That’s sometimes a little bit less than willing to engage with you or a dog or a puppy that sometimes freezes and isn’t sure what to do, or maybe they get worried about something and then they flee and try to leave town. Well, that’s this puppy right here. I first met this little puppy diva, who is an 18weekold border collie just three days ago, and when I saw her she was um very unconfident, to say the least. She was not willing to move she crawled over to me as if to say, save me save me, she is um a puppy who’s actually looking for her forever home right now, she’s a leftover puppy from a litter, all the other litter mates have um found homes And are on their way, but um little diva here has not found her home yet and I’m sure she will.
So I volunteered to take her and um just give her a little bit of life experience and what I want to do is I want to help her to build her confidence so that she can blossom into the wonderful little puppy that I know is living inside There I’ll bet you’re thinking that the answer is to get this dog out here and do lots of socializing with her meeting new people meeting new dogs going to lots of different places, but that’s not necessarily the right thing for this particular dog. She needs help and she needs us to build her confidence slowly. I need her to know that she can trust my direction and look to me when she’s unsure about something when I first brought diva home three days ago. She had very little interest in food, lures and um for the first couple of days.
A few exercises with her with some food lures to help her learn to be confident enough to move in close towards me. So I start just by showing her a little treat when she’s interested in the treat I back up a couple of steps, yes, and that I reward her good girl. Yes, good girl, awesome and just that in itself, moving towards me me standing over top of her I’m a tall person that can be a little intimidating for a young puppy, especially a puppy that doesn’t have a lot of confidence. What it tells me is that she’s willing to follow the food lure and she’s willing to take the food.
That is a step in the right direction for this little girl. If she was really worried, food would mean nothing to her and um the fact she’s taking the food and she’s willing to do something, for it tells me that we’re heading in the right direction once she’s comfortable with that. I can show her a treat draw her to me, with my other hand, take a hold over a collar, yes good girl, so she gets used to having a hand coming down and reaching for her, which, again for a lot of unconfident or worried dogs is something. Dogs.
What’s expected of them, this leash is a safety net, because I don’t know what would happen if diva suddenly got spooked or scared, and I don’t know that I could call her back to me. I have a leash on her and if you have a dog we’re a puppy like diva that might suddenly get spooked or scared. I was just out taking diva for a little walk around the property and I ran into instructor shannon instructor shannon and I do a podcast together and um. I thought two brains are better than one, so I thought we’ll invite shannon in here and we’ll chat a little bit about diva diva has um not met shannon yet, and you can see if she’s um, she’s just kind of quite content to hang out here.
I think the biggest mistake that people make is they try to force themselves on the puppy versus letting the puppy come around naturally and come to visit them. Sometimes people think oh dogs always love me right and they have wellmeaning intentions, but it can go drastically wrong for the puppy really really quickly. Yeah puppies have a lot of um a lot of pressure, put on them inadvertently by people who who who obviously love dogs and want to help the dog and want to greet the dog. But I think a lot of people overwhelm the dog yeah and a dog like her.
It would not do much at all in terms of helping build her confidence if anything it’ll put her off even more definitely, and what what we really need to remember when we’re dealing with a little bit of a shy puppy. Is that even though you know me – and you know I’m friendly and you know, I love dogs and you know I’m safe in her lot in her mind exactly the fear is real in her mind. Now, one of the things I noticed right off the bat when I first met diva three days ago, is that she um tends to be a bit of a submissive pee’r. What do you find a lot of people do that causes the submissive, elimination in puppies.
They come into the puppy space too much and that becomes overwhelming in terms of pressure and they lean over top of the puppy and that will often cause the admissive elimination. You need to be your puppies advocate, and this might lead to some unpleasant situations or uncomfortable situations with certain people. I was um at the park yesterday with diva. Now, even if diva hadn’t gone to visit those people, it still would’ve been a great socialization opportunity for her.
Many people think that when we’re socializing dogs, there has to be interaction, and that’s not necessarily the case. Sometimes all there needs to be is exposure just her seeing those people and realizing that life is good, even when those people are nearby when we’re dealing with building puppies confidence, there is no schedule. I think that people need to be very, very careful to go at the puppies pace to make sure that they’re not overwhelming the puppy and recognize that there’s no formula for this there’s no two plus two equals four. Each puppy and each dog is going to be different when it comes to building competence absolutely, and so, when I’m working with her, I I’m I’m looking for those little green lights, I’m looking for those signs that tells me she’s getting more confident and then I know, As we progress, I can ask a little more and a little more and a little more because she’s going to learn to trust in my guidance, because she’ll understand that I’m a leader and again, I’m not going to put her in a situation.
It’ll help give herself confidence as well we’re walking a fine line here. Absolutely I mean how many dogs do you know love going to the vet sure there may there may be some yeah, but I I’m going to guess at the vast majority of dogs or puppies um are a little unsure at the vet and so shannon. You know what would you say about that in terms of helping the dog yeah and it it it. We need to make sure she’s healthy, so we’re going to bring along lots of coping mechanisms, hopefully by that point, she’s really eager to eat food and we can bring along her favorite treats and make it a really pleasant experience for her.
Can you be easy with this puppy and just you know, warn them beforehand to make sure that she has a nice pleasant experience. Yeah. We want the dogs to know that we’re um, you know we’re there for them. We talked a lot about some challenging situations with puppies in terms of building their confidence and, if you’d, like some help, that’s specific to your own puppy join us in our puppy essentials program.
If you’d, like more information, click the link below, we talked a lot about leadership today and if you’d, like some more tips on how to be a good leader for your puppy click that video right there and on that note, I’m instructor robbie. This is diva.