Enlightened by Dogs Podcast

EBD275 Building Lifelong Social Confidence in Dogs and Puppies

In this first episode of a three-part series, Kathy highlights the importance of building your dog’s social confidence. She uses a variety of scenarios to explain what it means and when it’s necessary to be an advocate for your dog.

The series takes a closer look at ways you can stay connected with your dog in awkward and somewhat unpleasant social situations.

Did you know that your puppy or young dog is at the most impressionable stage of their life?

They’re experiencing most things for the first time, which is thrilling! But it’s equally scary because unpleasant experiences can have a long-lasting impact on how they experience ordinary life events moving forward. So, we need to be intentionally mindful of our puppies and young dogs, until they’re confident and resilient enough to stand on their own paws.

In this episode:

  • How to be an advocate for your dog in the face of social behavior and training pressure
  • How to address well-meaning yet unwanted opinions about how you should handle and train your dog
  • How to support your dog when there is pressure to be social

Memorable Quotes:

“We need to be exceptionally mindful about being a strong advocate for our puppies and young dogs because they are so impressionable until they’re confident, mature, and resilient adults.”

“Our most important role as savvy dog moms is to build and protect trust and confidence in our dogs.”

“As loving dog moms, we are responsible for being the voice for our dog in any social environment and intentionally create experiences that nurture feelings of safety, confidence, and trust.”

Mentioned in this episode:

TED Talk by Yifat Susskind

Episode 81 of the Enlightened By Dogs podcast

Episode  94 of the Enlightened By Dogs Podcast


Become a calm and confident Dog Mom with a cooperative, happy dog … without obedience training, relying on treats or arousing games, or corrections of any type.

Here are some next steps:

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