Trust Issues

One of the first reasons for building a trusting relationship with your dog may seem the least obvious-you care about and love your dog. But, in order to lay the foundation for a good relationship with your dog, a few ground rules and the structure for that relationship must be laid out first. You will also need a heavy dose of caring about and for you dog during this process.

Whenever two people enter into a relationship, be they human or pet, the two involved in the relationship settle upon these rules and structure of this relationship based upon two factors- tolerance and temperance. Yes, even our dogs must tolerate a lot about us, and if your dog is too temperamental, it may be difficult when building a trusting relationship with your dog.

When you start building a trusting relationship with your dog, the most important things to realize is that you must establish yourself as the leader of the pack. Your family is the pack, and your dog is a member of that pack. Dogs are pack animal by nature, and will trust and respect their leader, because their leader has earned their trust and respect. So, the foundation of the relationship starts with your dog recognizing you as the leader.

The second important factor is to remember that the act of training your dog serves two purposes. One, it establishes you as the leader in the relationship and, two, it creates a bonding experience between you and your dog. This is part of the process of building a trusting relationship with your dog.

So mentioned above, for you to even be considered by your dog to be the leader, and for you to be a good and caring leader, you must earn your dog’s trust and respect. You do this by “listening” to what your dog is trying to tell you as you work through training you dog. Your dog can communicate his likes and dislikes through the sounds he makes, and the body language he produces through his actions. This will tell you what the dog is feeling so you can gauge his temperament and where his level of tolerance lies. Through this information, you will be able to make sound decisions during training of your dog that will help in building a trusting relationship with your dog.

Remember, instinctively a dog may try to step up to the plate and assume leadership of the pack if we don’t establish that role early on. If this happens, your dog may become aggressive toward other members of the family that your dog feels is overstepping his or her bounds and trying to challenge your dog’s authority. Your dog will do this corrective behavior through biting or ripping other members of your family. Therefore, it is vitally important in building a trusting relationship with your dog to let it know who the boss is from the get-go.