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Let’s get a little honest here – You love and trust your pooch more than some humans.

You spend most of your time exercising with them, taking their care, or cuddling with them. You talk to them freely like you talk to your best friends – without any fear of judgment, contempt, or jealousy. The bond is no different than a bond between two family members.

While interacting with your dog, you have to keep the slightest things in mind. The way you make eye contact with your doggo and even the way you greet them matters.

However, do you sometimes wonder whether the feelings between you two are mutual?

Whether your dog trusts you as much as you do?

How to tell if your dog trusts you?

And if they don’t love you, how to get a dog to trust you?

In this article, we will be sharing 10 sure-fire signs your dog trusts you. Afterward, we will explain how to get your dog to trust you and what are some things that can make them lose their trust.

So without further ado, let’s jump right in. 

How to know if your dog trusts you?

Sign 1 – Your dog can sit side by side with you and follow your routine without any anxiety​

This is one of the biggest signs a dog trust you.

Dogs are very social creatures who crave companionship and love. They usually get anxious when they are left alone, even for short periods of time. This makes it easy to notice whether or not your dog trusts you if they don’t get anxious when you leave them alone without you. They will sit near the door or window and patiently wait for you to return. You can also test this by walking around with your dog without getting anxious when separated from you, even for a few seconds.

If a dog freaks out when he sees you coming back, it emphasizes the fact that they are in love with you. The body language of the dog after being apart from you for some time tells many things.

Sign 2 – Your dog allows you to touch their food/toy/ favorite spot without any anxiety

This is a sign of affectionate trust.

Allowing people to access their food, toy, or favorite spot is a huge sign that your dog trusts you. Dogs generally guard these things against strangers because they don’t know whether the stranger would take them away from them.

However, once they have been exposed to a person for a long time and can tell if it’s safe around them, they will allow this kind of intimacy without hesitation. This shows not only their level of comfort with you but also how much dogs love us.

Sign 3 – Your dog allows other people to touch them without any anxiety

As we mentioned above, dogs are very social creatures who need company and love.

If your dog trusts you enough to let other people touch them, it will be easy to tell whether or not your dog trusts you. Since dogs are naturally wary of strangers, they need constant reassurance that they are safe before allowing physical contact.

Now, if your dog allows other people to touch them without any anxiety like sign 2, then there’s a high chance they trust you.

Sign 4 – Your dog follows your commands without any hesitation

Some dogs would do anything for their masters when asked to.

Others only obey commands when they feel like it (which can get really frustrating). If your dog obeys your command every time, even when they don’t want to, then it shows how much he loves and trusts you unconditionally.

Dogs generally follow commands for their master when they are in a safe and familiar environment. They only disobey when they feel uncomfortable or don’t trust the person giving them the command.

There are some dogs who will only obey when they feel like it, which can get really frustrating. 

Sign 5 – Your dog is comfortable around you under all conditions without any anxiety

Do you remember how cozy your dog was on your lap even though you were watching TV?

Or how happy he was when he saw you after being apart for 2 hours?

Dogs experience emotions just like us humans do. Therefore, if your dog is always cozy with you or gets excited to see you after a short time apart, it shows that the bond of trust between you is strong and unbreakable.          

You can conclude if your dog is calm around you through its body language. The dog shows the following behavior if he is feeling safe:

  • Slightly open mouth, with lolling tongue.
  • Asking for belly rubs.
  • The happy face.
  • Side to side tail wagging.
  • Asking to play.

If your dog shows the above behavior around you, it proves that the dog’s love for you is undeniable.

Sign 6 – Your dog loves to play with you and wants your companionship a lot. 

This shows how much he trusts you.

A lot of people don’t realize that playing is actually a sign of trust. Even though dogs might not be as complex as humans, they still express their emotions through means such as body language and behavior. Dogs show their love through playtime because it’s one of the few times where both the dog and the owner forget about everything else going on in life. It’s a time for bonding between you and your furry best friend.

So if your dog loves to play with you, it shows that he trusts you and wants your companionship a lot.

Sign 7 – Your dog steals your shoes or a piece of clothing and doesn’t give it back

This might sound really weird and funny, but that’s how much dogs love their owners.

If your dog steals a piece of clothing and doesn’t give it back to you, then he trusts you a lot. Why?

Well, according to animal behavior experts, dogs are comforted by having some connection to their owners. If your dog often steals your shoes or other clothes, it’s a sure-fire sign your pooch trusts and loves you deeply. 

Dogs are very affectionate to the scent of their owners, that’s why they don’t just bind their playing to your shoes. If they love you they will show affection by playing with your dirty laundry.

Sign 8 – Your dog is calm when you leave them alone

You can tell whether or not your dog trusts you if he is calm when you leave him alone.

Dogs are very social creatures who rely on the company of their owner. If your furry best friend doesn’t get anxious when you leave them alone, then it shows how much they trust and love you. Dogs generally get anxious when their owners leave because they feel abandoned and don’t know when their owners will return.

However, some dogs feel secure and comfortable in your absence because they trust you completely.

Sign 9 – Your dog loves to cuddle with you while sleeping

Some studies show that dogs don’t enjoy hugs, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t want them. It is one of their ways to show affection to their owners. Dogs love cuddling with their owners just as much as we love it!

They would rather sleep and cuddle with you than go out and play. If your dog loves to do this, then they are telling you that they trust you unconditionally. Dogs tell their owners how much they love them by cuddling up on the couch, on their lap, or on the bed when they sleep.

So, if you find your pooch often cuddling up with you when you wake up in the morning, it’s a sign they love you very much. 

Sign 10 – Your dog comes to you for help and guidance 

Dogs depend on their owners for everything.

