One of the best things about dogs is how much they love you. They seem to have an instant connection with most people. Do you ever feel like you want an even stronger bond with your pup? How do you build on the love that they already have? Read on for some tips on bonding with your dog!
Tip #1: Spend Quality Time Together
You need to provide opportunities for you and your dog to spend time together, even if it’s only a few minutes a day. Your dog wants to be involved in what you are doing! So, if you can find a way to include them in what you’re doing, they will be thrilled! Maybe they sit in the room while you work, or you talk to them while you make dinner. The more you love them and speak to them, the closer they feel to you. A favorite bonding activity for most dogs is playtime!
Tip #2: Consistent Expectations
Maintain consistency with your cues and rules. Your dog needs to be able to rely on the same rules every day. If you change things often, they will get confused! When you are clear about the good and bad behaviors, they will feel more comfortable. After all, they want to make you happy, don’t make it hard for them!
Tip #3: Listen to Your Dog
You want your dog to know that you respect them. To do this, you will need to be receptive to their signals. Every dog has a different body language, so make sure you learn your dog’s specific dialect. If you push it too far, your dog might start to feel scared or that they can’t trust you. Strengthen your relationship with your dog by giving them lots of moments that build trust, like stopping playtime when they start to feel tired. Of course, vet visits are non-negotiable, but they may feel more at ease if they trust you.
Tip #4: Keep Your Cool
Your dog is susceptible to your emotions. Whenever you get frustrated or angry, they pick up on it. They will associate that experience with negative emotions, and it may undo some of the progress you’ve achieved in gaining their trust. Even if they didn’t cause that burst of emotion, they remember it in a bad light. To protect your relationship with your dog, try your best to stay calm.
Tip #5: Training Time
A great way to bond with your dog is training! As you make your way through the training process, your dog will learn to trust you. They will know that your instructions are safe, and they get a treat for doing what you ask! It can be any training, from a new trick to leash training; anything will work! The time you spend together is what matters the most.
Remember, the most significant part of bonding with your dog is to be there for them every day. Every dog is different, so you will have to find what works best for your dog and embrace that as part of your bonding. Building trust will take time; there are no shortcuts.