All dog parents know how easy it can be to fall in love with a puppy or an adult dog just by looking at them. There is something in the way we connect with each other that is different from all other relationships in our daily life. Our dogs accept us regardless of our names, shapes, colors or sizes and will show us unmeasurable amounts of affection. To make this a lifelong relationship filled with great memories, here are some tips on how to bond with your dog!
Whether we’re talking about a puppy or an adult dog, there are several ways we can stimulate and strengthen this relationship:
1 – Understanding their body language
Communication is key! Although our pets don’t express themselves verbally, you can understand them by reading their behavior and body language. Many times our interaction with our pets can be improved by looking at how they behave.
Learning about their behaviors and being able to identify their reactions at certain experiences will help you know when your pooch is actually enjoying something or not.
By protecting your dog from uncomfortable scenarios and stimulating their preferences, you will be building their trust in you, and strengthening the bond between both.
2 – Going for walks
Going for walks is always a great idea to build moments of bonding between you and your puppy or adult dog. Walks are a great opportunity for them to interact with you and explore their surroundings.
If you think about it, it’s also good exercise for your physical and mental wellbeing! So walks are actually beneficial for both of you. Your interactions during these walks will also help them learn more about you and how they should behave while outdoors.
3 – Playing together
A good relationship is built on a fair amount of shared positive experiences and fun times. Your dog should be used to a routine and training, but make sure to leave enough space for a quality playtime!
Often they’ll like to play on their own with the toys available… But engaging with your pup during playtime may help you strengthen the bond you share. In addition, quality playtime can help reduce behavioral issues.
4 – Bonding through training
Training sessions require both your and your dog’s attention, and these are great opportunities to build the bond between you. Training should rely on positive reinforcement, meaning rewarding your puppy or dog when the requested action is followed. These rewards can be praises, petting and/or their favorite treats!
Training is essential for mental stimulation, but also to strengthen the relationship between you and your pooch. Remember that dogs learn visual signals very quickly – so when training, make sure to be consistent with how you communicate and request actions to be carried out.
5 – Giving them space
Knowing when to be present and when to give your dog some space is equally important to build a stronger relationship with them. Activities and engagement with your pooch are a great way of connection… But as all social beings, they also require some time for themselves.
Make sure to provide them a comfortable space where they can feel safe to rest and sleep in, or to escape to when they’re not in the mood for confusion at home.
6 – Hanging out
We don’t have to be active every moment of our day. Sometimes all that we feel like doing is sitting on the couch, resting in our bed or even just laying by our dog’s side. And that’s ok!
It may not feel like much, but showing that you are present even with the lightest physical contact will make them feel safe and comfortable, which is key to a healthy relationship.
7 – Petting them intentionally
Petting your dog can be seen as a moment of showing affection and attention. Not all dogs are alike – some will prefer rubs on the head, others on the back or in the chest.
Understanding what your dog prefers and investing some time in petting them intentionally is another great way of bonding with them. Those are moments where they feel they have your full attention, and it’s a great way of showing that you love them.
Brushing and grooming your dog is also a great way of showing interest and affection towards your pooch. Some may not like it at first, but most will gently accept it over time.
There you go – how to bond with your dog, in 7 different easy methods! What other ways do you know about? Let us know in the comments!
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