3 Ways to Gain a Dog's Trust

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3 Ways to Gain a Dog's Trust
3 Ways to Gain a Dog's Trust

Canine socialization is different from that between human beings. When dogs meet, they shake hands and shake hands very distinctly. If you're meeting a dog for the first time, you need to gain their trust with canine language, not human language. If you are trying to gain the trust of a new puppy or adult dog, you should also use some techniques that will allow them to see you as a friend and teacher rather than a threat.


Method 1 of 3: Gaining the Dog's Initial Trust

Gain a Dog's Trust Step 1

Step 1. Keep calm when meeting the dog for the first time

If you're interacting with him or meeting him for the first time, avoid the temptation to approach him with a lot of excitement. Instead, be calm and have relaxed energy during the encounter. Act calmly and greet him cautiously.

Excitement can affect the dog and lead to a more aggressive greeting, jumping at you or barking. This can also trigger the survival instinct, as a stranger approaching with such energy may appear to be a threat

Gain a Dog's Trust Step 2

Step 2. Keep your distance

Respect the dog's space by talking first to its human owner. At first, ignore the dog and avoid getting too close. You should keep at least 1.5 m away, giving the owner enough time to allow more interaction with the animal.

Gain a Dog's Trust Step 3

Step 3. Go down to dog level

Ask the owner if you can interact with the dog. If the answer is yes, approach from the side, never from the front. Kneel next to the dog, looking in the same direction the dog is facing. This will show the animal that you are occupying its personal space, but without inciting any conflict.

At first, do not make eye contact and keep your hand low with a clenched fist

Gain a Dog's Trust Step 4

Step 4. Let the dog come closer

Instead of bringing your hand closer, let it react by freely sniffing it. If he remains calm, you can stroke the animal's chest. Do not touch any strange dog from above or on the head.

If the dog licks your hand, it indicates that he has accepted you. However, if he turns his head or doesn't pay attention to you, that's a sign that he's not interested in interacting. Avoid taking it personally. Instead, talk to the owner again and try again the next time you see the dog

Gain a Dog's Trust Step 5

Step 5. Use a treat

If you're trying to gain a dog's trust as an owner, you can integrate treats into the process by letting him walk over and eat one of them out of your hand. When he gets the treat, say "good dog". After a few sessions, he might start touching your hand before he even picks up the treat. When that happens, you can try stroking him on his chest and under his muzzle.

It can take a while to gain a dog's trust, and the more you meet and interact with him, the more likely he will come to trust you. Advance slowly, from the treat to the caresses, to prevent him from getting scared. When he lets you pet him, it indicates that the bonds of trust have already started to appear

Method 2 of 3: Using Obedience Training

Gain a Dog's Trust Step 6

Step 1. Find out if the dog is afraid of someone and have him spend time with that person

Dogs can appear shy or show fear around some individuals, such as the men in the house or a specific person in the household. If you observe fear and distrust of someone, think about why this occurs. Perhaps the person exhibited threatening behavior, such as making a lot of noise, using a loud voice when talking to the dog, or being aggressive in their play.

  • The dog may also have a favorite, or "safe" person with whom he prefers to be in the house. When the feared person enters the room, he may move closer to that safe person. It is important for the dog to learn to trust and safely interact with this individual. Do this by putting him to feed the dog, walking him and doing obedience training. This will help the animal associate positive things with the feared person and build trust in him.
  • If you are the dog's safe person, try to ignore him when he comes and clings. Encourage him to interact with the feared person so he knows it's important to learn to trust. As a result, this will help you to trust people other than the safe person.
  • The feared person should follow the same techniques on the first date to build trust with the dog. In other words, act calmly, not make eye contact, let the animal sniff you, and use treats to encourage interaction.
Gain a Dog's Trust Step 7

Step 2. Teach the dog basic commands

Start obedience training slowly, teaching basic commands such as "sit", "stay", and "come". Adjust posture and body language so he learns to interpret what he sees and can respond appropriately to orders given.

  • If there is someone the dog fears in the house, ask him to do obedience training.
  • Always stand when giving an order. Don't get used to sitting or crouching on the floor, or the animal will learn to respond only when you are in that position.
  • Make him recognize the order as an incentive, not the treats. If you keep them in your pocket, keep your hands away from them while ordering. This will teach the dog to react to commands and not them.
  • Train him by giving basic commands in different rooms of the house and when walking with him. This will teach you to follow orders anywhere, not just a room or part of the house.
  • Continue to move to other rooms in the house and backyard during teaching. Maintain a constant training routine and give your dog orders during daily walks so that he learns to follow you in different environments and situations.
Gain a Dog's Trust Step 8

Step 3. Reward good behavior, but don't use treats as a bribe

Don't overdo the rewards and treats, or they can give the dog the wrong impression. Avoid letting this happen, using them only when he understands what you are asking.

