How to Get Your Dog to Learn to Trust You

For your dog to learn to trust you, you must find something that your dog is not fond of such as getting nails clipped, bathing or teeth brushing. These are all things that are common for a dog to not trust an owner to do for them.

For your dog to learn to trust you, you must find something that your dog is not fond of such as getting nails clipped, bathing or teeth brushing. These are all things that are common for a dog to not trust an owner to do for them. If your dog does not allow you to brush his or her teeth, now is the time to teach them that you will not hurt them while brushing their teeth. Dogs generally are scared of things they do not understand or like, and it is your job as an owner to help them become comfortable with these things as a way of building trust.

To begin your trust training for those afraid of brushing teeth, gather your tooth care supplies. Sit on the floor with your dog and show him or her the toothbrush you are going to use. Hold the dog closely to your lap and rub the toothbrush on their feet to show them that the brush does not hurt. Rub the brush across the nose or snout area, and do this only a few times to allow the dog to see that the brush will not hurt them. If your dog still tries to run away, distribute a bit of the paste onto the brush and allow the dog to lick it off. There are many flavored types of toothpaste for your dog, and finding one that is palatable will help.

Before introducing the toothbrush to the mouth, raise the outer edges of the mouth so that all teeth are visible. Use your finger on the teeth so that your dog gets used to the feeling of something on his or her teeth. Usually the reason the dog is afraid of the toothbrush is the automatic and natural fear of pain. Once you have rubbed the teeth, bring the toothbrush close to the snout and allow the dog to sniff as long as they need to. With the outer edges of the mouth raised, gently rub one tooth at a time with the toothbrush. If the dog growls or pulls away, begin with allowing them to lick the brush again. Slowly introduce the toothbrush again, and repeat this as many times as necessary. You may not be successful the first few days you try this routine, but once the dog sees that you will not force it to do something it is afraid of, the dog will trust you and begin to allow you to brush the teeth.

If your dog is afraid of having their nails clipped, it is best to sit on the floor with the dog on or near your lap. Many dogs will roll over on their backs when they feel dominated, and if this is the case your dog will allow you to clip his or her nails. If your dog does not roll over onto his or her back, place your hand on one paw at a time. If the dog pulls the paw away as soon as you touch it, he or she is probably afraid due to having the paws hurt at one point or another. This is common, and you will have to work with this behavior to gain trust.

Daily, when you play with your dog, touch the paws often without force. This will get the dog used to feeling your hands on the paws, and will cause the dog to trust that you will not hurt the paw. Once your dog no longer pulls away at your touch, introduce a pair of toenail clippers made for dogs. There are many types on the market, some of which have sensors that help you to know how far up the nail to clip and still avoid the quick.

If this is your first time clipping a dog's nails, it is best to simply take off the very end of the nail. Hold the dog's paw firmly in your hand and slowly introduce the clippers to the dog. Allow the dog to sniff the clippers and see them slowly going towards the paw. Once at the paw, touch the clippers to the foot and allow them to sit in the same spot for a minute. The dog will get used to feeling this and will no longer pull away.