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The Right Way to Bond With Your Dog

The Right Way to Bond With Your Dog

There is no stronger bond between humans and animals than the relationship with man’s best friend. Dogs and humans have been living together for over 20,000 years.

We may descend from apes but our emotional connection with canines is that much stronger.

How was the human/dog bond established and how do we improve the bond with our puppies?

If you’ve got a rescue, bear with us here. You’ll be pleased to know that there are ways to bond with every kind of dog.

Follow these simple tips to bond with your dog.

The Root of Dog Affection

We have domesticated and bred dogs to work and live with us.

Their amazing work ethic and obedience have been used mainly for hunting, herding as well as protection and guarding.

Did you know that the Dobermann was used as a “tax collector” dog in 1890?).

Their desire to interact with us has created a “will to please”. Dogs love human interaction and they have their own ways to express love.

Spending time with us creates a bond that inspires confidence in the dog and will result in a loyal companion.

If a dog falls in love with his owner, he will stay with him forever.

Humans also fall in love with dogs and the aspiration to have a lifelong companion has inspired us to breed dogs only for companionship like the Yorkshire Terrier.

Beyond a basic need for love, dogs crave safety and the feeling of being wanted. What a lot of people underestimate is that dogs need to feel useful too which means a job to do for them.

That’s the reason why a lot of dog owners have problems with protective breeds, territorial livestock guardian dogs or with the hunting instinct of a dog that was solely bred for hunting.

Strong Bond Between Working Dog and Handler

Since our methods to produce and protect livestock are much more advanced and sophisticated, we found other purposes for dogs.

The recent surge in popularity for breeds like the Cane Corso demonstrates that families seek out guardian dogs to protect them, their property and especially their children if necessary.

Abilities of hunting breeds are now re-purposed to use in tracking, for example. Think of a Malinois in police work or the St. Bernard that roams snowy mountains just to find missing humans.

That is a level of commitment that stems not only from personal pleasure but from a will to please their handler if they make the right choices.

Sadly, some dogs are mistreated due to their owner’s lack of affection, leading to issues like separation anxiety or destructive and aggressive behavior.

Those people don’t understand that dogs demand our attention because that is what we actually bred them for. To avoid this conflict, here are some tips on how to improve the bond with your dog.

How To Connect With Your Dog on a Deeper Level

Nurturing or improving the bond with your dog should be prioritized in any dog training.

If playtime is of no interest to your dog, you might have to go at this from a different angle (adventures together, for example) but especially puppies and playful dogs are easily satisfied with playtime.

If your dog struggles with behavioral issues, bonding can potentially solve this.

Your dog will look more to you for direction and every tug-of-war game will become enjoyable instead of an annoying chore.

1. Spend Quality Time

Take at least half an hour a day to spend quality time with your dog. Exercises like playing or walking release endorphins and there is no quicker way to create a bond than having a happy puppy.

When walking your dog outside, be aware of how your dog behaves and how he reacts to certain distractions.

I see too many dog owners just pulling their dog behind them and not paying attention at all.

Their lack of communication is deeply rooted but could easily be improved through practice.

Let your dog rest on your lap in the evening. Searching for physical contact is a way for him to show affection and if you offer it to him, then he will surely be pleased.

Think about what you can do to spend more time with your dog. Will you be able to take him with you to your office/workplace?

If not, you should think about a dog walker (preferably a family friend that’s know to your dog) or shell out the money for an interactive dog camera so your dog won’t feel alone when you’re away.

The time we spend apart from our dog is actually just as important as the time we do spend with them.

Hearing your voice can go a long way in making your dog comfortable and preventing any behavioral issues.

2. Take Your Dog on Adventures

As I already said, dogs love to spend time with us. So treat your dog once in a while and go on adventures with him.

This includes but is not limited to hiking, traveling, and visiting new parks, forests, or cities.

The best part about hiking with a medium to large-sized dog like my Rottweiler is that you can split the load with them and actually train their muscles in the process with a saddle bag.

Even if it just means that you take him with you to visit your relatives or friends, he will appreciate the moments you spend with him very much.

Every positive experience your pup gains with you accumulates to a much stronger bond.

New sights, sounds and smells will exhaust your dog (in a positive way if he’s used to all that and well socialized). Besides, a change of scenery won’t harm you either, so buckle up.

3. Treat Your Dog

Surprise your dog and buy him his absolute favorite treats. Or bake some dog cookies of your own (you can check out plenty of recipes on Pinterest).

Like playing, food releases endorphins and especially his favorite food will boost his happiness.

Amalia loves it when I treat her with bananas, coconut chips or sprats. Try out new things and really get to know your dog’s taste.

Treating your dog can also mean giving him a new toy to rip apart (or not if you buy a durable interactive toy).

Remember that it’s not only about the fun of playing but also the quality time with you.

4. Show Your Dog Some Support

We always expect our dogs to be looking out for us and protecting us from danger. Although many dogs show their affection by doing that, our role as humans should be the same.

If there is a situation that throws your dog off and scares him, you have to take the time out of your day to reassure him that you always got his back.

Then he will have the courage to approach new things with more confidence and self-esteem.

If you are at a dog park and playing gets too rough and your dog can’t get away, ask the owner if he could call his dog or try to block him with your body.

Stepping in before it escalates is the best way to prevent a dog fight and will show your dog that you are watching and supporting him.

5. Cuddle Up

Physical contact is very pleasant for many dogs and it’s a sign of true love. The highest level of shared trust is by sleeping with your dog.

While you don’t have to take him in bed with you, you can just cuddle up on the sofa and enjoy some intimacy. You might have asked yourself why your dog wants to sleep on your pillow.

Don’t get frustrated if your dog’s not a lapdog (which our Rottweiler certainly thinks she is) but rather enjoy little steps forward when he seeks out your affection.

Keep in mind that not every dog is cuddly, so never force your pet into your arms or your lap.

Some dogs just love to cuddle up while others are a tad more independent.

6. Build Great Communication

Getting to know your dog and learning what he likes and dislikes is very important. Nobody knows your dog as well as you do.

Your dog might show certain signs in specific situations where he may be doubtful of what to do. You must be able to read your dog which will put you much more at ease too.

Learn how your dog communicates his needs and fulfill them. That doesn’t mean you have to feed him the pizza you are eating just because he demands it.

Your puppy might get nervous or restless when he is not feeling well or might bark when he is stressed.

Every dog of every breed is different and you only have to be able to perfectly communicate with your own companion. Also, be clear in how you communicate yourself.

Dogs don’t understand sudden anger or frustration so never yell at your dog. You cannot let your communication be influenced by negative emotions.

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