A Dog's Safe Place
It’s not always necessarily true, but generally most dogs are food motivated. Therefor food can be a really good way to get a dog to like you and eventually even perhaps love you. But to gain a dog’s trust, it a whole new ball game (see what I did there?).
Sadly, it’s not always that obvious to everyone, how do you know your dog trusts you? To know for sure, you generally have to look at the dog’s behaviour during a crisis, but then if your dog is in a crisis you are probably in one too, and noticing your dog’s body language might be tricky. Sometime the dog’s cry for help may also look like naughtiness too, so confusing.
If your dog feels threaten when on the lead for example, does he turn back to you, or does he pull away from you, barks or even lunges? Does he demonstrate any signs of stress mentioned in this video?
Trust doesn’t have anything to do with love. Trust however, is built on past behaviours, and the way we reacted towards our dogs, especially when they were frightened.
So how do we become our dogs' safe place I hear you ask?
• Never push your dog into new and stressful situation, and always make sure your dog is and feel safe.
• Socialisation is about training your dog to remain calm and polite is ALL situations. Not playing and taking risks with other dogs.
• Do not tease your dog.
• “Stanger Danger” works for dogs too. When on the lead you do not have to approach other dogs. Especially dogs you don’t know.
• Become fluent in dog body language and act appropriately when you see them on your dog or others around him.
• Always praise your dog for coming back to you, even if it took him 20 minutes. If he doesn’t come back to you, ask yourself why?
• Don't scold your dog, EVER! Or I will look for you, I will find you… (only joking).
• Don't force him to "socialise. Trust your dog's instincts. Remember, calm and polite.
• Training and engaging with your puppy or dog will help you create strong channels of communication. These will enable your dog to tell you when he needs your help. Remember that collaboration is the first step towards trust.