This is so, so very important for a pup and there are so many options for you to be able to have a go at home that are simple, at a low or no cost and effective.
Here are just a couple of examples that we love:
Noise box - Can your dog eat from a noise box? What on earth is a noise box I hear you cry? Well a box with anything you have that you can play in, maybe some left over unused packaging or a big piece of bubble wrap, some balls or tin foil, maybe even an old baking tray - really you name the game and it’s a great way to recycle your unwanted items for at least a few weeks.
This game builds the concept of being OK with noises, and novelty - in fact noises are super FUN and mean FOOD and a good time.
All you need is a box and any recycling that is safe for your dog to move around safely. Scatter some of your dog’s regular food in to the noise box and o you go, it’s very simple! However, it’s important to build up slowly with your pup – even if he seems super confident, softly softly catch your monkey. We have been surprised by some dogs reactions to novelty so initially you may only want to put one item in, or even no items in your noise box until you see that your puppy is happy eating and just chilling around the box itself.
Climb inside - Another example would be asking your dog to climb inside something, can you think creatively?
Using a bin, suitcase or barrel or anything you have that could work on its side can be great for this, it’s a novel experience! First of all, we look for any interaction with the bin/barrel and then softly softly we need to move it on, perhaps a nose in, then a little more...and so on. Remember to keep the bin / barrel still and supported whilst your dog is getting used to climbing inside.
Once they are leaping in and super optimistic, you can move the bin/barrel slightly from side to side for an extension to this game and add in a level of movement. If you use a suitcase you can use the lid for novelty! We love to grow and teach con dence in our dogs!
Here are some more fantastic games you can play to build confidence: