Anytime I appear on television or in a magazine, one of the biggest things I always talk about is “confidence building in dogs.” In my opinion, it’s one of the most important, yet, one of the most underrated aspects of dog training. Many owners and trainers alike overlook this very important aspect. This is something we stress everyday at our dog training facility in Northern Virginia
As I always point out, confidence in dogs is as equally important as confidence in people. People with very low confidence are rarely successful, engaging, or social, the same can be said for dogs. In this article of confidence building in dogs, I am going to discuss object desensitization.
I tell all of our clients who do our puppy training in Virginia (dogs 10-16 weeks old) at our , “Start getting your dog on as many objects, textures, and elevations as humanely possible over the next couple months.” What this simple yet very effective step does is that it starts to get your dog exposed to being on a wide variety of things at an early age. By exposing your dog to all of these different surfaces as a puppy, it gets them highly confident being on or in any texture or elevation; additionally, it gets them used to jumping up on things and jumping off of things.
Watch the video below of one of our training sessions, this was a dog who was not exposed to these types of things as a puppy; therefore, it would not jump up on anything, and anytime the owners would try to put the dog on a new surface (groomer table, scale at the vet, etc) he would fight it and try to run away. The owners had to lift this rather large Lab into their care for months, all due to lack of object desensitization.
This is a good example to show you why object desensitization is very important at a young age! Not only does it make your life easier when trying to get your dog on or in something, but it’s very good for your dog’s confidence, which is very important! When we do our puppy training in Northern Virginia, this is something we always discuss.
In our next blog, we will be discussing the importance of noise desensitization in order to build confidence in your dog, so stay tuned!
I have an entire chapter on confidence building in my book, “Raising the Perfect Dog: The Secrets of Law Enforcement K9 Trainers.”
Off-Leash K9 Training, LLC
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