Throughout the development of your German shepherd puppy, they will go through different phases and one common phase is to have a lack of confidence about themselves in regards to the new world around them. Some shepherds demonstrate this lack of confidence by showing the fight or flight response. Therefore, a puppy that lacks confidence may be overly fearful or overly aggressive towards new and challenging situations including strangers and other dogs. The best way to build confidence in your young German shepherd dog is through regular obedience work. These obedience exercises do not need to be laborious or boring. Take your German Shepherd Dog, puppy or young adult on a walk and periodically stop and make them sit, down, and stay. Also, throw into the walk a couple of stays then have them come to you. A couple of blocks a day will do wonders for the confidence of the developing psyche of your young dog.
Invariably these walks will provide training opportunities such as loose dogs approaching you and your puppy. If your young dog shows undue aggression a quick correction with the choke chain will develop confidence and allow you train for the appropriate behavior while meeting a strange dog. If your shepherd shows anxiety towards a strange loose dog, you can build their confidence by verbally reassuring them, and by presenting a confident and relaxed demeanor to the situation. If you come across strangers during your walk, have treats with you, and have the stranger offer a treat to your puppy. In addition have the stranger pet your puppy while you reassure your puppy with a calm-confident voice.
Basic obedience training builds confidence by providing boundaries and expectations for your German Shepherd Dog, puppy or young adult. As they perform your commands during training provide your puppy with a lot of praises and treats. They are not so different than people, and when you are praised and rewarded for a good job, you are encouraged, emboldened, and empowered with confidence to continue doing a good job.
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