Having a relationship with a dog can be very rewarding. Owning a pet, you experience very real health effects, such as improvement of your mental health. But forming a relationship with a dog is not exactly obvious. That’s why we’re presenting eight ways to bond with your dog!
How to Bond with Your Dog
1. Spend Time Together
The number one way to bond with your dog is simply to spend your time with them. The more time you spend with your pooch, the more they will trust you. Play with them, train them and bring them with you as often as you can. Quality time together is one thing you’ll never be able to replace.
Forming a really strong bond with your dog means communicating clearly with them. When you train with them, be sure to use consistent words and gestures to ensure they don’t get confused. Dogs also learn visual cues more quickly than verbal ones, so combining words with a hand signal will help them learn what you want faster.
3. Give Them Extra Special Food
One way you might show your family that you care for them is by cooking them a meal. The same goes for your dog! You can cook them some healthy and nourishing food to show how much you care for them.
Likewise, even if you prefer not to cook for them, make sure you provide them with commercially produced food that is nutritious and tasty. You can also make sure any treats you get for them are extra delicious.
4. Practice Training Together
Training together means not only that you’ll be spending time together; it means you’ll also be able to give your dog more freedom because you can trust them to do what you expect. If your dog is trained to come to you when you call them, then you can trust them to be off leash. If you’ve trained your dog not to beg for table scraps, then you can trust them to be nearby while you eat.
If you train your dog, you can trust them to do what you expect. Likewise, they’ll know how they should act in certain situations. Even if they don’t know how to act, your gentle guidance helps alleviate undue stress.
5. Be Calm
Whether dog or human, no one likes being around someone who is upset. Yelling or otherwise acting aggressively puts everyone off. One way to strongly bond with your dog is to exude a calm demeanor. By keeping calm in any situation, your dog knows they can look to you as their leader. They can trust you even when things become difficult.
6. Learn About Dogs
One of the best ways to bond with your dog is by learning how they communicate. If you’ve never owned a dog before or if you just need a refresher, be sure to learn about how to read dogs and their behavior.
By teaching yourself about their behavior, you’ll have a better idea about how they may be feeling or what they want. You’ll also be able to tell when your dog is feeling anxious or scared. This will let you know when you should remove your dog from a situation. When your dog realizes that you’re doing everything you can to keep them safe, they’ll love and trust you even more.
7. Groom Your Dog
Some dogs need very minimal grooming. For some a weekly brushing is all that’s needed. Others might need daily brushings or even trips to a grooming service to make sure their coat stays healthy. When possible, get yourself dirty and help take care of your dog’s personal grooming yourself. Taking care of your dog’s needs will help strengthen your relationship together.
8. Have Fun
With the stress of everyday life, it’s hard to remember to stop and smell the roses. Even when work is piling up or you have been putting off chores at home, be sure to spend quality time with your dog.
Having a good time with your dog is one of the best ways to build a strong relationship. Your dog looks to you for food, water, shelter and love. What better way to show you love them than going out for a nice game of fetch or tug-of-war? If you’re not sure what games you can play, give these a try:
- Build an agility course
- Blow bubbles for your dog to chase
- Go for a swim
- Hide and seek for some treats
In the end, if you’re looking to bond with your dog, you should be spending as much time as you can with them. Help take care of their body and their mind. Your dog will reward you with endless love.