Establishing Trust

Trust isn’t easy to come by in the human world, but dogs are pretty easy to please and they willingly offer unconditional trust and love when they feel safe and secure. A dog can be a very loyal and loving addition to any home or family. We all want our dog to trust us and we in turn want to trust them. It’s important to begin your stewardship of dog ownership by constructing a basis of safety and security from which to establish trust with your dog. This means always looking out for the best interests of your dog. There are several ways to do this; one being the comfort of their own space within your living space, another being daily routines such as play and exercise, and finally, rules and boundaries to live by within your home and family.

Establishing Trust by Establishing Living Space
A designated area for your dog to sleep and relax will foster a sense of security and they will trust that safety and freedom. Establishing your dog’s space within or outside of your home is fairly easy. Find a space that is appropriate for the size of your dog to stretch out and relax and then furnish the space with the appropriate kennel and bedding. Your dog does not need to be overloaded with bedding, blankets or toys in this space, so keep it simple and cozy. Then introduce your dog to the space and encourage them to lay down and relax in the space. Then move on to establishing a routine of when you expect your dog to reside in this living space.
You might be wondering what type of space would be best for your dog. Indoor spaces can vary from something as simple as a pillow, pad or bed on the floor in the family room, garage or any room in your home, or a crate placed in any room in your home. An outdoor space for your dog could be within the garage or yard, on a deck or balcony or a kennel, crate or dog house placed in any of these places. Another very common outdoor living space option for larger breed dogs is a dog run. Establishing your dog’s living space can even mean having a place for your dog both inside your home and outside your home. Kennels, crates and dug runs are excellent ways to establish this space for your dog.

Establishing Trust by Establishing Routines
Just like humans, dogs need an established routine. It’s important for them to eat, play, exercise and sleep at approximately the same times each day. By establishing routines that meet your dog’s basic needs, he/she will feel safe and secure in your care and they will trust that their needs will be met each day by their loving owner. The amount of time needing to be spent playing and exercising your dog each day will vary based on your dog’s age, breed and physical condition. It’s important to do a little research about your dog’s specific breed and understand what specific routines your dog will need to have established in your home. Some dogs are mixed or designer breeds and it’s important to know all of the possible traits they will bring into your family. Meal times and sleep routines will also vary by age, breed and physical condition, so be sure to gather as much information as you can about your dog before you begin establishing your daily routines.

Establishing Trust by Establishing Rules and Boundaries
In addition to having daily routines within your home for your dog, it is also important to set rule and boundaries. This begins with a set of consistent verbal commands that allows your dog to understand the boundaries and rules within the home. Teaching your dog is a very big part of your stewardship for your dog. There are many training and teaching techniques that can be used to establish rules and boundaries in your home. Again, researching your dog’s breed will be helpful in constructing a plan for teaching your dog the rules and boundaries of your home. When your dog knows those rules and boundaries through consistent training and teaching he will feel a sense of safety and security in your home and he will trust you as his owner.

When your dog sees it is cared for and his needs are met in every way, you have successfully established trust through your diligent stewardship of dog parenting.