Dogs, like humans, get shy when there are strangers, or they get anxious when faced with new situations. Pet owners should have confidence building exercises for their dogs. There is training that is explicitly designed for confidence building, but the easiest way to achieve confidence is by playing.
There are interactive plays and shaping games that will boost your dog’s confidence. In this way, the dogs positively experience new things. These games reinforce their confidence by feeling good with themselves.
Helping to boost your dog’s confidence
Games are great reinforcements for shy and fearful dogs. These are medium wherein dogs can learn without worrying, but instead, they can learn while having fun. Games also make your dog focus on the game, not minding the environment which makes them anxious.
However, getting your anxious dog to play can be challenging. These fearful dogs will not engage in playing right away. They need time, and they need reinforcement from their owners. Start from their comfort zone or a familiar location then gradually letting him experience a new environment.
Confidence training is a long process, and playing games is an easy way to start and to gear up your dog. The following games can help pet owners build their dog’s confidence:
Free shaping games
This game involves teaching your dog a new skill without correcting him. However, this approach requires a long process to achieve confidence building. Free shaping games can help in boosting your dog’s confidence by letting your dog explore new things without worrying about the consequences.
One of the common free shaping games is 101 things to do with a box. In this training approach, dogs get to learn new things, and their owners get to know how they learn. This game involves a box on the ground and lets your dog explore and investigate the box without you instructing him.
If they do something with the box, give him a treat or reward. Free shaping games can use any item, not only a box. In these games, everything your dog decides to do, they will be praised. In this way, fearful dogs will try new things without worrying they will do something wrong.
Finding the treats
This game will keep your dog busy and mentally stimulated. Finding the treats requires working together with your dog so it can also improve your bond with your dog. This game will teach your dog tracking skills.
Finding the treats game will help in boosting your dog’s confidence by enhancing their ability to focus on the treats, not on the environment which can have many distractions that can cause anxiety or stress.
Fetching is an interactive game that can also strengthen your bond with your pet. Interactive games keep dogs busy, physically and mentally. In this way, they get distracted, and it will lessen their anxiety and stress.
Games play an important role in establishing your relationship with your dog. On the other hand, it can come handy while you are building your dog’s confidence. Playing games teach them new skills and keep them distracted from their anxiety.