10 Ways to Earn a Dog’s Trust

  • by Andrea Nunez
10 Ways to Earn a Dog’s Trust

Earning trust with your new dog isn’t something that can happen overnight, it is a process that requires consistency and patience. Here are ten ways you can earn a dog’s trust in order to make them feel comfortable and loved in their new home.

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1.   Learn their Body Language

The first thing to note about building trust with your new dog is learning their body language. It’s important that you can observe when your dog is happy, sad, scared, anxious or excited so that you can respond appropriately.

Happy dogs will have a relaxed body and will be wagging their tail back and forth, while anxious dogs may appear more tense, with their tail tucked between their legs.

2.   Observe when they are Afraid

Dogs may growl, tremble, whine and lick their lips when they are afraid, appearing stiff or ‘frozen’ with their ears flat. Take the time to learn your dog’s behavioural patterns when they are scared so that you can intervene quickly to calm them down or ‘protect’ them.

3.   ‘Protect’ them

If you notice that your dog is anxious or scared because of something, position yourself in between the dog and the animal or object that is frightening them. This might be another dog in the park or even a noisy toddler!

4.   Don’t Rush them

When you’re trying to earn a dog’s trust, make sure you don’t rush them in their training until they are comfortable being around you. It takes time and patience to earn the trust of a dog, and if you force them into doing things this can hinder the process.

5.   Give them Space

In addition to this, make sure you are always respecting your new dog’s space. It can be tempting shower you dog with overwhelming love and affection, but this may not be the best cause of action, especially if your dog is particularly shy or scares easily.

6.   Avoid Long-Lasting Eye Contact

Staring at your dog can make them feel threatened or challenged, so it’s important that you regularly break eye contact with your dog so that they feel more comfortable in their environment.

7.   Let them Come to You

Reward your new dog when they come to you of their own accord, and don’t pet them for too long if they appear scared or anxious around you.

8.   Training your Dog

Teaching your new dog some tricks is a very simple and effective way to build trust with them. Develop a consistent style of speaking to them when you say command words like ‘sit’, ‘paw’ or ‘lie down’. Positive reinforcement when they do the right action is a great way of earning a dog’s trust. Be sure to be consisted when training a dog, and don’t make things too complicated too quickly!

Learn more about positive reinforcement training for dogs.

9.   Practise Recall

As you begin to earn a dog’s trust, you may find they naturally have a better recall. Calling your dog while you’re out on a walk is a great way of training a dog and establishing a bond with them, and plenty of positive reinforcement will help to build trust, as well as keep your dog safe in the future.

10. Play with Them

Most dogs love to play, and so playing with them with sustainable and vegan pet toys is a great way to build a relationship with them and earn their trust. Its also a great opportunity to learn which toys they get most excited about, so they you can use them as a reward for training.

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