Quick Tips to Increase Confidence & Decrease Fearfulness:

Don’t ever tell your dog it is OK when it’s not

Use toys and treats to get your dog’s mind off of what it is that may be causing him concern.

Give appropriate praise for appropriate behavior



Take emotion, especially anger and disappointment, out of the equation

Reserve the favorite toy or treat only for stressful occasions

Make sure that “strangers” have treats, too

Use obedience commands to make your dog think rather than react

Proper tone of voice is important. Soft tones should only be used when having cuddle times

Keeping your tone normal is a sign of confidence

Teaching the “watch me” command will help with keeping your dog safe

When introducing new things, make sure to carefully plan, time, and supervise

Keep command clear, short, and with no sense of pleading

Puppy should be on leash when challenging situations arise

Backsliding is a perfectly normal experience

Tug of war games can be a confidence builder (make sure to teach the “out” command)

When at home, teach thinking games such as family, toys, objects, etc.

Don’t allow your puppy to cower and hide

Rather than using “It’s Ok,” use a simple phrase (“You are being so silly”) in a matter of fact tone to distract your dog from whatever it is that is making him fearful

“Let’s say hi” is a good phrase to teach your dog when meeting strangers. Make sure to have toys, treats, and praise handy for appropriate behavior

“Look” is a good phrase to teach. Use it in a confident tone when introducing objects and situations that may be potentially fearful

Reserve petting and touch for situations where the dog is being non-shy or non-fearful

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