5 Fundamental Tips for Gaining Your Adopted Dog’s Trust

5 Fundamental Tips for Gaining Your Adopted Dog’s Trust

Written by guest blogger Amy Nightingale

Adopting a pet is a wonderful experience. When you adopt, you give a puppy or an adult or senior dog another lease on life and a chance to live in a loving forever home. However, the initial stage of getting the dog home is not always a breeze in every situation.

A dog that comes from the pound or shelter carries with it some of the memories and emotions attached to its experience living in its previous home, however brief it may have been. It is not unusual to bring home a canine who appears scared, agitated, anti-social, or maybe even a little aggressive. The new member of your household may also have other behavioral issues.

Encouraging your new dog to settle into the new environment will be challenging, especially during the first few weeks, so you need to approach your new furry friend with lots of patience, understanding, and love. Here are a few critical tips from the animal lovers at a pet sitting service in Dubai that should help you gain your dog’s trust and make him feel that he finally has a place to call home.

1. Always stay calm

Whether you are walking towards your own dog or someone else’s dog that you meet at the park, avoid the temptation to greet the canine, particularly if it is excited. Approaching a dog in this state will lead to unwanted results, such as having it jump on you. Depending on your adopted dog’s previous interactions with people, an excited approach may trigger its fight or flight response.

Instead, stay calm while speaking slowly to your dog. If your canine approaches you, then that’s great. But if not, then respect the canine’s space. 

The same applies when approaching other people’s dogs. Keep a distance of at least four feet between you until the owner has given permission for you to approach, look at or pet the dog. 

2. Provide personal space

People often need space, and the same is true for pets. Keep in mind that for a newly adopted dog, there is much to take in and process.

You may be a wonderful person adopting a dog into your home, but this does not take away the fact that the process can be stressful for the furry little creature. Before planning to do anything fun or cool, provide your dog with a safe space.

Pick a spot in your home that is away from a lot of noise or activity. The ideal space should allow your canine to observe his surroundings while maintaining distance. Getting a dog crate is also something to consider, although dog beds and exercise pens are other potential examples. Make the space comfy by adding blankets and toys. You can readily buy pet supplies online or from the nearest local pet shop. 

Let your dog rest whenever it is in this space, and give him time. Eventually, it will start to trust you.

3. Create a routine

Dogs thrive on routines. Help your adopted dog settle and become at ease in its new environment by building and sticking to a routine. The aim is to be predictable, to give your pet an idea of what can be expected on a daily basis.

Schedule feeding times, trips to the toilet, exercise, and play at the same time every day. If the shelter has already established a routine, you can follow that as well to make the settling process easier for all parties. On the other hand, if you want to develop a new routine, begin establishing this and make sure to be consistent so he can become familiar with it sooner.

4. Observe his behavior

Watch your pet’s behavior closely, particularly during the first few months. Respond and make changes to the routine as needed. Your dog’s reaction to your movements lets you know if your pet is comfortable, agitated, or afraid, among other potential emotions.

Observe what type of reaction your move generates. Tail wagging or taking a step towards you indicates that your pet is happy.

For instance, you should allow your dog to sniff your hand before petting him. A positive reaction is if the dog sniffs your hand while staying in place. You can then pet him above the chest if this occurs.

Avoid forcing your pet to perform an action or force a positive response if he appears uncomfortable. With sheltered dogs, it may take some time before they dare to approach or even play with you. If the dog chooses to ignore you or does not show interest, try another time.

5. Provide plenty of rewards

Reward bravery or positive behavior with food or treats. You can also use toys if your new pet does not respond to food. Do this consistently and over time, your pet will learn to trust you.

Furthermore, using rewards is also a way to reinforce good behavior. As such, only use treats and toys when your pet exhibits positive behavior.

Take it slow. Relationships, whether they are with people or animals, are developed over time, and with a lot of effort. It may take months or even years of work before you can expect any positive change in how your pet sees and interacts with you.

The tips stated here can help you establish trust with your new adopted pet. Follow the tips provided, be patient, and stay consistent. In time, your shelter dog will grow to trust and love you. And soon, he will be taking walks, playing with other dogs, and feeling more comfortable spending time with other people or staying in a different place (like in a pet boarding facility such as Dogwalk in Dubai) like he’s lived with you all his life.

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