If you’re the one who takes care of them and gives them food, then they will need your help and guidance when it comes to solving problems or difficult situations. Dogs follow the example set by their owner, which is why if you do something, so will your dog.

For example, if you’re scared of something, your dog might also get nervous. So if your pooch comes to you for help and guidance, then they trust you very much – that’s another sign that shows how much they love you!

girl carrying a pup

How to Get a Dog to Trust You 

New dog owners often wonder how can they make their new pet like and trust them. Well, here are our best tips to make a lasting connection between you two. 

Allow your dog to smell you first before anything else

People new to dogs don’t know this, but dogs actually rely more on their sense of smell than their hearing or vision. So meeting them for the first time, it is important that they get to sniff out who you are before you do anything with them. Your dog loves you if they allow you to touch them or move closer to them. They will not show any sign of fear even when you come face to face with them for the first time.

Be patient and loving

At the beginning of raising a puppy, have patience. Train them gently without any fear or impatience. Being nice will show them that being nice gets good results. They’ll quickly learn they can trust you because you know how they feel and are sensitive to their emotions. Love them unconditionally, so they realize they don’t have to earn your love. 

A study by Brigham Young University shows that dogs do not react to the commands they are given with a bad tone or facial expression. They recorded the dog’s different behavior when they pointed to the hidden treat in a gentle way and in a harsh way.   

Be consistent and follow through with what you say

If your dog learns that you’re unreliable and inconsistent, they won’t trust you because there’s no reason to trust someone who doesn’t do what they say! Plus, being consistent will show them that following rules and regulations mean good things come to those who obey. 

Be gentle and calm when correcting negative behavior

If a dog never sees its owner ever get mad or punish them for anything bad they do, the dog will not know it means anything bad. But if you punish them or scold them without anger or harshness, this shows the dog that misbehaving is not okay, even if it’s from excitement or other emotions.

You don’t have to be very harsh while correcting the mistakes of your dog. This may lead dogs to feel unsafe around you. You have to keep the balance between good and bad, meaning if your dog has done something good don’t forget to praise him or give him a treat. 

Always reward a job well done. 

If a dog does something right and isn’t rewarded for it, it will expect to be punished if they do something wrong. But by rewarding them with treats, love, or attention when they obey, the dog will come to trust you because you won’t let them suffer from doing what’s right. This also motivates them to do the right thing if they come around it the next time.

Be calm if something scares your dog

If you freak out when your puppy accidentally bumps their head, they’ll think this hurts and will run away from you in fear if it happens again. But by keeping your composure during times of panic or pain, the dog will know that these are normal parts of life that are neither fun nor painful. 

Be an example. 

Dogs are just like babies, they learn a lot by observing their surroundings. So, you have to make sure that you are a good dad by leading the way and guide your dog through everything. 

If you are always bad-tempered, barking at other dogs in the street, fighting with other people or your dog when playing, etc., then your dog will grow to be bad-tempered too. But if you show them good behavior by being calm, patient, gentle, and sweet whenever they’re around, then they’ll learn that this is what is right.

Let your dog be in control sometimes

Dogs do appreciate being in control every once in a while. Let them decide what they want to eat, where they want to sleep, and what games they want to play. This way, your dog will know that you are willing to give them some leeway whenever it is required for them.

Allow your dog to be themselves without feeling judged

If your dog is somewhat reserved and not very vocal about how they feel, this step is especially important. Dogs are naturally more relaxed when they are at home or somewhere that they feel safe. You can help by showing them that it is okay to be relaxed in front of you.

Note: You can’t force your dog to like or trust you if they don’t want to. Trust must be earned, and it takes time. But by using the tips in this article, you will notice how your dog’s feelings towards you change for the better. 

Do one-on-one sessions

Some people might think that one-on-one sessions are bound to people only. To increase the love and trust between your dog and you, you need to do one-on-one sessions.

Try teaching them new skills, or work on the already learned skills and enhance their craft. Besides the teaching, add some fun activities like playing fetch. Don’t forget to praise them every time they bring the ball back to you.

Take advantage of the mealtime

During mealtime keep eye contact with your dog. Add some healthy food to the menu. Keep an eye on the quantity you are giving to your dog. Don’t add too many fillers, and add some homemade meals. A good meal can be your way to the heart of your dog.

In simple words, spending time with your dog is the best way to win its love and trust. This will only increase if you are taking the steps we have mentioned in this article.

toddler and a puppy

What will make your dog lose trust in you?

Like trust between two human beings, trust between a dog and its owner is a fragile thing. There are a lot of things that can make a dog lose trust in its owner. Such as if: 

  1. You are not following through on what you say
  2. You scold them harshly or punish them without seeming like it bothers you
  3. They are mistreated by other people in front of you
  4. You lose your temper with them
  5. They are constantly yelled at or ordered around. 
  6. You show no confidence in what you say and do (for example, if you often hide from other dogs when walking)

Note: All of these make a dog doubt your authority and will lead to their not trusting you as much, if at all. Moreover, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve had your dog. Their feelings towards you can always change. What happened in the past may not be what’s happening now or what will happen in the future. Dogs don’t have the capacity to track time, so they live from moment to moment and just go with it. If a dog doesn’t trust you one week, then it may the next week. Treat a dog’s feelings towards you as if it was something that was changing from day to day, not from year to year. 

Final Thoughts

This concludes our article.

Dogs are lovely companions. However, you can only fully enjoy their company (and they enjoy yours) if the trust and love between you two are mutual.

We hope after going through all the signs that a dog trust you, you can tell whether the pooch feels the same way. We have also shared some wonderful ways how to win a dog’s trust.

Hopefully, you have learned something new to build a strong relationship with your dog.

Please be sure to leave your thoughts in the box below. Thank you for staying with us!