The Power of Problem-Solving: Don’t Do Too Much for Your Dog

In the world of dog training, understanding behavior is often overlooked. Understanding confidence-building and problem-solving is important and allowing your dog to learn through trial and error is essential for their confidence and growth.

Our dog Katey, a tough but cautious girl was recently faced with a challenge. Her favorite enrichment toy had fallen onto our pool cover, and she is NOT a fan of that surface. Instead of immediately grabbing the toy FOR her, I waited to see if she could figure it out all on her own.

Katey was definitely asking for my help when reading her body language. She was pacing and looking at me as if to say, “Hey! Are you going to come over here and help me out?!” It was a moment of uncertainty for her, but also an opportunity for her to use the problem-solving skills we’ve worked on. Just like with babies, allowing our pets the chance to think things through helps them learn and grow in confidence.

It didn’t take long for her to gain the confidence she needed to try and grab that toy. I had to assist a bit, but that’s ok! We all need help sometimes, right? However, I gave her the chance to succeed on her own first.

By allowing Katey the chance to think it out, she not only retrieved her toy but also learned a valuable lesson in problem-solving and self-reliance. Confidence comes from tackling struggles and learning from them, and Katey’s fearless approach to this challenge is a testament to her growth.

So the next time your dog faces a problem, don’t be too quick to solve it for them. Give your dog the chance to think it out, to learn, and to build their confidence. Just like Katey, they might surprise you with their bravery and determination.

Head on over to my Stan Store where you’ll find helpful eBooks, FREE downloads and services to book time with me. Learn more about dog behavior, mindfulness and actionable steps you can weave into your every day routine with your dog that make life much more simple and peaceful.

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Christine Fox

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