I haven't read all of the responses just yet, but a few things.... First of all this thread has a ton of info and advice for shaping. Also, you said that when shown a new object, "He'll sniff it and drop the issue immediately." Do you reward sniffing at all or ignore it? If you aren't rewarding this, there's your first mistake. Shaping involves rewarding for the slightest interest at all, be it looking at it, sniffing it, whatever. Any attention towards the object is rewarded a few times, then ignored so the dog offers another behavior. You gradually ask for more and more, and the dog continuously offers different behaviors to figure out what works. But if they don't offer exactly what you want right away, you still reward the first behavior, so they know that the object IS rewarding. This is how you teach your dog to think for himself, and brainstorm to figure out what you want. Some luring, coaching, etc may be required at first, depending on the dog, but you can gradually move into shaping. I think that both shaping and luring certainly have their place in training, and both teach certain things. I think luring does teach them to think to some extent, and does teach them to pay attention to you and your movements to get what they want. Shaping teaches the dog to not always rely on you and your commands, and to really think about what they are doing. I do a TON of shaping, and I also lure for many tricks. Some dogs definitely have more trouble with shaping, and will take much longer to get the idea. But they can learn. Shaping may increase his confidence, because he will learn that interacting with various objects is rewarding. But, I wouldn't say that it will make him a completely confident dog. What issues does he have as far as confidence? What is he not confident about? How does he react to these situations? Expand a little more please. ADORABLE dog by the way, such a cute face.