Dogs are one of the most lovable friends you can ever have. The human/canine bond has long been shown to be mutually beneficial. We no longer just keep dogs for herding, hunting, and protection. Now we also enjoy loyalty, tameness, devotion, and emotional support.
However, you need to do some homework to form a strong bond with your furry friend. This can sometimes be challenging, especially when you adopt a dog newly or your new friend has a bad past, but with the right approach, you can still achieve the deepest bond if you follow the tips we’d be sharing with you in this article.
Without much ado, check out these impressive ways on how to deepen your bond with your dog:
Train and play together
When you undergo positive reinforcement training, rally, lure coursing, and agility training together with your dog. It helps to deepen the bond between you and your furry friend.
When you use treats during training, your dog begins to see you as the giver of all good things. Besides, teamwork to solve problems makes you stronger together.
You can also get on the ground and play fetch, tug of war, or catch with a favorite toy.
Create consistent boundaries for safety
Dogs appreciate it and feel safe when you are consistent with the rules and boundaries. Let them know where to sleep, where to eat, furniture they can be on or not on. Just like your family members have their own space that is exclusive to them so does your dog. Remember, your dog is also a member of your family.
Teach your dog to obey basic instructions like stay, sit, come, down, and heel. This makes them understand what you expect of them behaviorally and they tend to comply with these requests just to have peaceful coexistence and build a strong bond.
Put a little love in your dog’s food
One way to a dog’s heart is its stomach. You can prepare healthy and tasty foods for your dog to show them you care. If you don’t want to cook, you can focus on providing your furry friend with the best nutrition in a delicious way.
A smart way to deepen your bond with your dog is to feed them. Instead of dumbing kibbles in your dog’s bowl and walking away, you can use her meal for training. The trick is that as every meal comes directly from you, your dog sees you as the “giver of all good things”- and their bond to you will definitely be deepened.
Make your walks meaningful
It is not enough to allow your dog to run around the yard. Go for walks every day and make it interactive by throwing some obedience exercises. You can try to make your pooch change direction with you, sit at every corner, or any other trick you’ve taught them to keep their mind busy.
Show your dog you love them
Dogs have their way of showing you how much they love you, so try as much as possible to let them know how much you love them in return. You can do this by giving your pooch a bunch of puppy kisses, a vigorous morning run, or a nightly belly rub.
Touch your dog
Physical contacts such as petting and grooming have been proven to help lower stress in shelter dogs. And this is measured by reductions in the stress hormone, cortisol as well as an increase in oxytocin - an anti-stress hormone.
Don’t set your expectations too high
You need to take it slow on your furry friend. If you ask them to complete a task that is quite difficult, they can get frustrated and feel you hate them. So it is better you break obedience tasks into parts so your four-legged friends can gain confidence in themselves to learn new tricks instead of giving up.
In addition to their self-confidence, they’ll trust you more as being reliable to show them simple steps to take in life. That’s a good way to deepen your bond with your dog.
Understand your dog’s body language
Great relationships are built on good understanding. Just like your facial expression could send a thousand messages to your dog, they also want you to listen to them. Dogs communicate mainly with their bodies.
Pay attention to how slow or fast your dog is wagging their tail, the position of their tail, and the direction of their ears. The dog’s body is a clue into what they are feeling or thinking, so try to pay close attention and listen.
Have a nice cuddle time
Some dogs have cuddly personalities. If your dog is one, you should give them a chance to snuggle up next to you.
You can pet or groom them as they cuddle on you. This has been shown to lower stress levels in dogs. So if your furry friend snuggles up to you, ensure you return the love.
Make every experience positive
There are some things that dogs naturally hate, like a bath. How do you do this then without hurting their feelings? You can turn this unwanted action into a positive experience for your dog. Try to use treats, toys, and a gradual introduction to make the process interesting.
Respect your dog
Many dog owners only focus on what they want without considering the likes and dislikes of their furry friends. That’s not a good way to build a strong bond with your pooch. You should respect your dog always.
If you observe that your furry friend does not like belly rubs, but loves ear scratches, stick to that! When you respect your dog, they tend to trust you more, and your bond will be deeper.
More so, look for preferred activities and common interests, engage in mutually acceptable affection, share quiet moments, always be nice, and play interactive games.
Dogs do not like it when you move towards them, look them in the eye, and pat their head. Unfortunately, many dog owners do not know this truth.
Your four-legged companions are intimidated whenever you look them in the eyes and thump them on the head. They prefer walking together, getting treats, and getting soft neck rubs.
Consider your dog’s temperament
Some dogs have anxiety and fear issues and they don’t easily trust anyone. For these dogs, you need to take it slow and don’t force any interaction like snuggling or petting. They might become aggressive and attack you.
Instead of forcing interaction, allow the dog to approach you at their own pace. Even when they come close, allow them to make the decision to go or stay with you.
Dogs are highly emotional and they can form a strong bond with their owner. But this depends on how well you handle them, love them, train them, and communicate with them.
You can deepen your bond with your dog using the tips highlighted above. Learn to spend quality time with your pooch as it helps build trust, confidence, love, and a feeling of belonging- all of which contribute to a deepened bond.
However, don’t rush it. Take your time and give your furry friend enough time to trust you and feel free around you. Make your pooch your best friend today!