It can feel so heartbreaking when you’re with a dog who is scared. You know you would never cause her harm, but she doesn’t. And what might work for us humans – eye contact, or a touch, for example – isn’t necessarily what will work for dogs.
So how do we gain a dog’s trust? What if they were abused? What if they have aggressive tendencies? Will it even be possible?
I offer an emphatic yes, BUT, you need to be patient. Earning trust can take lots of time. It might be hours, days, or even months. But it’s worth it when your best friend decides that you are HER best friend as well.
Kayla Fratt has written an incredibly useful article for how to get a scared dog to trust us.
She provides tips and games, and gives us explanations for why certain things will likely work while others just won’t. She also offers gentle advice with zero judgement for when we make mistakes.
Kayla’s article begins with scared dogs, moves on to previously abused pups, and finally to dogs with aggressive behaviors.
Did you know that direct eye contact is not a good decision when gaining trust?
In many human cultures, it’s polite to meet someone’s eyes. But for most other animals, eye contact (especially if it’s sustained) is a threat.
Or that talking a lot can actually cause your dog to feel more anxious, and perhaps sitting silently is the better option?
Rather than talking, just stay quiet and use your body language to show you’re not a threat.
Click on Kayla’s article to learn how you can earn the trust of your fearful dog and help it become a more confident, happy pooch.