How to get an abused dog to trust you?
A dog is a man’s best friend. They shower unconditional love and affection to their owners. Being the best cuddle partners, these cute little paws of fur can fill your heart and home with warmth and love. If you are planning to rescue a canine companion instead of buying one then visit a local shelter. Sadly, many of the dogs at the shelter have survived either abuse or ill-treatment from their previous owners. Keeping this in mind, building trust with your dog can be a hard job. However, it is not impossible to do so. You just need to be patient and show immense love to your new pet. There is nothing better than rescuing a dog and giving them the love and care that they truly deserve. Moreover, one act of kindness can change the entire life of a dog. Watch this beautiful video on how to gain a dog’s trust?
There are several ways to build trust with an abused dog. I have mentioned some of them below. Try them with your pet and embark on a journey that can be a life-changing experience for both of you.
Methods to build trust with an abused dog
1) Counter conditioning method
This method is helpful for those dogs who have specific fears. The method involves exposing the dog to the things that give him stress in a comfortable environment. You can do this by keeping something he loves next to the thing that makes him anxious.
First and foremost, you must identify the thing that stresses your dog. Through observation, you can find out the source of his anxiety. The stressor could be a cycle, stair, spray, stick, etc.
ii) Face the fear
Place his favorite toy or food next to the thing he fears. Expose him to his fear in a controlled environment. Don’t push him or force him, instead let him take small steps towards it.
iii) Reward him
Give him a treat and encourage him to do the act again.
iv) Keep going
Repeat this method till he gets comfortable with that particular thing that stresses him.
2) Interactive method
This method is helpful for those dog owners and dogs who have a hard time getting comfortable with each other.
i) Select a place
In a quiet and clean room, place a chair, bowls with water and food, and toys. Select a place where you and your dog can spend time and interact.
ii) Interactive session
Play with your dog or train him. You can teach various tricks and exercises to your dog. In short, just spend a good time with your dog for few hours.
You can give him his favorite treat from time to time and reward him for good actions.
iv) Keep going
You must repeat this method till he gets comfortable with you.
3) Clicker training method
Train your dog through simple commands. When you will do clicker training with your dog, he will start obeying you. Hence this method is best for those dog owners who wish to build a closer relationship with their dog.
Before you start practicing this method, ensure that you are well-prepared. Therefore, search for articles and videos from experts and dog trainers on clicker training techniques. Learn as much as you can about this technique. Moreover, buy treats and a clicker.
Click the clicker whenever your dog will show good behavior and give him a treat. Practice the techniques that you have read and learned.
iii) Praise & Encourage
Whenever he does the right act and he responds well to the technique, reward him with a treat. After hitting the clicker, give him a treat so that he can relate the clicker with the treat.
iv) Keep going
Repeat this method every day. Furthermore, have a fun time with your dog.
1) Most importantly give your dog his favorite food and feed him properly.
2) Make sure you place a dog collar around your dog’s neck that is lightweight and don’t forget to add a name tag.
3) Make a comfortable space for your dog. Moreover, add a crate or bed along with pillows.
4) Get healthy treats to reward your dog from time to time.
5) Show constant love and compassion to your dog. Pet him delicately and play with him.
6) Help him socialize with other dogs, however, be cautious while doing so.
7) Train your dog and give him rewards when he does something right.
8) Most importantly, don’t punish him. Also, reward instead of punishing him.
Finally, now that you know the best methods to treat an abused dog and get him to trust you, try them out. Especially, be an angel for a dog in need. Build a strong relationship with your dog and make them feel special. In addition, show them that you are trustworthy.
Either the dog may instantly begin to trust you or he may take some time. While some dogs can forget their past easily, others may face a lot of difficulty in overcoming their past horrific memories. Whatever the case may be, be persistent in helping him get over his past fears and harrowing memories. Furthermore, transform his life and he will do the same for you.