optimistic puppy

Photo by Mel Taylor for Devon Dogs

Tips for an Optimistic Puppy

Puppy Tip 1: An optimistic puppy will embrace novelty and overcome it

We all know what an optimist and a pessimist is, well we see the same in dogs. Some dogs are naturally more able to look at new experiences as good things, while others naturally sway to thinking that any new or novel situation is bad. 

Optimism is one of the key concepts that we need to grow in all of our dogs. An optimistic puppy will embrace novelty and overcome it, while a pessimist will likely react badly to it. Novelty is happening around us all of the time, so you can see why it is key that we grow optimism. At the end of the day, an optimistic puppy finds the world they live in less stressful to deal with. 

So, before you take your puppy out into the big wide world to introduce them to lots of new things and exercises, enhance their optimism at home first by playing lots of games that will feed into this concept. This will then help to prepare them for those future interactions.

Puppy Tip 2: Out and About Adventures

Socialisation is an important topic when it comes to puppies, but it must be done right. When taking your puppy out and about, look at each and every experience as a learning and training opportunity. Take some of your puppy’s food out on the road with you so that you can reward good choices and pair interactions with something positive. 

Don’t view socialisation as a frantic time where you HAVE to ensure your puppy is meeting as many things, people and dogs as possible. There isn’t the need to go over-board with what your puppy meets at their young age! Plus you will never ever be able to introduce your puppy to EVERYTHING that they will ever see throughout their life in a few weeks!

Out and about adventures are about the experience your puppy is having and the key thing is that your puppy is having positive exposure.

These adventures should be un-forced, organic experiences. With the concept of optimism (view tip 1) built up to form a foundation layer of skills, your puppy will be better prepared to cope with new experiences. So don’t forget to continuously top up the concept of optimism and guard what you have grown.

Always advocate for your puppy. If you know an experience will be too much for them right at this moment, leave it for now. Always think of these new experiences as QUALITY OVER QUANTITY.

Puppy Tip 3: Puppy Biting!

Ok, so first things first, ALL puppies play bite and nip! Your puppy isn’t a monster, they aren’t being aggressive, this is what ALL puppies do! So, what do you do when this happens?

If you’re in the moment of a frenzied puppy biting episode, either redirect your puppy on to a toy, a chew, a stuffed kong – give your puppy a calming activity, or calm them by gently restraining them and giving them some gentle massage. 

Those are some solutions to dealing with your puppy in the moment of biting, but the key to ongoing success is to grow calmness in your puppy generally. Play lots of calmness games to enhance the concept.

Finally, puppies need LOTS of rest. Ensure that your puppy is getting plenty of it. Pop them away in a crate or pen so that they can rest peacefully and properly away from the hustle and bustle.


Tip 4: Blips in Confidence

As your puppy develops there will be times where their confidence dips. Lots of trainers refer to these times as fear periods. We like to call them blips! This happens to all puppies, and potentially into adulthood and beyond.

However, some say that fear periods take place between certain ages, we don’t like to put a time frame on these blips. The problem with time frames is what happens if your puppy isn’t in the window of when a ‘fear period’ is supposed to take place, you will worry that something else is wrong! 

So what do you do when your puppy is experiencing a confidence blip? Observe it, notice it, but don’t fret! Don’t ask too much from your puppy during this time. Keep new and novel situations and experiences to a minimum and work through lots of optimism building games to give your puppy a boost. How long will it last? Just like when these blips take place, every puppy is different. The key thing is that you know your puppy, know what is normal for them and notice any changes.


Puppy Tip 5: Training is an Ongoing Conversation

We think we can safely say that everyone appreciates and realises the importance of taking their puppy to a training class. You’ve got this, right? Getting it right from the start is super key! You want to set and establish how things are going to be moving forward. Super! 

Our tip today is all about beyond that initial puppy training class. TRAINING IS AN ONGOING CONVERSATION that you have with your growing puppy and beyond! Its awesome that you have started, but you need to continue, you need to keep up the momentum! Its sounds daunting, but training is never done, there is always something new to teach or a skill to enhance or brush up on. Just doing a couple 3 minute sessions a day practicing and growing the skills your dog already has is a major game changer!

Training your puppy (and beyond into adulthood) is a lifestyle, you need to embrace, seek and find those training opportunities! 

Need some training inspiration? Check out the free eBook called Optimism Rocks by Absolute Dogs. This one is packed full of info and games!  https://nbn.absolute-dogs.com/optimismrocksbook

Check out more of our Thursday training blogs HERE. Also check out Devon Dogs Sexier than a Squirrel Challenge plus the Training Academy is open again. These are both fab to help you continue homeschooling during lockdown. 🙂 We also have some amazing new online classes at Devon Dogs. Hurry on over, they are selling like hot cakes!

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