Who wants a confident puppy?
We all want a confident puppy but they simply don’t grow on trees, we need to help them, and expose them to things that they may encounter during their life in the human world.
How can we do this, where should we do this? and most importantly how do we make it safe for them?
At Primo Puppy School we run a session that concentrates on exactly that, confidence building and we get to view what the puppies will not only ‘do’, but what they won’t do when presented with something new to them.
We’ve constructed what we call ‘confidence cubes’ with everyday human items for puppies to explore and move through, we want them to see, smell and experience these unusual things. We want the items to touch their head, face, body and tail and see how our puppies behave and adjust our approach accordingly if a puppy shows us they are concerned.
You to can and should do things like this at home everyday to help your puppy become confident and well adjusted to life daily experiences.
A simple tarpaulin is a great idea, it is a different surface, it makes noise under paw, you can change it’s appearance by bunching it up and you can fold it over.
When working with a puppy on new and novel items I will always start with something around the same size as my puppy, avoid using something that is likely to tip over, a sudden movement can concern some puppies and we absolutely was to set them up to succeed.
Start by placing treats about 5-10cm around and on top of the object. Allow your puppy to choose to investigate the item and if your puppy advances towards it verbally praise ‘well done’ ‘good dog’ or whatever praise you choose for your puppy.
This is something that you can do every day and make it something different each time and really assist your puppy to learn that new things within it’s own everyday environment are perfectly fine.
Other suggestions might be a chair turned upside down, delivery boxes to the house are cool as they might smell different but you garden shed and garage are likely to be a buffet of novel items and ideas to preset to you puppy.
Should you do this and your puppy not engage or run away, act fearfully then I encourage you to contact your nearest professional positive reinforcement dog trainer for guidance and assurance on how to proceed and help your puppy.