Jessica Mann
Jessica Mann

Confidence building games for your shy or reactive dog

If your dog struggles with reactivity or shyness, or is fearful of people, objects and new environments this course is for you!

course has started
1 May 2022



Previous editions

April 2022

February 2022

And 2 more

Next editions


What does a confident canine look like? Close your eyes and try and imagine a dog that is bold, confident, sure of himself. Secure in his own paws, knowing that the world is a great place to be a dog: friendly people everywhere, lots of places to sniff and dig and roll around and a bunch of good friends to spend his time with. A dog that runs fast, plays with enthusiasm, and lights up when you suggest you´ll go on adventure together.


Then try and imagine the opposite, a dog lacking in confidence. A dog that finds the world a rather scary and unsure place, where dangers lurk behind every corner and smells, sounds, people and dogs are just too much. A dog that might just want to stay in and cuddle instead of exploring new things.


There are dogs of both kinds, and most dogs are somewhere in between – finding lots of things enjoyable and some things scary. Luckily confidence can be increased and in this course we focus on letting the dogs explore their  braveness thru games such as scent work, trick training, problem solving, balance and body awareness and enrichment.


The Canine Confidence course will expand on these subjects and we will dig deeper into all these subjects:

  • Building trust and make your shy dog training savvy, by giving him a choice in the matter, and ways to say yes and no to training, being able to ask how to take a break and getting him to love training in the process.
  • Exploring different reinforcers – both treats and toys that you can keep in your pocket and those that are already in the environment.
  • Using shaping, scent work, problem solving skills, balance games and body awareness to boost confidence.
  • Building enrichment into your dogs daily routine, giving him an outlet to be a dog without the influence of the human.

A dog that is lacking confidence can:

– have a hard time in everyday life with fear of noises, new things, people, dogs etcetera
– have a hard time solving problems on his own
– show aggressive tendensies towards people or dogs
– get performance anxiety in sports
– can look like he lacks motivation for training when he is really just worried to make a misstake
– be difficult to leave with a dog sitter and also difficult to bring to new places
– can get stress related health issues


So what are the benefits of training these things? A confident dog will often have an easier time with everyday challenges such as meeting new things, people and be braver when meeting new environments. He might also perform better in competitions and formal training sessions since he is less worried about sounds, movement etcetera and has the confidence to run fast, try new things and thoroughly enjoy himself. How great is that?


The course includes:

  • Build interest in the reward
  • Are you ready? – Start buttons for training
  • What about the monster? – how to act when something scary appears
  • Noice games
  • Movement is fun!
  • Balance
  • Body awareness
  • Trick training as a confidence booster
  • Scent work
  • The importance of enrichment


If your dog struggles with reactivity or shyness, or is fearful of people, objects and new environments it can be hard sometimes to get to formal training sessions or even take your dog on a walk among other dogs or people. By boosting the confidence, and not at all focus on the problem itself, you will give your dog a better chance to have a fun and enjoyable time with you and might also decrease the problematic emotions and behavior in all aspects of life.


This course is for shy and fearful dogs, but also for young dogs that need that extra socialization, old dogs that might have changes in their senses such as eyes and ears and therefore need a boost in confidence but can actually be a boost for everyone.


We will focus on fun games that can be played at home or on walks, and you will learn new and creative ways to help your dog in everyday life.


Lesson 1: foundations

Lesson 2: Tricks for confidence, balance and body awareness

Lesson 3: Noice and movement

Lesson 4: Scent work in different ways

Lesson 5: Brain games and problem solving games

Lesson 6: Enrichment – Netflix for dogs

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Reviews for this course

Sonja Grassmugg
Sonja Grassmugg
2022-03-15 17:38:33

I took this course as a Premium student with my cat (with prior permission from Jessica), and I highly recommend it! We really enjoyed trying out and working on as many of the suggested exercises as we could in the six weeks, and we'll definitely continue to work on them and try out more in the future. I found Jessica’s feedback very helpful, and I’m grateful that she welcomed my feline student into her class and was so happy to work with us!