We are struggling with building up the confidence of our 9 month old puppy. Where is the best place to start?
Hi, we have a 9 month old Berger Blanc Suisse. She is so smart and we are just in love with her. It is our first Shepherd, and our first herding breed, so we are learning a lot! We are struggling with her confidence and building it up. We will be moving in a couple of weeks, so are excited to finally have that whirlwind over and get settled and really hone in on training. Not that we haven't been doing anything with her just not as much as we anticipated with everything going on. Is the Raising your Puppy DVD still a good place to start being she is 9 months? We have had her in training and do work with her but we are struggling with building her confidence, and getting her to not be scared of children, new people, and other dogs, mainly large dogs. She is skittish but curious, just takes a long while to warm up to new people and will bark when she is unsure. Where is the best place to start?
I would recommend Raising your Puppy, then move on to Basic and Intermediate Obedience. Keep in mind that sometimes moving can add to a dog's anxiety or lack of confidence so the best thing is to give her a clear routine and schedule leading up to the move and stick with it when you get to the new place. This gives dogs comfort and confidence.
Many young dogs are not interested in interacting directly with other people or dogs and your goal should be to make sure she's comfortable or neutral in these situations. Don't worry about getting her to accept meeting people or dogs. When that is your goal it often puts a lot of emotional pressure on the dog and makes them even more unsure. by respecting the boundaries your pup is showing you it will give her more confidence in your leadership and in turn, as she grows, more confidence in herself. Dogs need to know we've "got their back" and won't put them in situations that scare them.