SUPPORT! #10 Ingredients for a Bravery Boosted Dog
Support - how to help your dog
My first border collie Kaa was not the bravest one. Lack of socialisation until 6 months old did not help her not-a-very-stable temperament at all. The first year was a real challenge... but, looking also on the positive side, a journey full of lessons for me!
One of the most difficult situations was making the decision: Shall I support my Kaa if she is scared? Or should I ignore her?
There are so many different opinions on what you should or should not do. As I really wanted my Kaa to trust me, the experience taught me to simply focus on watching my dog's reactions! You know your friend best so by observing their body language (eg. ears, tail, body posture, eyes) try to decide if:
1. Your dog is just a little apprehensive / has just got spooked. Then the best idea is to not overreact, try to divert the attention onto something else that is going to be interesting (food? playing?)
2. Your dog is really overwhelmed but you cannot escape the situation. For example, you have a dog that is not very happy about means of transport, but you still have to use it. Here I would support your dog, but without talking to them too much, you need to be calm and confident to help your dog. I frequently keep my dogs in between my legs 'wrapping' them from both sides.
And most of all RELAX! I know it's hard work but your dog is going to appreciate it :)
Thanks for reading!