Originally Posted by Apple
Thank you!!! I want to take her to training but I don't want her overwhelmed. Should I perhaps wait until she's more confident with herself and me? We went out with our big fella and the puppy last weekend and sat in quite a busy area having fish and chips on the grass. While waiting for my boyfriend to come back it was just the dogs and myself. River was laying quite calmly next to me, and if she ever got that alerted face (ears up, body still and just staring) I would say her name, put a treat behind my back and say "look" and wait till she looked at me before giving her the treat.
Should I do more of this stuff? Should I avoid the dog club for a little while? Or go to training and just keep her focused on me, rather than being thrown in the deep end and forced to "interact" with the other puppies in class?
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I just don't believe in forced interaction. The risk is too great of her having a negative experience that you will have to address and fix for the rest of her life. I would work with her on your own but take her to a lot of different environments to learn to focus on you while building confidence in terms of being in new places. Dog parks are a great place to do this, by taking your pup there and staying OUTSIDE the fencing and training with her on your own. She should not interact with the other dogs. Your goal is for your pup to view other people and animals simply as part of the environment, and if you spend enough time exposing her to new environments while keeping her focus on YOU, this will happen.