Confidence is often misunderstood; it is not an excuse to be a bully or cocky. Real confidence comes not from ego but from ability is to make correct decisions.
Whether you have a seven-week-old puppy or a ten year old Doberman, all dogs need to have real confidence encouraged. This gives the dog the ability to make decisions without reactivity and allows them to “sit on their center” emotionally. There are a variety of methods one can use to build confidence in their dog. but they, all not you are the leader of the pack. Training a dog always involves letting him know that you are the leader.
The process of building confidence in a dog involves a lengthy process of desensitization. Be patient. Results won’t be immediate.
If your dog is afraid of other dogs then don’t just introduce him to a whole bunch of them and expect him to just get along. Take him for a walk on a leash to a park where there are other dogs with their owners. The leash shouldn’t be too tight because then he feels restricted and vulnerable. This might then turn into fear – a prime cause for a dog fight. Act nonchalant among the other dogs. Dogs can pick up behavior patterns from others around them. If he notices you’re completely relaxed, he might decide there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Above all be patient. A dog can take months of such therapy before he gains some confidence. Don’t berate him or poke fun at him. Encourage him and be generous with praise.
Many problems with dogs can stem from a lack of self confidence, or relying on their owners for security. This often causes problems like excessive barking, attention seeking, health disorders and sometimes self mutilation. Dogs need to feel confident in themselves but not so confident that they become dominant.
Shouting or hitting a dog is never a solution, especially for dogs that have no self confidence; it will only make things worse. You will never convince a nervous dog that you have a reason for getting angry and lashing out at them.
Acme Canine has a variety of agility equipment in the yard. One of the important differences in confidence building verses traditional agility is the size of the equipment we use. Everything is very low to the ground and built on a much smaller scale. We do this to set the dog up for success, and to have them gain confidence.
This method is especially helpful for starting young puppies out on the right foot. We have puppies as young as six weeks going through the course. They are never allowed to jump from the equipment, as their bones are still very soft and they could be injured easily. The confidence these young puppies gain is taken with them to their new owners, where it translates to easier dog training and a smoother transition.