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Building confidence by making decisions - Aimee Rendell

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Some of our Dogs anxieties can be made worse by our reactions, helping them with decision making can lessen the problem. Although being the leader doesn’t mean being dominant, as the dominance theory has actually been debunked! But you still need to show your dog that you are there for them, to keep them safe and to help them learn.

Dogs can sense hesitation in us so be decisive; for example, seeing other Dogs on walks. If you know your Dog isn’t confident around other Dogs try and relax when one is near, a lot of owners freeze up or change paths. Dogs are extremely smart and can sense these changes in our posture; try not to tighten your grip on the lead or tense your body. Maybe wave and say “hello” to the other owner as you pass by; your Dog will pick up on how confident you are.

They will also understand you are there for conflict management, to protect them and keep them safe. Even if you are worried of your Dogs reaction ACT CONFIDENT, fake it till you make it!

It’s important to let your Dog realise a scary situation is safe, you want to allow them to make decisions and pick a helpful behaviour whilst setting them up to make the right ones. Although keep in mind that you should NEVER force your Dog into the presence of another Dog if they’re not ready, let them work at their own pace.

Learn more about how to give your dog choices and help them make good decisions: