How to Get a Scared Dog to Trust You?

How to Get a Scared Dog to Trust You

How to Get a Scared Dog to Trust You?- Most of the time, we used to go for a dog from the shelters instead of breeders. The dogs from shelters are familiar with completely different environments, and when they are brought to another place, they get scared as the ambiance becomes completely different.

Building Trust with a Scared Adopted Dog

Adopting a shelter dog is a wonderful act of kindness, but it takes time and patience for them to adjust and trust their new family. Here’s how to create a safe and loving environment for your scared furry friend:

Understanding Their Fear

  • Environment Change: Shelter life is vastly different from a home. Your dog needs time to acclimate to new sights, sounds, and routines.
  • Past Experiences: Some adopted dogs may have experienced neglect or abuse, making them wary of humans.

Steps to Build Trust

  1. Be Patient: It may take weeks or even months for your dog to feel completely secure. Don’t rush the process.

  2. Create a Safe Space: Provide a quiet, designated area for your dog to retreat to when feeling overwhelmed.

  3. Go Slow: Avoid sudden movements or loud noises. Approach your dog calmly and let them come to you.

  4. Positive Reinforcement: Offer treats and gentle praise for positive behaviors. Avoid scolding, which can heighten anxiety.

  5. Soft Touch: Start with gentle strokes under the chin or behind the ears, if your dog allows it.

  6. Body Language:

    • Avoid direct eye contact, which can be perceived as a threat.
    • Sit or crouch to appear less intimidating.
  7. Routine: Establish a predictable schedule for feeding, walks, and playtime. This builds a sense of security.

  8. Let Them Make the First Move: Don’t force interactions. Allow your dog to approach you on their own terms.

Signs Your Dog is Starting to Trust You

  • Relaxed body language (loose tail, soft eyes)
  • Approaching you without hesitation
  • Seeking your attention and affection
  • Responding to basic commands

Key Takeaways

  • Building trust with a scared dog requires patience, consistency, and positive experiences.
  • Focus on creating a safe, stress-free environment where your dog feels comfortable.
  • Every small step towards trust is a victory. Celebrate your dog’s progress!

Remember: With love, understanding, and a gentle approach, your scared dog will blossom into a confident and loving companion.

Why is it Necessary to Build Trust in a Newly Adopted Dog?

Adopted a little puppy, wondering about spending quality time with your canine, but your dog is not coming close to you.

Don’t worry. It often happens when you adopt a dog from a shelter. For the first few days, it gets scary due to the change in the ambiance.

You might have to put lots of effort into comforting the canine if you notice that the pet is extremely scared. Building trust towards you in your newly adopted canine is important

because it will encourage him to step toward you while you are also trying to build a strong bond with him. It builds a strong bond and encourages the dog to bravely face other people.

Why Do the Dogs Get Scared?

 Now we are going to discuss what makes the dogs scared in their new home so that you can take the necessary steps to make them feel comfortable. The factors which are mainly responsible for making your dog scared in their new home are discussed below.

The Changed Ambiance

In dog shelters, the dogs stay with their fellow mates, the owner used gives them food at times, and the dogs used to eat it together.

Suddenly when the dog comes to a new home after leaving their dog friends, they get scared because the previous environment they have lived in is among their dog friends, and they get shifted to a place where he was the only animal of their kind. That is why the canines get afraid when they get shifted to a new place.

The Different Lifestyle

A different lifestyle is followed in animal shelters, where almost every day, a new pet gets rescued. Dogs are kept in cages and given workout and outing sessions in groups.

But when they come to a home, they don’t have to live in a cage, and they become the only ones to get all the attention of the owner. Thus they get confused and scared too when shifting into a new home.

The above discussed are the most important factors due to which the dogs get scared when they are shifted to a new home.

How Much Time Does a Dog Take to Trust their New Owners?

How fast the dog develops trust in its new owner depends on how perfectly the owner treats the pet. When the dog is new to the home, the owner should treat him with utmost love and care and must avoid negative reinforcement like scolding the pet when it did something wrong to rapidly build the dog’s trust.

