When you think about your relationship with your dog, the “visual” of a coin bank can be a powerful way to represent where you stand from day to day. Just as with any other “account”, you always want to make sure you have enough on deposit to see you through a rainy day. Not sure what we mean by “trust bank?”
Dogs are simple creatures, really. They look to us for consistency and security. Dogs rely on us for their food, fun and love. Your relationship with your dog is the place where all this converges. So think of your relationship with your dog as a bank of some sort. It could be a piggy bank, or a candy dish, or one of those big blue water cooler bottles. I like the picture of a canning jar, because that’s what I use at home.
So every time you make sure your dog’s basic needs are met, you’re dropping a few coins in the trust bank. With each meal, hug, head pat, scheduled pee stop, safe night’s sleep, the balance of that trust bank edges up a little.
Better stuff means bigger deposits.
A great treat or play or praise when he gets his training exercise right makes the balance climb higher faster. An evening spent cuddling in front of the TV can make your balance grow.
Awesome stuff, like that raw bone, the visit to dog class, the play date with the cool dogs that live with your friends or relatives mean even bigger deposits. For some dogs, car rides can be like a winning Power Ball ticket, and jack that balance up fast!
A big fat balance in your trust bank means your dog can rely on you for consistency, security and fun.
A big balance in the trust bank can be a great big hedge against your relationship “rainy days”. A rainy day could be almost anything that causes your dog to resist you, back off of you, avoid you or just maybe think “what the heck was all that about?”
So every time your much anticipated car ride ends in a visit to the vet, expect that will drain your trust account a bit. Call your dog to you and then trim his toenails or perform a vigorous ear cleaning? Your trust bank balance will certainly decline.
Don’t get me wrong, these less-than-pleasant events are a necessary part of life, and there’s not a lot we can do to avoid them. And there is a lot we can do to reduce their impact on our trust banks, by making them more predictable and less unpleasant. But there’s always a cost connected with them, so the bigger your trust bank’s balance, the less overall impact any withdrawal will have.
Does that make sense?
So take a minute to think about a few ways you can build up your trust bank’s balance. Also think about what may be happening in your life that eats away at your trust bank. Need some ideas? We’re always here to help!