Build Trust with Your Dog
Health is not just physical, it has an emotional and psychological element. To have optimum health, it's important for a dog to feel secure and protected.
Working on building trust with a new dog
Stay calm when you greet them - While it can be tempting to greet dogs with excited energy, this can trigger a fight or flight response in some dogs. Stay calm, speak slowly, and display stable energy during your greeting.
Give them space - Use the rule "no touch, no eye contact" and leave a few feet between yourself and the new dog before you get a sign of permission to approach.
Get on their level - Kneel down next to dogs facing the same direction as the dog so that you are entering their space in a non-confrontational way.
Approach them from the side - Instead of approaching the dog head-on from the front, approach from the side.
Let them come to you - If the dog is interested in greeting you, they may come over and sniff or like at your hand. If they continue to look away or don't give you any attention, they are just not interested in greeting you at that time. Be patient and willing to accept this, don't take it personally.
Pet their chest, not their head - Never try to touch an unfamiliar dog from above.
Building Trust on a Walk
The walk is an opportunity to lead your dog, so give them direction and show that following you is a safe and fun choice. This is also a great way to connect with a dog you are considering adopting. Assuming the role of Pack Leader on walks is one of the best ways to maintain trust with a dog.
Maintaining trust requires communication and commitment, but with consistent effort, your dog will understand that they are safe with you.