A confident puppy is a happy puppy, and happy puppies make happy owners! Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you build your puppy up to be full of confidence.
Socialization is Key
We talk about socialization A LOT in our blog, because there is no better way to set your puppy up for success than to socialize. We dive into good socialization practices in-depth here, but some great pointers are to:
- Take your puppy to new places often! Let them sniff new smells, experience new sights, and be loved on by countless strangers! Just steer clear of areas with heavy dog traffic until their parvo vaccinations are finished.
- Show your puppy the scary stuff early on. Blow dyers, cars, washing machines, vacuums, anything that might be spooky to your pet should be introduced earlier rather than later.
- It is not just sights and sounds that can be scary, smells and unusual textures can also be frightful for your pup.
- Let them mingle! Your pup should meet new people, new dogs and new animals often when they are young.
Send Them to School
Just like kiddos, your new puppy will gain a ton of confidence by learning and understanding new tasks and tricks. We HIGHLY recommend that all of our adopters utilize the services of a certified dog trainer. Your puppy will grow more confident each day by understanding what you want from them.
We like for our puppies to learn the basics early on, such as sit, come, stay, kennel, etc. Your certified dog trainer will help guide you along the path of training your puppy. When your puppy learns a new command, you can use this command to help expose them to anything that might be scary to them. For example, if you and your puppy are enjoying a hike in the woods and another dog startles them, you can use your “come” command to bring them back to you. Follow that with a “sit” and “stay” and you can introduce the new dog to your puppy in a safe environment, all-the-while keeping them more comfortable because they are by your side.
One of the most fun parts about training your puppy is that you can make games out of their training! This not only builds the bond between you and your pup, but allows them to grow more confident in their knowledge of their new life.
Find a Furry Mentor
Just like humans, dogs learn from one another. When we want to learn something new or feel comfortable in a new environment, we seek out a mentor to help guide us through the process. You can do the same thing for your dog, even if you are a single-dog home.
Find a friend with an older dog who exudes confidence and schedule plenty of play-dates! Your puppy will learn all about life during his/her time with the other dog. Go on walks, play in the backyard, introduce new scenarios all with the comfort of another canine in the room. Your pup will love having a furry friend around, and you will find that they are not as wary of new situations if their friend isn’t!
Be Patient and Kind
No matter how hard you try, something will most likely spook your new puppy. The most important thing is that you remain patient with him/her and guide them through the exposure process in a kind manner. Throwing your dog into the deep end will never set them up for success.
Dogs pick up on our tone and body language, so as you encounter things that seem to make your dog a bit wary, approach it with kindness and confidence. Give your puppy the time he or she needs to inspect the situation that causes them worry. Never force your dog into something that makes them uncomfortable.
There are so many ways to help make your puppy grow into a confident dog! Be sure to read back through on our previous blogs for more ideas on how to expose your puppy in a safe and secure environment!