Building doggy confidence

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Postby Fear_the_Sheeple » January 9th, 2007, 11:08 pm

I feel like Caesar (husky mix) could use some confidence building. He gets nervous around new people, scared by loud sounds, etc.. and I have heard that building their confidence can make them happier all around. Does anyone have any activities or exercises I could do at home, or around the neighborhood that would help him build more confidence?
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Postby bustersmama » January 10th, 2007, 10:00 am

Great question!

I look forward to reading the answers.
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Postby dogged » January 10th, 2007, 10:11 am

NILIF. Obedience. Agility. Finding the dog's specific triggers and make them into Hotdog Bars. Remeber to always set the dog up for success in every environment so he can gain confidence rather than lose it. If he doesn't like strangers petting him, don't let them pet him. Rather, let them feed or toss him treats until he feels comfortable. If the fear/aniexty is only at a very mild level and something positive happens (like getting treats from Scary Strangers), he will slowly gain more confidence. If he is pushed past his threshold, he will lose it.
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Postby katiek0417 » January 10th, 2007, 12:20 pm

Besides finding something to do with him (where he can succeed), don't make any reactions when he does show fear towards something.

I always allow my dogs to explore on their own, and if something scares them, I just let them rebound on their own. I don't say "awwww" or try to comfort them. When you do that, you are inadvertently reinforcing that scared behavior (I was scared, mommy/daddy cuddled me when I felt that way, let me continue to act scared). It's natural to want to comfort the dog when they're scared, but you're making it worse by doing so.

Instead, I reward the exploring behavior (whether it's sniffing something new, walking on a new surface, etc). Also, if the dog hears a noise and doesn't react, I praise it for that....I hope this helps some....
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Postby Fear_the_Sheeple » January 10th, 2007, 7:51 pm

Thanks guys. That makes sense, and I try to do some of those things... I guess I just haven't exposed him to enough. I really want to try agility with him, I think that will be really good for him and he loves climbing on stuff. Maybe someday when I'm not getting snowed in every week. :bs:

Thanks for the responses, very helpful! :D
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Postby Patch O' Pits » January 10th, 2007, 8:33 pm

On January 10 2007, Fear_the_Sheeple wrote:Thanks guys. That makes sense, and I try to do some of those things... I guess I just haven't exposed him to enough. I really want to try agility with him, I think that will be really good for him and he loves climbing on stuff. Maybe someday when I'm not getting snowed in every week. :bs:

Thanks for the responses, very helpful! :D


great advice was already posted
here is some more stuff for you to do at home
http://www.pitbulltalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=3115
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Postby Fear_the_Sheeple » January 10th, 2007, 11:40 pm

oooh, awesome! The next class at the place I would want to go isn't for a couple of months, so it would be fun to get prepared for it in the mean time! Thanks!
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