Some dogs are terribly shy. Some are born confident and make lots of friends at the dog park, during walks, or even a trip to Starbucks. Everyone loves them, and their confidence keeps growing.
Image Credit: Claudia Bensimoun
Does your dog lack this confidence? Does he stay close by you, or even prefer to be alone?Here’s how you can help bring out his confidence.
Get him out as often as possible. Positive experiences, overcoming fears, learning to enjoy new environments and new things without being apprehensive- these things build confidence. It’s impossible to build up confidence if you keep your dog at home with you at all times. Start by taking him out for short drives to your dog park, and letting him sniff around and wander off. He’ll soon make new canine friends, and become accustomed to children playing, other dogs running around, and even people wearing hats or outfits that he doesn’t particularly like.
When your dog starts to enjoy these small outings, take him farther from home- to the dog beach, or to a friend’s house, a horse show, or even a garage sale. Look for new environments that are safe. His curiosity will soon overcome his fears.
Teach him to play with other dogs.Throw a frisbee or play catch. It’s great for his mental health as well. Your dog will grow more confident and start to have friends that he can play with. Don’t just walk him around he block, or let him out in your backyard. If you have a social dog and rarely take him out to play, he will become ill mannered.
Any dog can develop confidence with regular exercise, positive play experiences with other dogs and people.
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