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Old 10-27-2008, 07:17 AM
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ACooper ACooper is offline
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Default Dog confidence building?

IMO Orson has some confidence issues.

At about 5 months of age I was dumb enough to take him to a dog park where an aggressive intact GSD attempted to attack him. I say attempted because there was no blood shed, but otherwise I guess it was an attack.

And then a few months later on our walk, we were accosted by a loose little poodle that wanted his blood and nearly got some.

There have been a few other incidents here and there, and I really believe it has affected his confidence with other dogs very negatively. I know that some of it is instinctual and in his breed............but I really do believe a large part of it is lack of confidence.

So anyway, I started this thread to hear about confidence building things I can do for him. Hopefully ones that DON'T use other dogs to start out with
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:04 AM
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I'd be interested in that to, I have been working on getting Buster's confidence up, particularily when outside the yard. Today was a mile stone, we walked for a full hour entirely with a loose leash. I've found just showing him its okay to slow down and that I can help him sort out sitautions that come up when we're out has built his confidence. o the point where we can sometimes walk past small, barking, loose dogs and as long as they don't approach him, he doesn't over react, thats massive for him.

*sits and waits for more posts*
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:43 PM
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No responses for us mroses? Hmmmf! LOL

Well I guess I will have to search the forum and google *sigh*
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:55 PM
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I'd like some confidence boosting tips as well... I think i'm joining up on this bandwagon

But really though... Bamm could use some confidence boosting
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:00 PM
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We are going to have to rally the troops and make people come over here and POST! LOL

Dekka, Mafia, Dr2little, Adjorts...........and all of you dog pros, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! GET IN HERE AND POST
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:01 PM
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I've been thinking about this all day and while I am able to instill confidence in my dogs, I'm not sure I can put it into writing.

Dogs get confidence from the owner. Being calm, focused, committed, consistent, fair all are a part of it.

Trainingwise, set the dog up to succeed. Use huge rewards. Train things that require thinking and problem solving.

Coop, with Orson, he's had some negative experiences with dogs He needs to create positive associations.

Hope that helps a little. Hope someone comes along who can explain things better.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:10 PM
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Try a spring pole/ flirt pole, tug, give a task to do and when he completes it go over the top with praise.

How to make a flirtpole/springpole.

http://www.workingpitbull.com/springpole.htm
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACooper View Post
We are going to have to rally the troops and make people come over here and POST! LOL
Sorry! SOme of us don't get off work until 5!

Anyway, I agree with what corgipower said, a lot of confidence comes from the owner. If you think another dog might cause a reaction in your dog, and you get nervous, your dog is going to get nervous too, and then you've started a spiral. You have to be very in-charge of your emotions - don't let your body tense up, don't let your pulse start racing. Take some deep breaths and give a really genuine smile (smiling automatically makes our bodies feel happier, it's like classical conditioning).

Clicker training goes a long way in building dogs' confidence, too, because the essence of clicker-training a new behavior is that dogs can't do it wrong. If I'm shaping a new behavior and I get something different than what I wanted, it's because I did some bad clicks, not because my dog did something wrong. Playing "101 things to do with a box" or just teaching cute tricks is a great way to build a dog's overall confidence.

With dogs, too, you can build confidence just by clicking when your dog looks at another dog. Teach him that other dogs get him good things. Once he's comfortable being around other dogs, you can click/treat when other dogs sniff him, or when other dogs approach him, etc.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:56 PM
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I was readin through a lot of these articles yesterday

http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/index.htm

There is some relaly good stuff there.

Actually, the clicker really has helped Buster. Especially with his loose leash walking. Instead of waiting till he pulled than saying "no, wrong, try something else" I was able to set him up with "yep, thats right, and thats right, and thats RIGHT!!!"
he caught on a lot faster and tried a lot harder.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:58 PM
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I'm sorry, I saw this earlier but am home feeling lousy and just couldn't put two words together..

I agree, confidence comes from the owner in many ways. I find that the best way to improve confidence is to provide your dogs with a predictable life and a lot of direction. Of course it matters a great deal how you carry yourself out in the world when you're with your dogs but also in what you do with them when you're out.

I always give my dogs things to do on a walk instead of allowing the outside world to be the only focus. We play all sorts of games on the walk. I may give a command every 'X' number of yards, change the pace (run/skip/slow walk/fast walk/sideways jumps), asking that my dog participate and making it all fun and rewarding.

Time for sniffing is given, sometimes in abundance depending on the surroundings, but a good part of the walk is 'we time' rather than just the dogs time.....but again, I keep it fun and exciting, not forceful and demanding.

I'd also pair things that Orson, Buster and Bamm love with the sight of things that normally causes them anxiety. I never leave home without my 'just in case' Ace in my pocket. Of course these things (toy, treat, game) are only brought out at the sight of the trigger and are used at a threshold (before any reaction).

I'm in a stuper but I'll come back with more later....
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