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How to make the dog more independent?

Do you get the impression that your dog is not very independent? If so, this article is for you. Let me tell you why your pet might behave this way. I will suggest what you can do to make your four-legged friend become a more independent and self-confident dog.

a big dog on the brown cushion

Independence is essential in the life of your four-legged friend. Without it, your dog may have difficulty coping with many simple and mundane situations. Self-reliance also has a significant impact on your dog’s confidence.

What will you learn from this article:

•  Independence affects the dog’s self-confidence

• Thanks to independence, your dog is not stressed by inappropriate situations

• You should teach your dog to be independent from the very beginning

An independent dog

Each canine guardian tries to care for their pupil as best as possible. When dealing with a puppy, we look at many things very leniently. Unfortunately, if we do not start treating a pet like an adult early enough, our dog will not be very independent.

Of course, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean that your dog must go for a walk alone or prepare himself food. It is about activities in your daily life that your dog can do on his own.

I also want to mention the dog’s independence towards others, both people and pets. Due to the excessive overprotection of their owners, some dogs feel fear of every new person they meet.

A self-confident and independent dog

First, let’s focus on your everyday life with a dog. Are there situations when you relieve your four-legged friend? Or maybe you do it unconsciously without even realizing it?

Food

Having a small puppy under your care, you must feed him in a way appropriate to his stage. Food should be soft and chewy. A small dog may not yet understand how to eat from a bowl, so we can help him by hand-feeding him in such a situation. All of this is perfectly normal for puppies.

The problem comes when your doggie grows up, and you treat him like a little puppy. As a result, your pet often rebels while eating, which he enjoys much better when served from your hand. In the long run, this form of eating can be very tedious and not educative.

How to deal with this? If your pet stubbornly refuses to eat food from his bowl, try turning the meal into a form of play.

There are many products on the market of dog accessories, the effect of which is that we place the dog’s food inside the toy, and his task is to reach him and eat him. You can use these types of toys with both dry treats and wet food.

Another impulse for your pet to eat willingly and on his own is to change his bowl. Throw away the bowl that your dog knows from his puppy’s period. Let the bowl change be the beginning of entering a new adult stage for him.

The elegant DUO dog bowl from Bowl & Bone Republic will be perfect. Its unique design will surely convince your dog to eat independently.

Walking and overcoming obstacles

This problem of dogs’ education is very close to me because my pet gave me a hard time when he got to this point. When my dog ​​was still a puppy, I often took him in my arms if I noticed his little paws tired of walking too long. Then he drove his way back home in my embrace.

Unfortunately, my pet grew a bit older, but the love of carrying him in my hands remained. When going out together, he often sat down in the middle of the path and did not want to go any further. The effect was that I had to pick him up, which was how we ended up going out together. When I finally understood that this could not continue, I decided to change it.

In my pet’s case, mastering the command “come” was effective.

The situation is similar when the dog overcomes various obstacles, such as climbing stairs or crossing a slightly higher threshold. For a puppy, this is a barrier that is difficult to overcome. However, when the dog grows up, he shouldn’t have a problem with that. He shouldn’t, but he may try to force you to help overcome the obstacle.

How can you deal with such a pet? There is one effective method for this, but it will require a lot of willpower. Your task will be to ignore the dog. I know that it is challenging to refuse your four-legged friend anything.

But it would be best if you believe me and your dog can climb stairs. If he realizes that waiting for nothing to do for him, he will eventually do it himself, trying to get to the upper floor.

dogs in a pink sweaters

A self-confident dog in contact with other pets

Now let’s focus on your dog’s lack of confidence during contact with other dogs and people. If your pet cannot establish relationships with other pets, you should consider how you can help him.

Consider whether your pet has always had a withdrawn attitude towards other dogs or for some time. Perhaps he experienced an unpleasant situation with another dog, and since then, he cannot trust other dogs. If so, it would be a good idea to ask a behaviourist for help.

Why? The canine psyche can be very complicated. Dogs are very memorable. If someone hurts them, they can hold the trauma for a long time.

Maybe your pet is sceptical of other dogs for no apparent reason? If so, don’t try to make him friends with another dog. It is up to him to decide to establish a relationship with someone. A visit to the dog run will be a good solution for such a dog. From among the many dogs walking there, your pet will find a companion that will suit him in temperament.

My dog ​​is sceptical of people

First, I want you to know that your dog does not have to be open to all new acquaintances. However, if your pet spends every meeting with someone outside your family on your lap, it is worth taking care of something.

Virtually every dog ​​loves treats. That can be a great way to break the ice between your pet and the new person. Your dog will undoubtedly trust someone who offers him his favourite treats. However, I do not recommend giving food to the dog directly from the hand. It may be too stressful for him. Ask the person to put the treat right under the dog’s paws.

After that what should we do next? Playing together is an effective way to bond with your dog. If your little dog seems reluctant, you can join in the fun at first. It will cheer your pet up. Once your dog feels confident playing with the new person, you can slowly disconnect from the joint activity.

a small dog with a harness sits on the sidewalk

Is the poor independence of your dog a problem?

I think so. Treating an adult dog like a little puppy is never a good solution. The doggie will quickly understand that if you are indulgent with him, why not use it for his convenience?

I love taking care of my four-legged friend. However, there is a difference between a good owner and an overprotective owner.

What is your approach to raising your doggie? Do you allow him to be independent, or are you trying to do everything for him?

If you have any questions or want me to discuss a topic in the next post, share it in the comments section.

Author: Klaudia, great dog lover

The dog by my side teaches me to enjoy every moment and to perceive each subsequent day as a chance for a new, wonderful adventure. While looking for my soul mate, I found it in a dog's wise eyes.

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