Gaining the trust of your pet represents the cornerstone of a loving relationship. Without trust, there’s no real bond. Without that bond, you will have a fearful pet. This can become especially important with rescue animals, strays, or adoptees.
Here’s five simple ways you can earn your pet’s trust.
1. Don’t Force It, Let Your Pet Have Its Space
Most pets will want to do things in their own way. Give your pets the space they need. For example, many people practically attack their new dogs with affection. This can make the dog skittish and fearful. Instead, it’s better to let your pet explore their own space first.
This will give your pet time to adjust, and become accustomed to their new surroundings. They will explore and come to feel safe where they’re at. As you’re also a part of the new surroundings, you must allow them to come to you. Your constant presence will draw them out.
2. Get the Right Training
If your pet is a dog, it’s pivotal that you get the correct training for it. Many people will take their dog to the first training group they can find, without really thinking about what their dog actually needs. In order to do this effectively, you should first look at getting a couple of consultations with a dog behaviourist to assess your pet. A behaviourist will understand the areas in which your dog needs help and then advise you on what training is needed. This is something you really should be rushing.
3. Make Sure You’re Present
A lot of this may sound like you should just leave your new pet alone and to its own devices. That’s not what you should do.
Yes, you should respect your new pet’s space, and let it come to you. However, you should remain present during this process. Your new pet needs to see you, familiarise itself with you, and know you’re someone they can expect to remain in their daily lives.
There’s also the metaphorical meaning of “present.” You will have to be there for your pet, and your pet will come to understand that. This means when you’re paying attention to your pet, it’s not distracted, or annoyed attention.
Your pet represents a commitment. So, you should treat that commitment very seriously. Animals of all types can sense when you’re all about them, and when you’re not.
4. Approach Your Pet in a Non-Confrontational Way, Get on Their Level
When you do approach your pet, do it at the pet’s level. With a dog, you will want to approach low and from the side, not the front. You should face the same direction the animal faces, rather than eye-to-eye.
Even if you’re not sure how to approach your pet, pay attention to their body language. They will let you know, one way or another, if they find your approach distressful or welcome.
5. Remain Calm, Relaxed, and Patient
While your pet explores and figures out their new reality, you should remain calm and patient with them. You don’t want to stress the dog with surprise excitement or outbursts. If you have children in the home, let them know to restrain themselves, at least at first.
In addition, you should also strive to stay kind, no matter what happens. A new pet doesn’t understand the rules just yet. You can bring home a new dog, and that dog will want to test its boundaries. It can result in annoyances, or property damage. Quell your urge to shout, or do anything out of anger. Stay calm. Stay patient.