Confidence Boost

Share your favorite training tips, ideas and methods with other Positively members!

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Shalista
Posts: 1363
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Confidence Boost

Post by Shalista » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:06 pm

Hey so I'm looking for material on confidence boosting for shy or anxious dogs. Bax has always been fearful and anxious, any new item must be stretched to and cautiously sniffed with sudden jumps back. I did free shaping with cardboard boxes and teeter-totters and different surfaces under paw with great success over all, but I'm looking specifically for help with strange noises. Every time he hears a thump his ears go back and he starts growling or barking. I'm thinking something for when he's not really paying attention? He's usually very good and eager to try new things when he thinks we're having an official training session with treats involved. On his everyday behavior he's.... less good.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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Horace's Mum
Posts: 1129
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: Confidence Boost

Post by Horace's Mum » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:22 am

I'd be inclined to have less "official" training sessions and just treat every minute that you spend with him as training time. Keep a pot of treats in every room if that's what floats his boat, and ideally some in your pocket if that doesn't cause more problems. Ask for behaviours through the day, you can still have training times for bigger projects, but incorporate life rewards (things he likes doing that aren't food, such as having his lead on only when he sits politely, getting the door opened when he stands quietly) as well so it isn't always food and treats. Toys and play time can be utilitsed too.
Have you tried associating "bad" noises with good things? So for example loud bang is accompanied by a handful of tiny treats to sniff out and find?

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