Respect Before Trust with your Dog
Respect Before Trust
Why respect before trust with a dog? This seems to go against what a lot of people are putting out there. A lot of trainers out there talk about building a relationship with the dog first before anything. They talk about building trust first, becoming friends with the dog first, and establishing some sort of common ground first before you gain their trust.
Trying to be friends with a dog that is uncomfortable with you, trying to be soft with a dog that is not in a good mental state is actually a really dangerous proposition. This is actually a great way to have the dog set rules, boundaries, and accountability for you, where you should be the one setting the rules and boundaries! This is a great way for you to potentially get injured and you can also keep the dog in a space where they are unable to process, or develop, or learn because they're in such a heightened state.
Set the Rules, Boundaries, and Accountability with Your Dog
You have to create enough respect first to get your dog to prioritize what your'e looking for. Respect is the initial and trust is the natural byproduct of a healthy situation, a healthy dynamic.
I can meet any dog and instantly start training that dog to get results relatively fast, without having ever met the dog, and without any sort of relationship with the dog. You build the respect by making the first move. You have to be the one to set the rules, boundaries, and accountability for the dog. If you do not take this responsibility to do so then your dog will actually set the rules, boundaries, and limitations for you. This is highly counterintuitive especially when it comes to training a dog. You can't be soft and sweet to a dog that has serious issues. You have to be the anchor for the dog and take the lead. As the leader you make the rules, you set the boundaries, you reinforce accountability. After all of this is in place then, yes that beautiful trust between you and your dog will begin to develop.