Saturday, October 22, 2022

Feeling SAFE!

Every dog deserves to feel safe at home and in their family, but sadly that is not true for many dogs.  
(This post is a small sample of a lesson in the Confident Canines Class.

If you have rescued an older dog that has a history of abuse or neglect, helping them feel safe is not always easy.  If you're used to training with "Alpha" mentality where your dog is expected to behave your every command, you've most likely damaged their feeling of safety.  Do this long enough and your dog can completely shut down and struggle with even the most basic of skills.  But I've got some great news for you!  It is possible to fix your relationship with your dog and nurture their feeling of safety around you and your family members!

Force Free Training
Training with kind and gentle guidance using directional cues instead of commands that must be obeyed is the first step in repairing your relationship with your dog and helping them feel safe.  If you're in my classroom, you are probably already committed to using Force Free methods but I want to take a moment to explain how this training method helps the shy or sensitive dog.  Some people think that Force Free, Positive Reinforcement based training is simply bribing your dog with cookies to do what you want them to do.  The truth about Force Free training is that it is based on communication from human to dog and dog to human.  It's that communication that helps to develop our dog's core confidence of feeling safe.  

The first step in helping your dog feel safe is to learn how they communicate with you and how you can communicate better with them!

Sign up for the Confident Canines Class to read the rest of this lesson!
Cam came to us with a very checkered past. Nothing in his previous life was safe. He was filled with anxiety and fear, little to no training, malnourished...a basket case. Then he learned that I was a safe person, as well as my daughter and slowly the men in our house. He had to learn that our female dogs in the home were safe. He had to learn outside was safe. When we moved, he had to learn our new home was safe! Cam has come a long way over the years with us and he is quite the amazing dog once he has had time to process any changes that happen in our world.

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