A stray dog is likely to dart away when you come near, or stand its ground and growl. How can you encourage a stray or newly adopted dog to trust you when building a relationship? Here, 5 tips for gaining the trust of a newly adopted dog will be discussed.
Give the Dog Space
First and foremost, it is important to respect your new dog’s space. Many dogs – especially timid ones – do not like to have their space invaded. Keep your distance and allow the dog to come to you, whenever he or she is ready. While it is tempting to shower your new dog with affection, doing so may make a scared or timid animal even more uncomfortable.
Respect Meal Time
A stray dog has likely gone hungry at least once. Do not make your new dog more nervous by crowding him or her at meal time. If you have other dogs or children in the house, it may be wise to feed the new dog in a separate room to make him or her feel safe, as well as to avoid the possibility of resource guarding.
Move Slowly with Training
A timid dog should not be forced into too much training at once. Move slowly, working on only one basic skill at a time. If your dog is hesitant to learn, take a step back and try again when your new pet is more comfortable.
All dogs prefer consistency and routine, especially those that are adjusting to a new environment. When talking to a stray or newly adopted dog, be as consistent and calm as possible. Talk in a tone of voice that is both low and slow, and avoid high pitched yelling. When bringing a timid dog into your house, try to maintain peace and quiet.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Above all, use positive reinforcement when gaining the trust of an animal. Give your dog plenty of high-value treats and calm praise. Avoid punishing your dog for any mistakes that are made within the house, especially in the first few weeks when the dog is still adjusting to your home. Your dog should feel safe always, and free from any type of emotional or physical pain.
Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.