A confident puppy is a happy puppy and a happy puppy makes owners enjoy the puppy raising process so much more! At Doodle Roots we try to raise our puppies to be happy, confident and secure, but we encourage our families to continue the work we started once they go to their new homes. Using these few tips, you can help grow your puppy into a very confident companion.
We talk a lot to our pet families about early socialization and how it sets the puppy up for success. We also encourage families to be mindful of body language and doing too much, too soon. Here are a few pointers for good socialization practices:
- Take your puppy to new places often. Don’t rush the experience, but let them go at their own pace. Many times this will be sitting and watching the world, but this still provides ample growth opportunities. While the puppy is sitting and watching, they are experiencing new smells, sounds, people and places. So let them watch away and don’t force them to do anything they aren’t comfortable with.
- Allow your puppy to experience many different aspects of living in a home. This will include washing machines, vacuums, kitchen appliances and so much more. Be mindful of the puppies body language during the exposures. If you notice the puppy runs from the noise or tries to hide, scale back the exposure until the puppy gains more confidence.
- Let them meet new people and new dogs while they are young. Please give your puppy the power of no. If they don’t want to meet the person or the dog, that is completely fine. If you force your puppy you can do more harm than good.
Puppy School for the win!
We highly recommend finding a positive reinforcement dog trainer in your area and taking your puppy to school! Taking your puppy to school helps build their confidence and builds that connection with you! With the right training approach, you will learn to communicate with your puppy and they will learn to communicate with you. It also provides a safe environment for your puppy to be exposed to other dogs and people. At Doodle Roots, we always recommend checking the fear free website for an excellent trainer in your area.
Puppies can learn so much about how to be a dog from a positive big brother or big sister. If you don’t have an older dog, we recommend finding a positive “dog mentor”. Be sure to find a mentor that has a lot of confidence, is friendly to people and welcoming to puppies. Start small by going on short walks with your puppy’s new mentor and then expand into play sessions in the backyard or home. You will be amazed at how quickly your puppy gains confidence when his new friend doesn’t act scared of the new situation or person.
Be kind at all times
No matter how frustrated you may get during the puppy raising process, please take a deep breath and be kind. Your puppy wants to please you, they just don’t understand your language or expectations just yet. The best way to teach these expectations is to be kind with your language, your approach and show plenty of love. We recommend spending the first week bonding with your puppy so they learn to trust you in any environment. Once your puppy learns that you are their person and they can trust you, real growth can happen.
There are so many ways that you can help grow the confidence of your puppy. Doodle Roots believes this confidence is grown through patience, love, understanding and time. Each puppy is unique and has their own way of learning and growing! Embrace their uniqueness and soon they will amaze you at the dog they develop into.