Have realistic expectations when trying to get your dog to love and trust you
“I’ve had my dog for three entire days, yet I don’t love him and he doesn’t love me. What am I doing wrong?” I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this comment from disheartened new dog owners. If you want to get your dog to love and trust you, read on.
It Takes Time To Get Your Dog To Love And Trust You
You are not doing anything wrong. Much ado is made over the idea that dogs love and appreciate their adopters, they simply LIVE to satisfy their masters, and so forth. So, you can be forgiven for thinking that just by bringing your new dog home you have a new best friend It doesn’t work that way in real life.
You adopted a conscious being. You didn’t stroll into the Unconditional Love Store and get a container of Instant Grateful Rescued Dog (New-and-Improved with Added Respect and Adoration!).
It Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Emotional connections, with dogs or humans, are something you create after some time. Developing an unbreakable bond involves months and years, not days.
You Must Give Him His Very Own Space To Get Your Dog to Love and Trust You
Being embraced by a virtual stranger can be a very unsettling experience for a dog. Before you can expect him to enjoy a hug or to cuddle up next to you, he should feel safe. It takes time to get your dog to love and trust you.
A simple way to encourage him to feel safe is to give him his very own place. Somewhere he can simply go to be alone. Select a spot that is out of the way, yet where he can still observe the action of the house. A corner of the family room would be perfect.
A crate is the best alternative for most dogs; however, you can also use a dog bed or an activity pen. Include blankets and chew toys. If he chooses to go there on his own, respect his space and do not allow other animals or children to disturb his peace.
Be your dog’s defender
We typically think of dogs defending us and they often do so. However, in reality, they need our assurance much more often than we need their defense. There may be times when they need your support and protection as well.
Many people will want to meet and interact with your new canine companion. If she happens to love meeting new individuals, that is fine. Yet, on the off chance that she is not so inclined, it is best to advise individuals not to approach her.
Do not allow strangers to approach your dog when the time or place is not right. Prevent children from pulling on his ears or tail. Certainly do not allow them to try to ride your large breed dogs like a pony. Prevent anyone from teasing him or taking his toys from him.
Comfort your dog when he is apprehensive or anxious in any way. It is hard to get your dog to love and trust you if they are full of fear or anxiety.
One of the most potentially damaging myths is that you should never comfort a frightened dog. Some people believe that this reinforces the fear. This is not necessarily true.
Acting or speaking to them in a way that makes you sound fearful does reinforce that fear. However, comforting them in a way that says “I am o.k.and you are o.k., too” does not.
Recognize what your dog loves and build that into your times together
As you become more acquainted with your dog, you will begin to discover the things that make her happy. Use those things to build upon.
If your dog is enthusiastic about pursuing Frisbees, use them in your playtime frequently. However, if his favorite pastime is digging up your yard or chasing the neighbors’ cat, you will need to be inventive.
Make a sandbox for your digger. Play tug-of-war, assemble a tease post or play Frisbee with your feline chaser. With a little creativity, many irritating conduct issues end up being a source of great fun for both of you.
Tune in to what your dog is trying to tell you
People have a tendency to get all upset and, sometimes, even outraged when their dogs refuse to obey. Why do you think that this is the case? That is to say, should you request a human companion to do something, and she says no, do you become furious?
Do you take it as an individual affront and believe that she’s attempting to rule you? No. You try to understand why she feels that way. Perhaps shes not feeling great. Maybe she is preoccupied. Possibly, she doesn’t comprehend what you are asking her to do.
Why Our Dogs Tell Us “No”
The next time your dog says,” No, I cannot do that”, try to understand why. Something about the circumstance may be startling. Perhaps he didn’t even hear you.
Understanding your dog’s refusal to obey a specific command will help you understand his personality much better. This can often allow to better understand his likes and dislikes as well as his fears.
This does not mean that we do not want our dogs to follow our commands. There are times it could save his life. If he does not come when called and keeps chasing a ball into the street, he could be killed. But, understanding his reasons for not doing as you ask can help you overcome this problem.
