Updated: Mar 10
Building that new bond should be pressure free, relaxed, consistent and never overwhelming for your dog. When relationships and trust are formed, you will have the perfect foundation to build and grow! - It’s important to mention here that relationships, with dogs and people, are something that develop over time. Establishing and growing an unbreakable bond takes months, not days.
Effective communication is an important building block when developing a trusting relationship. Learning to read your dogs body language and identify when she is feeling stressed out or uncomfortable with something, allows you to become your dogs protector, guardian and friend. Understanding what your dog is trying to communicate to you and acting upon that in a positive manner which makes the dog feel safe and comforted, will start to solidify that relationship between you.
Another important aspect in building trust, is learning what your dog loves to do, and do more of it! Remember that every dog is different, their genetics, their history and past learning experiences all play a part in developing the dog which you see before you. Try
out different things, what your dog finds enjoyment in might not necessarily be what you consider fun or what other dogs you’ve met or lived with found fun. Be the provider of those fun activities and get involved if they you want you to be. Its vital in these early days that you are present with your dog without being invasive of their personal space. By working together as a team with your dog, and respecting their need for space in the first few days or weeks, you will soon see that trust begin to grow.
New rescue dogs thrive on consistency and predictably, especially when they are anxious or uneasy with the new environment and all the changes which accompany it. Predictability provides your dog with consistency about when to expect feeding times, rest & bedtimes, social interactions, outdoor activities and so forth, and also, when to expect being alone, and times of self-entertainment. In the same way, when the consequences of a dog’s actions lead to inconsistent responses from the owners, the dog may become confused, conflicted or anxious because she can’t predict the outcome. When we fail to meet the needs of our dogs, or the daily routine is unpredictable, dogs can become anxious and distressed which can quickly lead to trigger stacking and escalation.
It's useful to sit down with a planner or calendar and write out your dogs schedule, Include waking up time, toilet time, feeding time, walking time, rest times, play times etc. Discover what works best for you and your dog, and try your best to stick as close to it as you can.
Positive learning is essential in order to build a long term, trusting relationship. Training and having control of our dogs is important, but how we reach that end goal is equally as important! Whilst there will always be times where we need to say no to our dogs, learning should always be a positive experience. It should be rewarding and it should build the dogs confidence not only in herself, but in you!
If you'd like to find out more about building trust with your rescue dog then check out my online self-paced course by following this link :
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