Bonding with your dog - 10 easy ways to build an unbreakable bond with your dog
Today, May 14th 2021 is Bond With Your Dog Day, set up and championed by our friends Tina and Simon over at Dogs Are Family – they created the awareness day for people to focus on their relationship with their dog and to promote the many benefits of dog ownership and to celebrate canine companionship.
Now I know I may be preaching to the converted here, but how can we all embrace the day and strengthen these amazing bonds with our four-legged friends?
We’ve come up with 10 ways you can bond with your dog and show them how much they mean to you and that they are a big part of your world!
Even if your dog is the most polite and well mannered pooch around, it’s always a good idea to reinforce that training regularly and strengthen the bond you have with him.
Something as little as practicing “sit” or “stay”, even if he knows how, will give him a job to do and to feel he has a purpose – in turn making him feel accomplished and loved when he is rewarded for it.
If your dog is already a whizz at obedience training – why not teach him a new trick? It’s the perfect way to spend time together and have a little fun at the same time.
Why not try these out…
Speak – bark on command
Create a Routine
Dogs are creatures of habit and routines form an important role in their lives. Setting regular feeding times, bathroom breaks and trips outdoors will make your dog feel safe and comfortable in their surroundings which builds the trust they have in you as their owner. If a dog knows what is expected of them, they will want to make you proud by following the daily routine.
It’s not only great for keeping your dog looking smart, maintaining a glossy coat through brushing can also help you to grow closer.
If like me you have a hard time getting your dog to sit to be groomed – take it slow, be encouraging and the hesitation will eventually turn into a pleasant experience for both of you. After time, your dog will love the companionship and time spent together whilst you get to untangle all those knots.
Friends that play together stay together - this is a no brainer – but your dog will want to play with you from time to time. Be an active participant – your dog will be buzzing with excitement and that bond will just grow and grow. Regular playtime has also been shown to improve problematic behaviour, which in itself will also help strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
Why not try these dog friendly games next time your dog wants to play…
Hide and Seek – findng treats
Tug of War
Flirt pole – basically a pole with a rope attached to a toy on the end for your dog to chase around
The list is endless…with a bit of imagination.
Play time can be amazing but its important as mentioned to not only actively participate, but to give your dog your undivided attention. This is a sure fire way to improve the human canine bond, no matter what.
Whatever it is – going to the shops, walking in the park, sitting together on the couch or a tickle behind the ears, any co-activity is greatly appreciated by your dog – not only do they enjoy spending time with you, it also helps them to put their trust in you.
Creating time for Cuddles
Physical contact is such a healthy thing to have with your dog, and what better way than to cuddle up together and chill out. Sit together on the couch in front of the TV, snuggle up together on the bed and just relax in each other’s company is a lovely way to bond with your dog and the physical contact creates a sense of trust and belonging in your dog to let him know he’s part of your pack.
A win-win solution for both of you – not only will it make you feel great, exercise is also brilliant for your dog’s well-being and doing it together will help you grow closer. Most of you will (hopefully) enjoy daily walks with your pooch already, but did you know your dog would love to run alongside you – maybe you would both enjoy a try at canicross and start a new hobby together?
Swimming, frisbee, fetch – whatever your fitness level, your dog would love to join in with you. Through exercise you will not only improve your own health and mental wellbeing - your dog will get to take in new sights, sounds and smells all whilst spending quality time with you.
Communication is Key
Not that dogs are chatterboxes – believe me my daughter has taken that crown in our house – dogs will talk to you in their own special way via body language, and learning this will help you to understand how they are feeling and how to react.
Being consistent in the way you communicate with your dog will ultimately help you both to get along well together, whether it be when you are training or through the daily routine, being clear and consistent with the words and commands you use will promote good behaviours and essentially build stronger and better bonds between you.
Hand Feeding – from time to time
We’re not saying you become a slave and hand feed your dog your best cut of beef, but hand feeding them a few treats from time to time is a great way to build a special bond between you and your dog. If they are taking food from your hand, they will naturally be careful not to hurt you and focus on you and your commands more intensely. Rewarding good behaviour in this way improves the trust he has in you and also teaches him that you are his provider.
Give them Space
This is probably the toughest one, as I know a lot of you will want to be with your precious pooch at ALL times. But just like you and me, your dog will also like a bit of “me time” every now and again. So don’t get offended if they take themselves off to a bedroom without you or go off and play with a toy on their lonesome. Its great for dogs to be able to retreat somewhere if they’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious..or simply if they’re in a bit of a mood!
These are just a few ways you can show your dog you understand them, and are very easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Your dog is another member of the family, and anyway we can show them has got to be a good thing hasn’t it!
If you enjoyed this blog, you may like to read our blog on the signs your dog loves you.
Leave us a comment below on how you celebrated #BondWithYourDogDay