It may seem like a silly question, but does your dog trust you?
Merriam-Webster defines trust as: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.
So, sure…you know what trust is, but how do you develop trust with your dog?
Really, it’s not that hard. In fact, it’s probably things you do without even thinking about it. But if you’re not sure if that trust relationship is quite there – especially with a rescue dog – then put these things into action.
Just like you, dogs respond to calmness. Acting agitated or raising your voice is going to do the same for your dog. He’s going to become agitated, and his barking is going to get louder. When you maintain a calm environment, your dog will respond accordingly.
This goes without saying, but you should always be nice to your dog. One of the quickest ways to destroy a trusting relationship is to physically hurt your dog. Hitting, kicking, or yelling at your dog is bound to create a relationship full of distrust and fear. This holds particularly true for shelter dogs, who may have already experienced trauma or neglect. Approaching them with compassion, patience, and gentle guidance is essential in earning their trust and helping them feel safe.
Treat Your Dog Fairly and Consistently
If you have children, you know important it is to be fair. It’s similar with dogs. If you’re training her to sit with treats, make sure she is given a treat when the action is performed correctly. And, If you have more than one dog in your home, dogs will notice favoritism. Treat your dogs equally to avoid jealousy.
Spend Time Together
This is so easy to do. Spending time together helps the two of you solidify your relationship.
Protect Your Dog
There may come a time when your dog needs protection – especially from another dog. If your dog is in a situation where he feels threatened, do what is necessary to protect your dog. That may mean picking up small dogs or placing your body between your pet and the situation that is making them uncomfortable.
Get Down On Their Level
Your size and stature might be intimidating for your dog – it’s true. But when you get down on their level, you are no longer so intimidating. Don’t be afraid to get down on the ground and spend some time with your fur baby.
Give Them Space
Do you ever crave time to yourself? Your dog does, too – so let them have it. Let them spend some time by themselves in their Clearly Loved Lucidium Pen. You can even leave the door open on their pen so they can head in there for some “me time” anytime they feel like it.
Developing trust with your dog isn’t hard to do, but it needs to be shown by your actions.
Michel Houellebecq said, “The love of a dog is a pure thing. He gives you a trust that is total. You must not betray it.” And those are good words to remember.