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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!

Jessica Mann Jessica Mann
Start: 01 Apr 2024
Next: TBA


  • Duration: 6 weeks.
  • Learning materials: Written lessons with video tutorials.
  • Access to other Premium members' threads for additional insights.
  • Certificate of attendance upon completion.
  • Lifetime, 24/7 access to course materials.
  • Join the vibrant Tromplo community.
  • Earn 4 loyalty program points.


  • Earn 15 loyalty program points.
  • Personalized attention: Instructor analyzes 12 minutes of your training videos weekly.
  • Engage in interactive learning with homework and daily feedback.

No premium spots available

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 insecure place, where dangers lurk behind every corner and where 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 both kind of dogs in the world -, and most that 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

– 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. 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 experience 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.

Course Testimonials

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  • Week 1 22 Apr 2024

    • Introduction

      Read this before proceeding to the first lesson!…

    • Meet your teacher

      The story of Boo Who am I? And most important – why am I so…

    • Why is confidence important?

      So, why am I so focused on creating confident dogs? It’s a well known fact that people that are confident…

    • Foundations

      As with any activity we need to have a set of foundations before we can start, and this is no…

    • Rewards

      In order to teach behavior – any behavior – we need to have rewards, reinforcers, since that is what will…

    • How are you today?

      In this exercise we are trying to make sure that the dog is ready by first establish a baseline and…

    • Voluntary check ins!

      I love love love to have dogs asking me if we can train and telling me they are ready instead…

    • Monster alert!

      Sometimes objects are scary for dogs. This could be almost anything such as statues, funny looking tree trunks, a plastic…

    • The Creativity Game

      This is a game that might look like a shaping game, but it’s really not. In shaping your end goal…

  • Week 2 22 Apr 2024

    • Welcome to week 2!

      Good job to the during the first week! It’s been fun to start guiding you in your training. Online classes…

    • Tricks for confidence, balance, and body awareness

      I am a huge fan of training tricks with my dogs. It’s an excellent way to create a bond between…

    • Figure eight between the legs

      This is such a great warm up exercise for dogs. They usually find it fun to do and get to…

    • Getting started with targets

      A target is something your dog touches with some part of its body. It can be running out to a…

    • Teaching tricks using a target stick

      When the target stick functions as a magnet it’s fun and easy to use it to teach other tricks such…

    • Circling an object

      To circle an object is a great exercise for both speed, independent work and body awareness. To create confidence it’s…

    • Rear end awareness using a perch

      Try and find a perch that is an appropriate size for your dog: it can be a book, a brick,…

    • Moving sideways on a plank

      Repeat all the steps except the last one from Rear end awareness using a perch. Make sure to mark and…

    • Backing up on a platform

      Backing up is a very valuable exercise to do with dogs. For an insecure dog this is really strengthening the…

    • Heeling in zig zag

      This is for the dogs that already know a little bit of heeling. Make sure to heel In zig zag…

  • Week 3 22 Apr 2024

    • Noise and movement

      The classic way of teaching dogs that sounds are all right is to pair a sound with something good. For…

    • The ball pit

      This does not have to be ball pit balls or even in a kiddie pool – you can use a…

    • Rattling bottles

      Bottles progression In this video you can see a suggestion of steps very fast forward. If your dog…

    • Different reinforcers – different results on the wobble board

      In this film you clearly see the power of using different reinforcers. If I had started off with the tug…

    • Movement and control – having fun with a traffic cone

      Anything can be a training object! Ivy first was a bit barky at the cone when she first saw it.

    • Advanced movement with shopping basket and skateboard

      If your dog is confident and maybe even a little bit foolhardy, you might need to monitor a little bit.

    • Keep it simple

      Having fun with sounds and movement can and should be fun and simple, not only for the dog but for…

  • Week 4 22 Apr 2024

    • Scent work in different ways

      Scent work is one of my favorite activities, and it can be done in so many ways! From the easiest…

    • Teaching the scent

      When teaching the scent, I find it easiest and fastest for the dog to understand, if I do a series…

    • Searching for a toy outdoors

      These are the first steps for teaching searching for several toys. The end goal is that you can send your…

    • Searching for several small objects

      This is one of our favorite games, since it can be done everywhere, even indoors in a stack of torn…

    • Building stamina in the search

      Some dogs give up very easily, as soon as they don’t get the odor directly. This can be helped through…

    • Scatter feeding

      Such a good way to feed dinner! The dog gets a mental workout while also being more satisfied since it…

    • Searching in water

      Lastly, a tip for hot summer days – searching for an object in the water. Here the toller is searching…

  • Week 5 22 Apr 2024

    • Brain games and problem solving games

      Sometimes we tend to make it too easy for our dogs, and I think that is especially true when you…

  • Week 6 22 Apr 2024

    • The final week

      I can’t believe we are already at our last week! Time sure flies. I hope you have had a good…

    • What is enrichment?

      Well, actually enrichment is a whole full topic in itself that can’t be fully covered in just one lesson. We’re…

    • What is enriching for your dog?

      So, the second homework of the week is to look up the breed/s of your dog! Read up on what…

    • …and why is it so important?

      Some of the things we as humans find problematic are totally natural behaviours for dogs. Digging, barking, getting into the…

    • So what did they do in the film?

      Scavenging Sniffing in their own pace Chewing Looking Resting Searching Sorting Chewing Spitting Refusing Connecting Tearing meat from a bone…

    • Outro

      Farewell and Keep Moving Forward! Mega Cheers and…

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