For example, instruct the dog to "sit down" and wait two or three seconds for him to obey. Keep the treat in your pocket and keep your hands out of it, preventing the animal from seeing your intention to reward you before carrying out the order. After he sits down, put your hand in your pocket and give the treat. This teaches you to only follow verbal orders, rather than leaving you motivated solely by reward

Gain a Dog's Trust Step 9

Step 4. Avoid physical punishment

Although there is controversy regarding the use of force in canine training, behavioral experts claim that the use of physical punishment can frighten and traumatize the animal. As a result, this could lead to greater distrust and aggression on his part. A better long-term solution would be to use positive, reward-based training that focuses on subtle methods to gain your dog's trust.

  • Start by earning your puppy's trust through gentle interactions and positive reinforcement during basic obedience training. It will then be possible to develop that confidence by encouraging good behavior with verbal praise.
  • If he does something wrong or doesn't follow an order, say "no" or "ah-ah-ah" clearly and gently. You can also ignore it and try the command again at another time. Avoid hitting, yelling, or scolding your dog, or pulling on the leash to correct him.
  • For example, instead of pulling on the chain when he starts barking nervously on a walk, ignore him. Next, give a command to redirect the dog's attention to you. As soon as he stops barking, praise him and give him a reward for his silence. This will teach you that nervous barking is not an effective fear response. Instead, he will learn to look to you to allay his fears.
Gain a Dog's Trust Step 10

Step 5. Put him in professional obedience training

Once he's comfortable with basic obedience commands, he can be ready for formal training. It is important to establish trust between you and your dog before enrolling him in professional training to help him interact with other handlers and dogs confidently and without fear.

Method 3 of 3: Interacting with the Dog Everyday

Gain a Dog's Trust Step 11

Step 1. Take it for a walk when you need to shop

If the dog acts suspiciously or shyly around other people, try to get him used to such presence whenever possible. In other words, take it to the store or shop with it. Try to introduce him to as many people and dogs as possible. This will get him used to socializing and will give you a measure of control as he will be on a leash and will always be around.

  • It is important that when interacting with other people, they follow the non-aggressive rules of introducing themselves. You should be in control of every interaction so that he doesn't feel scared or threatened.
  • Never force him to interact with another person or dog. Let him sniff you on his own and never approach you if he is uncomfortable or indifferent.
Gain a Dog's Trust Step 12

Step 2. Be calm and moderate in your daily walks

Avoid being tense or anxious when walking your dog, as this can influence him to act in the same way. Stay relaxed throughout the walk and keep him close.

  • Use basic obedience training to discourage you from barking or acting aggressively around others. Avoid pulling the collar or tensing up near the dog. If someone approaches too quickly or gets too close, ask them to move away. Politely say, "Please step back, thank you; I'm still training some things with my dog."
  • Always reward him for good behavior on a walk and speak calmly to give orders or call him. If the dog shows fear or distrust around other people, avoid pampering or comforting him. Just order him to move away from the source of fear. The act of pampering or comforting the dog will show her that she will always receive your attention when she is afraid or uncomfortable, which can reinforce the fearful behavior.
Gain a Dog's Trust Step 13

Step 3. Bathe the dog regularly

Give him individualized attention with a consistent care schedule. You can brush it for half an hour every night before bed or rub your belly a lot in the morning before work. Show affection for your animal by caring for and petting it, and it will see you as a source of positivity and recognition.

Gain a Dog's Trust Step 14

Step 4. Play non-conflictual play

Use games to build confidence in your dog in a way that isn't threatening or aggressive. It could be a catch game, in which you would start by crawling on the floor and rolling to interest him in the activity. Then encourage him to follow you around the room. This is a form of light play that will also teach you to follow him and see him as a guide.

Then move on to a game of hide and seek, ordering him to "sit down" and hiding in a prominent place in the room. Next, you will tell him "come" and he must leave where he was and meet you there

Gain a Dog's Trust Step 15

Step 5. Join a dog play group

Once you've had fun with some games and the dog is more comfortable following basic commands, socialize him by joining a dog play group or taking him out to play with other dogs. Look for dog date groups in your area or talk to other owners at the park to find out if you can arrange a date, especially if your dog feels more comfortable around another particular dog.

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