How To Help Win The Trust of a Formerly Abused Dog

Sonoma-Marin Fair Host Annual Ugliest Dog Contest

So you have decided to adopt a dog, and you and your family have decided to give a formerly abused dog a chance. Not only is that brave of you, but that is amazing of you, and says much about your character. The thing is, you are unsure of just what you need to do differently, and are nervous about it. That is fine and completely understandable. Allow us to tell you the best way to integrate a formerly abused dog in to your home and family. It only takes a little extra work, and as you know when a dog reciprocates love, it is well worth the work.

First thing you need to understand is, that dog was abused by someone who looked like you (in other words, human), so you need to assert that you are meaning the dog no harm at all. This means approaching the dog with soft, calmed tones and a gentle demeanor for the first few months you have it around the house. Try to limit anything that will remind the dog of what it went through. In other words, don’t walk around yelling and kicking things. That will only work to upset the dog more and never allow it to truly trust you.

Basically, it is now your job to let this dog know it is safe, loved, and out of the environment it was in. Do not force affection on the dog, but let it know it is there if it needs any. The reality is, you mostly need to give it time. Time to get over what happened to it, and time to slowly warm up and realize you are the ones who saved it. Make sure you have the patience that the dog deserves, and give it time, and you will see. The dog will turn around in no time.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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