Puppy Confidence Building Exercise

by Ellen Landauer

Puppy confidence building exercise is a MUST if you want to foster calmness around humans.

puppy confidence building exercise just relax and pup will be gentle

PHOTO: Six week old pup calmly holding my thumb in his mouth without hurting. Relaxing and accepting pup's way of making contact is a great puppy confidence building exercise.

(And - no, he did not put that hole in my shorts)!

If you want to see calmness and confidence around people once your dog is grown, using the puppy confidence building exercise is recommended for ANY contact with new people - and even people the pup has previously met. The key thing is, for everyone's benefit, you want your dog neutral and polite around benign people.

Do not allow people to to excite your dog! This includes happy-talk, imposing eye contact on them, funny noises, moving toward them, reaching out at them, calling them to come, and all manner of body movements to get the pup to pay attention to them.

If you let anyone impose their presence on your pup, you will end up with a dog that is excited, vibrating intensely around people. The excitement is NOT happiness - it is NERVOUSNESS!

A nervous dog is MORE likely to bite! They may also knock down a child or older person while spinning around excitedly!

Puppy Confidence Building Exercise:
Enforce Strictly for Best Outcome!

ALL your pup's early contacts with new people should be arranged and assiduously managed, NOT haphazard. It's easy using the puppy confidence building exercise. Assuming their composure is nurtured this way when they are young, they will grow up to be clear-headed and trustworthy.

All the conventional advice to 'socialize' your pup by subjecting them to being called to, grabbed and fondled by virtually everyone - is dead wrong!

Would you allow your babies and young children to be freely kissed and petted by any stranger on the street? I think not!

If you did that, you would betray the trust of your little ones. Healthy babies and children do not like being imposed upon that way by strangers. Same thing is true of your puppy - and even your mature dog. They don't like it. The wiggling and waggling and tail thrashing that accompanies such advances by strangers is NOT friendliness - it is nervousness and fear!!

Advocate for your pups and dogs! Don't cave to social pressures and expectations. You will thank me later!

Puppy Confidence Building Exercise Preparation

Puppy confidence building exercise preparation: The most important thing is to vet ANY person you are considering to allow around your pup! This may seem harsh, however...

Are you willing to protect your companion from being frightened by a child that suddenly shrieks because they are so excited by the pup, or from an ego-challenged grown-up that imposes all kinds of attention-getting behaviors (calling pup, clapping hands, kissy sounds, moving in on pup, reaching at them, fixing them with 'friendly' direct eye contact)??

ALL these human behaviors and more will make your pup fearful and nervous. This often builds into avoidance, growling and fear-biting. At the very least, your dog will be emotionally stressed around people. They will also lack the calm composure and puppy-like openness characteristic of dogs raised with respect for their true nature.

Puppy Confidence Building Exercise
Calms Your Companion

Have you noticed the frenzied, tail-thrashing, jumping about, barking and panting (or, on the other hand, hesitancy and little backing-away moves) you see all too frequently when someone haphazardly lets their new pup meet a stranger?

Do you think this frenetic activity is 'friendliness?' Think again. This is NERVOUSNESS!

Think of how when YOU meet a new person, if they talk too fast, flutter their hands about and vibrate too much - OR back off and not make eye contact - you will naturally (and correctly in almost every instance) perceive this person as nervous and uncomfortable. Not only that - but such behavior likely tends to make you nervous as well!

Thrashing about of either a pup or person in a benign social encounter is actually an AVOIDANCE of direct contact and communication. The cause in both instances is the same; early experiences that eroded temperament rather than strengthening it.

Contrast that with an easy smile, calm direct gaze and warm handshake that instantly puts you at ease. You feel comfortable, safe and emotionally open. You have just met a composed and contactful person!

Puppy Confidence Building Exercise Benefits

Puppy confidence building exercise - calm acceptance allows pup to relax and be gentle

PHOTO: Puppy 'capturing' my foot - not hurting me at all. I relax and he is calm and gentle. As he grows, this attraction is channeled into training.

With conscious early preparation using the puppy confidence building exercise, your dog when grown will be FAR more likely to handle virtually any situation with aplomb.

Assuming you introduce your pup to people using a puppy confidence building exercise, once mature (approximately 2 years of age), it won't matter as much what people do around your dog. However, advocating for your companion at any stage of life is always beneficial. Most people need education on interacting with dogs!

Your new pup (or older dog) deserves the best support for being calm, confident and safe in the presence of good people.

Do you have what it takes to forget about what anyone might think of your ideas on training and just DO IT for the sake of your dog??

My First Experience With the
Puppy Confidence-Building Exercise

Around Autumn 2017, my dog training mentor, Kevin Behan, got a new German Shepherd puppy. He found the pup online, a male from a large litter of West German working/show line dogs. He pushed to drive all the way from Vermont to Wisconsin and back in two days to bring the puppy home.

One late Fall day, Kevin let me meet the pup, who was around 14 weeks old.

Especially because he could see that this pup had a sharp, finely-tuned temperament, he instructed me how to proceed in a puppy confidence building exercise to give his pup the best possible experience.

He had me place a chair on an open expanse of lawn. I was to sit calmly in the chair facing away from the pup's approach

Kevin brought the puppy out on a long line to a spot about 25 feet behind me. I heard the pup alert and bark a bit as he noticed my presence. Kevin dropped the long line and allowed the pup to make his approach. I was to sit still, not talk to or look at the pup. This puppy  confidence building exercise gave the youngster the perfect situation to initiate all contact at his own pace.

Momentarily the puppy was sniffing the back of my calf. He walked around me, gingerly sniffing from different angles, then reared up and put his paws on my knee. This was a very good sign of pup initiating direct physical contact.

NOTE: All the propaganda about preventing jumping is nonsense. With proper guidance, that wonderful urge to make contact will be channeled into other activities.

At this point, Kevin said, 'Now talk to him in a sweet, 'mother love' tone. If he initiates eye contact, keep your eyes soft.'

I talked to the puppy as I often do to my own dogs, voice loving and soft. Kevin said I could stand up. I stood up, then knelt down to make things even easier for the pup. He reared up and pawed my back, then came around front and jumped on me again. His paws contacting me felt gentle, not hard, so he was not tense. This is very good - he was physically supple making contact with a new stranger.

I softly massaged his neck and shoulders. Kevin said he appreciated that I knelt down to give the pup more easy access.

Kevin came up and removed the long line. The puppy frolicked around us a bit. He was not at all frantic and vibrating too much as many puppies are when people try to 'socialize' them. This pup was moving in a graceful, harmonious way - showing that the puppy confidence building exercise had fostered calm composure.

After a few minutes, Kevin made his way back up the hill to the house. The pup followed promptly with no command or invitation from Kevin. My last glimpse of them - Kevin walking slowly with the puppy trotting happily at his heels.

More details about puppy confidence building exercises and early upbringing is detailed in my story of raising Ena.

BUY 'Hunting for Heart' and
Rediscover Your Primordial Bond With Dogs

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