Trust and relationship are two factors that are still not very often mentioned in the dog world and especially within dog rescues.
Nevertheless, these two are cornerstones for any successful interaction between humans and dogs and the foundation for those who want to care for and work with dogs successfully.
“But what is Trust?”
As Dr Susan Friedman perfectly explains,
“… trust is a level of certainty that interaction will result in good outcomes and so interaction increases”
Trust is the foundation for any relationship to work positively, no matter how short or long it will be.
Without focusing on developing Trust with the dogs we interact with we fail to help them and we fail ourselves for assuming that we can help them properly without it.
As with anything that is valuable, Trust must be developed, and it must be developed with every dog we interact with from day one, no matter if we will interact with them for a short or a longer period of time. If we wish to care for them then we must develop trust with them.
By developing trust, dogs will be more ready to interact, cooperate and learn from us while we will be more capable to successfully help them.
How to Develop Trust
Developing Trust is very simple… it is only about Positive Interactions!
Trust is developed through positive interactions, the more we invest in positive interactions with dogs, the bigger will be our trust accounts with them. And the bigger the trust accounts we will have with them, the more trust they will have in us and the more opportunities to improve there will be.
By focusing on developing trust with dogs, their behaviour will also improve, even without any specific training protocols.
For these reasons, we should do our best to implement trust developing techniques as early as possible with the rescued dogs we interact with while avoiding, as much as we can, experiences that may break such trust with them.
Trust equals to Relationship
Trust once developed, will create positive and meaningful relationships that will be highly successful in several areas for both humans and dogs and can be the only answer needed for behaviour problems.
Once trust is developed to a high degree, both parts will care for each other and there will be many more opportunities to cooperate and work together even if that will only happen for a short period of time.
Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro
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