Gaining The Trust of An Adopted Dog

One way to gain the trust of an adopted dog is to speak very gently to it and to feed it treats.  This might be a good idea if you need to lure him out of a hiding place.  At first, try to speak softly to the dog while extending treats to him. Be sure to feed him a treat each time he lets you touch him.   Eventually you can start trying to get him to focus on you by hand feeding him.  

It is very important to not leave your new adopted dog alone at first. Try to be with the dog 24/7 for at least the first three weeks after you bring him home. If you are unable to do this, the dog could develop panic and anxiety.  Many adopted dogs will display panic if you leave them alone. You need to teach the adopted dog that if you do leave you will always come back.  

To get your dog used to being by himself, try leaving the house for two minutes and then re-entering and then extending the period of time until the dog stops freaking out when you leave. This helps create a trust bond between the two of you.  Another way to gain the trust of your adopted dog is to try and play with it. Few dogs can resist a good game of tug of war. Try to holding out a cloth, stick or sock while you hold the other. Many dogs like a dirty old tea towel.

Make sure that if you do choose a stick that you do not hold it in a threatening manner especially if you do not know the dog’s history.   The worst thing you could do is trigger a bad reaction in a dog that has been hit before. He could hide and you wouldn’t see him much.  

Your dog thrives on approval so the only thing you have to remember is to not give him affection after he misbehaves. However if you give a dog a good reason to behave, he will probably exceed your wildest expectations when it comes to obedience.   An adopted dog can be especially rewarding emotionally this way.  T

he best way to create a snarling, snappy disobedient dog is to continually humiliate or criticize it. This is what will sabotage his trainer faster then affection ever could.  This is especially true if the dog has been traumatized in the past.  Nothing makes a dog happier than making eye contact with you and then hearing and feeling praise and affection.

A dog may start obeying commands simply because it means he gets to spend more time with you so it is a good idea to be as affectionate with the dog as possible when it is appropriate.   Make the dog feel owned.  After your dog seems more confident and trusting of you, you can take him outside and reward him with plenty of fresh air and exercise.  Just one more thing to remember when it comes to training your adopted dog –never harshly disciplines a dog from a pound or shelter. You could get bitten.