Give her initial access to your room, at least until the point she gets settled in.
The experience of moving into a new home is stressful for a dog, particularly a young puppy. Many experts suggest allowing the new pup to sleep in your room, perhaps, in a crate or box, for the first few nights.
For a puppy just leaving their mama, ask the breeder for a towel or other cloth that smells like Mama. In a few days, trade out that cloth when one that smells like you. If an older pup, place a towel or tee shirt that smells like you in the crate. Before long, they will feel just like a member of the family, like Drago cuddling up to Drew below.
The carrot works better than the stick.
Modern training strategies depend on setting the dog up for success and rewarding him as opposed to perpetually correcting bad behavior with punishment. Therefore, teaching/learning ends up being a pleasure, as opposed to being a task. Your dog discovers that you are fun to be with instead of feared.
Have a great time, and have fun with your dog.
I understand that training your dog is important, particularly if your new dog has some unacceptable conduct issues. In that case, there is a tendency to become a bit stern with your dog and setting an unpleasant atmosphere.
Invest some energy with Fido when you aren’t trying to teach him a lesson. Play with your dog! Keep a Frisbee or pull toy available for a mental health break between instructional courses.
Playing with your dog builds excitement and is a great segue to learning. It is also an ideal way to build a solid connection between you and your dog.
Make a connection and stay focused on your dog.
When you are working with your dog, commit 100% of your attention to her. Training sessions are not an opportunity to stress over work or worrying over what to have for supper.
Work on being genuinely present at the time. Your dog will notice when you aren’t truly there with her and, accordingly, she won’t be there with you either.
You will accomplish a lot more when you are both being attentive to one another. It will also allow you to bond more strongly in a shorter period of time.
Walk together Instead of simply taking him out. Togetherness goes a long way to get your dog to love and trust you.
Don’t just take a brisk walk to do his business or push to get in his 30 minutes of activity. Take as much time as is needed. Furthermore, remain off the telephone. Talk to him. He is a great listener.
Investigate WITH your dog. Give him a chance to stop and sniff the blossoms. Some of the time you lead the way, in some cases allow him to choose the way.
Strolling is a simple method to get to know one another. Take advantage of this time to bond with one another. Give him a special treat for no reason.
Learn to work/play together.
Participate in the old tradition of the canine-human working team. After you and your canine companion have been able to get to know each other, take up a dog game or leisure activity. Take a deftness class. Participate in a free-form competition. Enjoy playing some Frisbee dog traps. Take an obedience class.
Feed your dog.
“Oh goodness”, you say. “I had no clue I had to actually FEED my dog! “. This does not mean ensuring that your dog has sufficient nutrition. I am saying that feeding your dog needs to be a more beneficial action than simply dumping sustenance in a bowl. All things considered, the path to a dog’s heart is through his stomach.
Don’t free-feed. That is, do not leave a bowl of nourishment out for your dog to pick at whenever he so desires.
You want him to discover this food comes from you, not the magical, refilling dish in the corner. Use a portion of his food as a training reward. Hand-feed your dog every now and then. Not whole dinners, but rather perhaps a treat, two or three times a day.
They will discover that you are the supplier of nourishment. It is good for them so learn that such good things come from you.
Have great times together.
Lassie and Timmy. Jake and Finn. Old Yeller and whatever that kid’s name was. Let it be known: these are sort of dog/human connections you have long wanted. So, take your dog climbing. Take him to the dog shoreline or to the lake. Go on an excursion or outdoors trek.
It does not all have to be outdoors: Hang out at the dog section of a recreation center. Meander around a pet expo and gather all the free examples being offered.
Go to a cheap food drive-through and share an order of chicken tenders. Be spectators/participants at a nimbleness rivalry or obedience show.
The bottom line on how to get your dog to love and trust you is taking time to be with him.
Spend time together. Play together. Work together. Give him time and a place to be alone if he needs/wants it. Respect his needs. Comfort him if he is fearful. Feed him physically and emotionally. Love him and he will love you.
Photos courtesy of my photo album and Pixabay