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Be sure to P.E.T. your dog to make him more confident! (Play, Exercise, Train)

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Smiling dog

Jessie:  I want to advise my audience as to how to make your dog more confident.  (Not that I have a problem in that regard, but I am always eager to help others!)

A fearful and unconfident dog typically has a high stress level, so the first thing you want to do is to lower that level of stress.  When the stress level is reduced, your dog is more open to learning new skills and behaviors.

This is a simple three-step method for instilling less fear and more confidence in your dog:

1.)    Play:  Make sure your dog has a place to play where she feels safe. Continually play in that area until she feels completely safe.  Then, move your play time to another area until she becomes equally comfortable in that arena.  Find out what inspires your dog to play.  Is it a game of hide and seek, finding the treat, or does she like to roughhouse?

2.)    Exercise:  Just like with humans, exercise makes the stress levels go down.  It also gives the dog a chance to simply be a dog.  Doggie exercise usually encompasses some form of active play with your dog.  Try to do this with her every day.  It will serve to boost her confidence and keep her healthy along the way!

3.)    Training:  By training your dog, you are building up her confidence.  When a dog can perform a trick or obey a command, she truly feels good about herself.  In short, she begins to realize she has a purpose.

Bo, in a snide tone:  I can surely find other purposes for you, Jessie!

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