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Trust & Groundwork for Training

Brandon McMillan

Lesson time 7:21 min

Brandon believes that trust is foundational. Discover how exercise, socialization, and leadership (rather than dominance) also set the stage for a healthy relationship with your dog.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Lulu’s Story · Exercise Your Dog · Socialize Your Dog · Lead, Don’t Dominate


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:07.34] - Trust is one of the most important things to begin with when training a dog. Just like humans, dogs are not going to learn efficiently from someone they don't trust. And trust is actually surprisingly easy to build. There's not much to it. You just have to be authentic. [00:00:24.71] Let's just call dogs good poker players. They know your tells. They can tell when you're being authentic, and they can tell when you're completely full of it. This is where trust is so important. Before you decide to train your dog, you have to get that dog to trust you. This makes the training process so much more easy, so much more efficient. [00:00:44.75] And typically, the best ways to build trust are also the easiest things to do. Sit there on the couch, watch TV. Have your dog right next to you. Just give them treats here and there. Take him for a walk. Play with him. Throw the ball. For a dog to trust you, it's not rocket science. It just takes a little bit of time, and like I said, it takes a lot of authenticity. [00:01:04.28] Trust and bonding fall under the same category. They're the exact same thing. Whenever you get a new dog, you're bonding with them. And when you bond with a dog, the dog is slowly but surely learning how to trust you, especially when it comes to a rescue. You don't know that dog. You have no idea what that dog's been through. That dog doesn't know if you're just like the same person it was living with a few months ago, which could have been an abusive, very neglectful person. [00:01:30.56] But over time, the dog slowly learns that you are not the bad guy. You are to be trusted. And this is where the bonding period solidifies to a point where the dog finally comes up to you and literally tells you, without saying a word, I'm ready to be trained. [00:01:46.60] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:01:52.49] The best story I can give you with trust is my dog Lulu. She's 14 years old now. She's a chihuahua, and she did not come up to me for nearly four years. Every time I got near her, she would run away. Every time I went to pet her, she would shake. Why did she do this? Because she did not trust me. This all comes from her history. [00:02:16.76] I don't know what her history was, but if I had to guess, she was abused. Took me years to earn her trust. I'd just lost my Jack Russell. He was 14 years old, too. I had to put him down. At that time, I had Lulu for about four years. Lulu, up until that point, she was very reluctant to come near me. Every once in a while, she would come near me, but she wouldn't spend much time with me. [00:02:41.71] When my Jack Russell died, I came home and I cried. Lulu crawled in my lap, and that was the moment she trusted me. From that moment, Lulu was a lot easier to train. The entire point I'm making here is there's no timeline for trust. Trust could happen overnight. It could happen in a week. It could happen in four years, like it happened with me. [00:03:13.32] [MUSI...

About the Instructor

The Emmy-winning host of "Lucky Dog", Brandon McMillan is an expert trainer dedicated to building relationships between humans and animals. In his MasterClass, Brandon shares his simple, effective training system to help you develop trust and control with your dog. From using commands like sit, stay, and down to fixing barking and digging, you’ll learn how to improve your dog’s behavior—and create a lifelong bond.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Brandon McMillan

Expert animal trainer Brandon McMillan teaches you his simple, effective training system to build trust and control with your dog.

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