As per the research on the dogs, information is obtained that most dogs take a maximum of three to four weeks to feel at home when they get adopted by someone.

How to Get a Scared Dog to Trust You?

Now, we have discussed why dogs get scared, how much time they take to overcome, and why it is necessary to develop the trust of the canine.

It’s time, to begin with the process of developing the trust and building the confidence of a new canine.

The steps you can follow to develop the trust of your new canine are mentioned below.

Make Your Moves Slow

When the canine gets scared, they get afraid of faster moves, like if you are moving too fast to do your household chores.

Then your faster movements here and there in the house can make the dog even more scared, that’s why it is suggested to the dog owners that they should start to lower their movements when passing by the room of their canine and should always move towards the pet slowly while they are going to feed them.

It is suggested to the owner that they can even crawl for the first two to three days when it comes to getting close to the dog, as the more the owner will present himself as smaller, the less the pet will get afraid.

Sit Closer to the Pet

This is the most important step you can follow while trying to develop the trust of your canine towards you. All you can do is sit closer to the pet as much as the pet allows. There is no need to touch the dog to make him feel comfortable.

You should first let him feel safe while being near you; if you follow the process for five to six days by sitting ten to fifteen minutes thrice a day with the canine, then the canine will get aware of the fact that you do not intend to hurt him.

Avoid Making Frequent Eye Contact

We often thought that just like humans used to build trust and bond with a person by starting with frequent eye contact, dogs also follow the same. But it’s completely incorrect.

Scared dogs might get even more scared when you make frequent eye contact with the canine, as this seems to be a sign of aggression to the canine.

All you can do is just try to make eye contact rarely, like when you are feeding them or going out with them, as this will make the pet understand that a certain eye contact brings happiness to him, so he might also try to communicate with you after getting comfortable.

Feed Delicious Food

No matter how scared the canine is, he has to consume survival food, and that’s when you can win the canine’s heart with a sweet gesture. All you can do is choose some delicious foods for your canine and always stay closer to him while the pet is eating.

If you repeat this process for the first one to two weeks, the pet will realize that you are the one who provides him food for his survival and will make the pet develop trust towards you.

Sometimes the dog also gets aggressive while you feed them. At this point, all you can do is try to feed them with your hand or just avoid staying close to them while the canine is eating food, as the dog might also bite you out of his aggressive nature.

Talk Less with the Pet

When you have adopted a new dog, you should strictly avoid being talkative with the canine all the time, as this can make him scared even more.

To develop your pet’s trust, all you can do is try to stay close to them and do some soft baby talks with the canine.

If you notice that the pet is moving his tail in the air and perking up his ears, then it means that he is getting affected by your baby’s talk.

It is suggested to the dog owner that they should repeat the process for one to two weeks if the dog gets attracted to the soft talks.

Start Showing Your Love

If you have followed all the steps mentioned above, then it’s definite that your dog has begun to trust you. But to make this bond even stronger, you can now schedule play sessions, walking out sessions, and many others.

Spending quality time with the canine and story sessions at night can also be very helpful in making the canine feel comfortable near you.

You can also try slightly rubbing their head while feeding them and rub their entire body with fingers by getting close to them.

All this will work as a source of love from you to the pet, thus making the canine get more attracted to you.

Allow Them to Make the First Move

Now you are done with all the necessary steps you can follow to build up the trust of your dog towards you, and it’s time to check if the canine has started to trust you or not.

All you can do is stay at a distance and avoid making eye contact with your canine. If you notice that the pet moves slightly towards you on his own, congrats, you have won the battle: you are all set to start an amazing journey with your dog.

But if the canine doesn’t react like this, you have to put more effort into following the above steps for some more time.

Making a newly adopted and a scared dog trust you can be quite difficult as you are completely unknown to the canine. To provide solutions to the problem of the dog owner, you need to know how to get a scared dog to trust you so that you develop the trust of the dog who is fearful.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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