5 Tips to Earn a Dog´s Trust
5 Tips to Earn a Dog´s Trust
Since ancient times, humans and dogs have maintained a strong relationship of cooperation. Even though discipline has historically been valued as a very important part of the human-dog relationship, we are clear that the first links created between these two species have been forged from mutual trust. For this reason, we have made a compilation of useful tips to gain the trust of a dog.
Each dog has individual characteristics and, although there are breeds that are genetically more predisposed to socialization and others that can seem scarier, what most defines their personality are their experiences. Bad experiences, as well as no experiences or bad socialization at an early age, can make a dog especially fearful or distrustful. To help you solve this problem, we have prepared a series of recommendations that may be of great use to you.
If we must earn a dog's trust, it is basically because he mistrusts us. And to convince him that we are not a threat to him, the best thing is that he does not see us as an enemy. That is why we should not scare him and that is achieved with calm and patience.
Stay Calm, be positive and Don't Be Rude
Using a positive and accepting mindset is key if we want to make sure our new friend trust us. For that, it is necessary we just use positive psychology techniques that start with us being calm, patient and in control.
Use Positive reinforcement
Every animal is conquered by the stomach. Of the three vital functions that define living beings, like relationship, nutrition and reproduction, nutrition is the one we can take advantage of the most in this case. Nutrition is a need that keeps most dogs in constant search, and if we are to earn their trust this is an asset that we can use in our favour.
You can leave food on the ground and wait, he will come to get it. Each time we will leave her closer to us and he will continue to approach until he takes her directly from our hand. This does not have to be forced, it must be done little by little to be rewarded for his effort. Thus, the animal will associate us with a very positive stimulus for it, food, and we will be able to gain the dog's trust.
Likewise, a part of his daily food ration can be reserved to give it directly between our games.
Take advantage of their innate curiosity
Dogs are very curious, they love to explore and discover new things. It is easy to recognize this quality in our pets when we have a new toy or someone comes home, as they are the first to gossip to see what happens.
We can also use this quality to our advantage to gain the trust of a dog. If we want the dog to come closer to us, we have to draw his attention and we can do it with a ball, for example.
Starting from the point that our dog is shy or may have had some bad experience, he will not want to play with us initially. If we play with the ball near him, he will not be able to resist coming and participating over time.
To facilitate the participation of the animal, it is very positive to lower ourselves to the height of the dog. That means to sit on the ground. In this way, we are not so big and threatening and it will be easier for him to look us in the face to interpret our expression.
Do not forget that this process will not give you immediate results, and we have to build up in small steps, so do not despair and lash out if you don´t perceive your dog coming immediately.
Regular walks and routines
The natural biorhythm affects all living beings and the fact of maintaining a stable routine with meals and walks at the same times, favours that the biorhythms are regulated. This simple habit will cause our distrustful friend to internalize habits to which his body becomes accustomed. With this, we will achieve that at the time of going out to him he already feels like it and then he will feel rewarded.
On the other hand, by maintaining the routine he will be able to anticipate and feel in control. The fact of going out at the times that his body needs to go out and eat at the times that his body asks for will reduce his anxiety because he has an essential part of his life organized.
Once again, we see how not to force the dog and opting for positive reinforcement is the key to gaining the dog's trust and, little by little, establishing a stronger bond. With positive reinforcement we not only refer to sweets or food but also to the fact of going out for a walk, playing or giving a simple stroke.
We must not hug him.
The hugs that for us show so much love for them are great repression because they feel that they cannot move, it is a strong invasion of their vital space. For us to put ourselves in their shoes, it is as if we have a straitjacket.
Play often to keep your relationship strong
Playing is one of the things that most unites and reinforces dog-human relationships. There is nothing written about games and each person develops their tricks with their dog. Learning new tricks keeps our dog's brain active and strongly reinforces his self-esteem.
That said, we hope these tips have been useful to you, remember that the most important thing to gain the trust of a dog is not to seem like a threat to him. To do this, it is best to be patient and spend many hours in his company.
Playing slow games with him that does not generate excitement to encourage him to come to us and not force us to approach is key. If we are at home or controlled territories, we must let him free and not grab him by the collar so as not to restrict his escape. Thus he will see that he can flee if he needs to and will progressively stop doing so.
You may also be interested in these tips on when to take my dog to the vet for the first time and things to be considered.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dace Lace is Co-Founder of petfoodsite.com. She is an advocate of dogs and cats and an expert on nutrition