Build Your Dog's Confidence

Positive reinforcement goes a long way in building your dog's confidence.

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1. Be gentle. Physical force and harsh verbal corrections will further damage your dog's already shaky trust in the world in general, and you in particular.

2. Be consistent. Your dog needs to figure out how his world works. The more consistent you are, the more quickly he'll figure it out and gain confidence.

3. Have patience. Don't judge your dog's training progress by comparing him to other dogs. It will take time to learn that the world is safe. If you push too hard , it will set him back.

4. Commit to training. He'll only achieve confidence and manners if you help him. Make a commitment to work with him on confidence-building exercises every day.

5. Protect him fiercely. Avoid situations that cause him to panic. You may encounter friends and animal care professionals who insist that you coerce him into doing things he fears. Your dog depends on you to protect him. Don't ever let anyone do anything to him that you aren't comfortable with.

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