A widely known and over-used fact of our time is that dog “is man’s best friend.” It’s hard not to agree given the way that they’ve adapted to our society.
And it’s hard not to like dogs.
Dogs have a sense of responsibility towards their owner, alternating with their playful nature and the sincerity within their “voice.” Your dog will be happy when you come home from work and sad when you’re not there.
At PremierPups, we encourage all types of activities that help owners better bond with their dogs. Let’s explore some ways in which you can return the affection that you receive and strengthen your friendship in the process.
Most people who love their dogs would consider that question to be ridiculous. But first time dog owners, people who are adopting a dog or even long time pet people who just want to have a closer relationship with their dog may ask the question.
Beyond the emotional aspect of a strong bond, there are some practical reasons why you want to cultivate a close bond with your dog.
Dogs love to play! You should like to play with your beloved pooch, too. Besides having fun, games such as fetch or tag are an excellent way for a dog to get some exercise. Scientists have noted that parents who play with their children often are also closer and easier-to-relate-to when it comes to more serious aspects of life.
Don’t forget that gaining your dog’s respect is vital since the early stages of your relationship. Rewards are an essential part that should come after every trick your dog performs.
Besides teaching your dog basic commands such as sit, down, stay and come, you may add some tricks to the list. Dogs usually love to use their brains, so it’s important to give them the chance to learn continuously. It is an excellent way to strengthen the bond with your dog. Trick training may be mentally exhausting for your dog, so he’ll fall asleep immediately after the end of the session.
Walking your dog is something that you should do at least twice a day. These are the moments in which your dog can enjoy Mother Nature, get to socialize with other dogs and “mark their territory.”
The more you take him out, the closer he will feel to you. Be careful with the leash, however, and if necessary, spend some time training him to walk nicely on the leash. If your dog wants to smell everything in sight while playing tug-of-war with you, then it’s vital that you don’t reward such behavior.
Your dog won’t get every word you say, but he will gladly listen to the loving tone of your voice. Talking to him will make him feel important and will reaffirm the friendship between you.
You can also use different sounds to praise the good things like pooping outside, and you can scold him when needed. Scolding is as essential as praising because it’s healthy for a dog’s personality to know the difference between right and wrong. Harsh punishment should never be used.
A delicious reward will not go unnoticed by your barking four-legged friend. Congratulating him with yummy gifts is a great way to encourage healthy habits. Reward him with dietary supplements and your dog will have every reason to love you.
Some dogs crave attention, petting, and cuddling. These actions on your part can also be very rewarding to your dog. Toys, as I will discuss below are another form of reward and can greatly improve the bond with your dog.
Of course, your dog doesn’t need any reason to love you. He will give that love unconditionally, and that’s something that you should do too.
Love is the most essential part of a dog owner’s relationship with his four-legged friend. Don’t be fooled by his poor vocabulary, you have a lot to learn from your dog. A dog will teach you how to be more responsible, sensitive and a more loving human being.
Don’t forget to show your dog all the affection that he deserves. It’s easy to hide behind the fact that you have a busy schedule, but your dog is not some toy that you can play with whenever you feel like it. He’s a “full” member of your family, and he deserves to be loved accordingly.
Owners of dogs that require daily or almost daily grooming will tell you that grooming time can be a fun way to deepen that attachment. Starting a grooming routine in puppyhood that is comfortable and familiar to your dog can lead to a lifetime of one-on-one time with your dog. Long haired, curly or wiry coats will require much grooming, so get into a habit of using this time to your advantage.
Short-haired dogs don’t need much grooming so it is easy to forget that grooming can be a bonding activity for them too. To give short-haired dogs the same attention that long haired dogs enjoy, try a rubber curry brush and go over the hair every couple of days. Not only will your dog look amazing, but he will also love the experience.
If you live in America, then odds are that you’ve heard that dog parks are a great place to bond with your dog, let your dog socialize and meet other people at the same time.
Some people like to attend music festivals with their four-legged companions. Others love to spoil their dogs by signing them up for expos. You know what you want to do in your spare time and your dog will most certainly appreciate every moment that he spends with you.
Keep your dog interested in changing his toys from time to time. Hide his older toys for a month or two while you give him other toys to enjoy. He will forget about the older toys for a while and will rejoice with happiness at the sight of his “lost” toys.
Your dog will most definitely love being petted on his belly. You could also test him to see what his favorite petting spots are. If your dog is lying on his back, closes his eyes as if he would be ready to fall asleep or his mouth cracks as if he would want to smile, then – CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve just found your dog’s sweet spot.
Also, massaging has been proven to be beneficial for your dog’s health and behavior.
Keeping your cool when he’s done wrong is something you should do both for him and for your own well-being. You can scold him but never take any actions based on emotions. Your dog will remember any harsh punishment and one angry outburst on your part can weak the bond you've tried to establish.
Reward him whenever he earns it but have a generally loving attitude.
Also, remember to spend as much time with him as possible. He’s not your dog only on Christmas, on the weekends, evenings or whenever you’re in the mood. If you bring a dog in the house, he’s yours for life!
The more time you spend together, the more comfortable both of you’ll feel. Whether it is about having fun outdoors or hanging out on the couch, your dog will be delighted to be around you. Be generous, share your time with your dog, think about and plan his favorite activities and the bond between you will strengthen rapidly.
How do you know if you are making progress? Every dog’s temperament is different, even within breeds so you can’t often rely on breed characteristics to gauge the level of attachment your dog has for you.
You can notice your dog’s behavior, his body language, and even his bark. Below, I’ve added a list of indicators of a strong bond. If your dog displays most or all of these traits, you will be sure that a strong bond exists between you and your dog.
Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t perform each task flawlessly. There will be situations where it is almost impossible for him to demonstrate these behaviors.
Everyone deserves an off day. Your dog may be ill or hurt. Some dogs have such a strong prey drive that makes staying by your side nearly impossible for him when he sees a squirrel nearby. Some breeds are stubborn, so don’t confuse their stubborn streak with a weak bond.
Troy , Author of Ten Awesome Ways to Bond With Your Dog
Troy works as a Marketing Specialist for Premier Pups, a site that offers great experiences for dog lovers. He loves his 3-year-old Pomsky beauty and hasn’t left his side ever since he adopted him.