At Bark Busters Brevard County, I want you to have a great relationship with your dog based on trust, respect and love. Love is the easy part – dogs love us and we love our dogs. However, just as important as love is respect and trust. As the leader of the pack, your dog has to know he can trust you to protect him in any given situation. If not, he will try and take control. You are your dog’s advocate and defender.
Dogs are usually trusting animals by nature. As responsible pet parents, we have opportunities, when they live with us, to either build even more trust with them or damage that trust.
We can build more trust by learning to speak dog, by taking the time to educate our dogs and by never forcing but showing and guiding.
I was walking my neighbor’s pitbull puppy “Mini” around the block one day. Some kids had built a ramp for jumping their bikes. It had never been there before, and my dog had no idea what it was. I tried to encourage him up it, but he veered around it. We circled around and tried again. He had the same reaction and wouldn’t put a foot on it. So, I walked up the ramp. He followed me up and over. He trusted me, and I showed him it was ok by walking up it myself. He never hesitated to walk up it again if we found it was in our path.
I took my dog to a self serve dog wash. They had big tubs installed about four feet up off the floor. There was a narrow set of stairs leading up to the tub. The attendant gave me a puzzled look when I asked if the tub would support me but said it should. My dog weighed about 80 pounds. I climbed the steps and encouraged him to follow me, which he did. I climbed in the tub and he happily followed. I did get out of the tub to bath her, and he climbed out and down the stairs on his own when we were done.
I watched other people come. They were picking up their dogs and putting them in the tubs. Almost every one of the dogs showed signs of being nervous or afraid.
I often step in between my dog and whatever is frightening him, especially those scary tykes along our walk who want to tug on his ears or ride him. It’s my way of saying to him “I got this bud, don’t worry”.
Building trust with our dogs takes time, as it does with people. We need to start by being trustworthy. As a Bark Busters trainer , I am an expert at helping people understand and communicate with their dogs in ways that enhance their relationships with their dogs. If you want to improve the relationship you have with your dog especially if there are some trust issues — don’t wait. Call me or email me. Whether your dog is aggressive, barks too much, has separation anxiety or sibling rivalry, I can help. Both you and your dog will be glad you did.