your pet dog is yet to learn this personality trait or improve it, these ways will help you during the process.
1. Adaptability: We have already talked about how a dog adapts a human’s emotion and behaviour pattern. One essential tip to teach them confidence is becoming one first. If a pet parent is confident in teaching their pet this personality trait then it’s going to be positive. They will start responding to your commands before you even know them.
2. bedience Training: This is one of the most common topics suggested by vets or experts when you bring home a pup. But why is it important? Obedience training is a free-way ticket to help your pet dog live a happy life. Teaching a dog different response towards reactions is a free-way ticket to live a healthy life against any physical or mental/emotional stress.
Teaching them to understand different commands will help keep them away from the dangers like traffic and the company of other animals – especially the aggressive ones. Because they may harm themselves while defending against dangers. More like humans, dogs are impulsive and when their curiosity isn’t handled well. Therefore, teaching them obedience will help you divert their impulsive actions or behaviour towards a better side than the one which they are planning to go on.
How does teaching them to understand your commands help?
If they are familiar with the term “stop” and they trust their pet parents completely then they will no doubt react in a way that you have taught them to react to such command. The same goes with the other commands.
A confident dog will stay near to their pet parent even after they accidentally leave their leash. Obedience training is the basis of their confidence, even after they are surrounded by a group of animals in a dog park or on the streets, they will stay calm till the time you have given them any command to react.
3. Feeding them healthy: Dogs always stay happy around food. No one’s going to disagree on that. Whenever they are hungry, they scavenge everything around them until they are given food. Food not only helps in keeping their stomach stuffed but helps in their overall development.
Buying the best dog food online is the only option, especially during these days. A healthy diet helps in keeping their physical as well as mental levels neutral which later helps in giving them healthy growth. Talk to the vet and learn more about ingredients that are safe for their well-being.
Always buy dog food from the best pet shop online, check the reviews, gather references and go ahead with it. Once they are fed well, they will stay happy and energetic all the time. And once they are happy, it will boost their confidence and help boost yours in no time.
4. Warm-up with games: Playing is one of the best activities for dogs and they no doubt that they are always ready for it, even if it’s 3 am. However, there are a specific set of activities that you can plan when it’s their playtime. One of the expert dog trainers Pat Miller confirms that in his article.
a. Utilise their curiosity with something mindful or intelligent such as playing a game “Target”. Put your hand out in front of your dog and let them sniff. Their curious nature will tell them to sniff, once they do that use the clicker or make a sound by yourself and give them a treat. Repeat this process till they become used to it. Now, skip the process of calling them to sniff, just show your hand, if they do it intentionally then offer their favourite or a different yet special treat to them so that they can sense this response and target the next time they see a similar gesture. They will build a familiarity with the click sound and respond automatically the next time they will hear it.
b. Target will help settle their behaviour whenever they feel anxious about a place or a stranger. It will keep their mind diverted and help them gain confidence and trust over their hooman even more.
c. “Run-away” game is another way of helping them brave out of a situation. It will help keep them active irrespective of any situation. Whenever you take your pet dog outside for a walk make them familiar with a command that will generate a response of running.
Start by saying that command and run, let them digest what’s going on and come after you. Once they give a required response offer them a delicious treat. Do this every day, until they get used to the command not just your act of running. This emergency escape game will help them get away from a situation whenever they are fearful of a location or someone.
d. “Treat and Retreat” is another fun game for your pet dog which will help boost their confidence. If your dog is afraid of anyone from a group of known humans it’s time to get them to use to them. This process will take time, and you will have to give it as much as they require.
Start by inviting that person during your pet dog’s walk and give them a low-quality kibble. Let your pet dog maintain enough distance from them as per their comfortability. Now let the game begin; ask them to throw a low-quality kibble at your dog in that secured space where they are standing. Repeat this process and let your pet dog become comfortable with it. Mark the distance in which the dog is standing and ask them to throw one of the high-quality treats. Repeat this activity for some time ask them to reduce the distance of the treats. Let them come near you to eat that treat.
Notice your pet dog’s body language. Are they reluctant to go near that person or not? If they show any reluctance it means you have decreased the distance too soon.
This activity will help them gain confidence over you and that other person, and they will soon change their behaviour towards them soon enough.
5. Helping them become social: Socialising your pet dogs is one of the most important factors which helps in boosting their confidence. How? Compare a human teenager with no friends with the one who have friends or compare a human child’s first day from regular days at school. Whom do you feel will be more confident among the two possibilities?
The same goes for the dogs; helping them become social will help to improve their personality. They will be positive around other humans and animals and will be happy to see them every day.
Introducing them to a company of like-minded beings doesn’t mean that they are bored of your company, it’s similar to how happy you feel whenever you are surrounded by the company of your friends. Socialising them will keep their aggressive or reluctant behaviour at bay and help boost confidence.These tips and techniques will help every parent learn more when it comes to walking an extra mile for their pets. If you still feel a need for an extra hand, you can always consult a vet. They will help you get a hang of the situation in a better yet qualified way.