Teaching An Abused Dog to Trust

Hate when this happens? Do something about it!


"Does not the gratitude of the dog put to shame any man who is ungrateful to his benefactors?" - Saint Basil



Someday you may come across a dog that has been abused at one time in his life. These dogs are tough to deal with as the ordinary things we do causes them nervousness and fear. You can, however, boost your chances of teaching an abused dog to entrust you with a few simple changes in approach and a lot of patience.

When interacting with this dog, bend downward to appear less threatening. When speaking to him, keep your voice soothing and cheerful. A loud or frustrated tone will cause him to fear. Call him to you and don’t approach him. If he makes an effort to obey, praise him. Don’t pause for him to obey fully. Bear in mind, he might be used to getting hit when he approaches someone.

Once you do get to pet this dog, steer clear of his head. Hold your hand palm up as your hand approaches him and gently rub underneath his chin or on his chest. Rubbing either spot tends to calm a dog. If he moves to step backward, then let him retreat. In time, he will hang about longer.

When a dog is uneasy or scared, he will frequently wet the floor reluctantly. If this should happen, it is crucial not to allow your frustration to show. It is not an intentional attempt at disobeying and will likely disappear as he gains trust in you.

Hold any sessions brief, with just a few minutes of actual touch each time. You can slowly but surely increase the time as his confidence grows. Often, just sitting quietly and waiting for him to come up to you will make him feel comfortable. Try that if your initial attempts fail.

A once abused dog can be as innocent, trusting and loving as any other. All it takes is patience on the part of those in his life. A crouching stance, subdued voice and appropriate stroke will win him over in due course.


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