Obstacle courses




To help your dog build their confidence you can create experiences where they get to explore interacting with the world around them in a safe and fun way. One activity to do together is build an obstacle course.

Lay out a variety of objects in your home or garden for your dog to investigate. Try to incorporate a range of textures and have items at different heights so that your dog can climb up and down. To start with make sure that the objects are steady and won’t shift as your dog moves around. As their confidence increases you can add some less stable or moving objects to explore.

Lace the area with treats or point out the different items to encourage your dog to investigate. Look for changes in their body language as they approach the different items. Are they relaxed or showing signs they are wary? Are there particular items they enjoy going back to or others they avoid? Observing your dog will help you notice patterns and enable you to better support them.

Items for your dog to put their head into are great in preparation for muzzle training or times when they need to wear a cone after treatment at the vets.

Avoid luring your dog to interact with items they are unsure of as they might become overwhelmed. If in doubt, let your dog explore naturally at their own pace.

When your dog is happily moving about the obstacles you can even add water to surfaces to change the textures and add variety.

Have fun coming up with new obstacle courses to boost your dog’s confidence in the world around them.

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