Bonding With Your Dog
Creating a strong bond with your dog is vital to a happy, healthy life with them. There are a few things that help strengthen that bond and they are important to consider and practice throughout the entire life of your pup-pup. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Obedience training is something no dog owner can go without doing. You can learn it all on YouTube, but how do you evaluate yourself during training? That’s one reason to hire a professional trainer, to watch you, correct issues you may not notice with your training techniques. Basic obedience training is one of the most powerful ways to build a strong bond with your dog.
Teach a new command once a month, after basic obedience training is completed. I separate commands out into three categories: Obedience (sit, stay, etc), Service (assistance dogs), Work (military, law enforcement, farm, etc), and Parlor Tricks. Parlor Tricks being shake-hands, spin, play dead, jump through a hoop, etc. These are fun and can be built on over time into more complex tricks. Service training can be really fun, also! Teaching your dog to do useful things are are also fun.
Be relaxed, calm, and happy during training sessions, ALWAYS! If you don’t feel well, are frustrated (at anything, not just the dog), etc, then the dog will pick up that emotional state and connect it to training. Not good! Only train when you’re happy, and make it fun!
Groom every day or every other day. Brush your dog out really well with a good brush (I recommend a glove brush like the HandsOn brand). Learn to Dremel their claws (from your groomer or vet). This helps to build a mutual caring and trust relationship.
Along with the previous two actions, spend time every now and then just sitting quietly with your dog, petting them, talking softly (if at all, dogs don’t do conversations). This ability to have down time with your dog is really important, and helps build more trust between you. Learn to massage a dog’s body properly, most dogs love a good massage.
Also spend a little time every day playing with your dog. Do what the dog loves to do. Fetch, chase, whatever the dog loves doing with you. Play is so very vital to the ongoing development of not just puppies, but adult dogs, also!
While playing, keep boundaries in mind! No biting, no getting too rough. This also applies to training. Be consistent, regularly schedule times help, as dogs are very much creatures of habit and routine. But again, keep it fun and playful! And be consistent, inconstant commands, rules, etc, will only confuse your dog and damage your relationship with them.
I also recommend learning how dogs communicate. It is a fascinating subject that we’re just starting to understand in depth. I highly recommend all dog owners start with “Calming Signals” by Turid Rugaas.
Take your dog out, go places, visit Lowe’s or HomeDepot or some other dog friendly place! It gets your dog more used to being out in public, you get to do in depth training with distractions, and it can be so much fun! But be there WITH your dog, don’t just drag them around on a leash like they’re luggage. They’re your bestie, act like it, talk to them, have a fun adventure!
So go have fun your puppers! And remember, OUR DOGS ARE FAMILY!