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Canine Enrichment as Confidence Builder for your dog

Canine confidence building takes time and confidence building can't be forced!

These are two very important things to keep in mind when working on your dog's confidence!

When using enrichment activities to help a dog build confidence we really need to zoom in on the individual dog.

Why is the dog anxious or insecure and what is he anxious or insecure about?

Managing their environment so they feel safe to start with is important. Away from the stress they will be able to build resilience and confidence, that won't happen when they're stressed to begin with.

After we have created a safe environment we can start our 'confidence building process'. A great start is to do an activity you know your dog loves to do. Safe environment and favourite activity is a wonderful combination for an enjoyable and positive experience! In this blog I have listed many activities you can think of.

And stop right there!

First having multiple positive experiences in their safe space is a good base to build on!

#PuzzlePuck and Tessa having fun doing puzzles
Enjoying puzzles in a safe space

The next steps of building confidence

What can you do next?

Stay in your safe space and introduce something new! A new activity, a new material, a new puzzle. Let your dog investigate on his own, don't lure with food, just see what happens and try to observe how he feels about the 'new thing'.

Is he okay? Go ahead and take the next step.

Is he hesitant? Take a step back, leave the new thing in the room, but do the 'old' and known activity.

Puzzles and Sensory Experiences as confidence builders

In my career as a 'canine puzzle professional' I have helped many dogs and their owners with the confidence building process. Puzzles and Sensory Rooms are my speciality, so those are the things I use for this. There are many other options too of course, but professionals need to stick to what they are trained to do!

In the Puzzle Dog Academy the self study course Canine Confidence Boost helps you to use Puzzles and Sensory Rooms for confidence building. At your dog's pace and with positivity. Both your dog and yourself will enjoy the time you spend together and it won't feel as 'work'!

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