People get dogs to have companions in their lives. However, when you have first adopted your canine friend, they are still a bit wary of you. If you want to bond with your dog, there are several sure-fire ways to do so.
Bonding is pretty important to ensure that your life with your pet is easier and more relaxing.
Being in your dog’s presence is not going to be enough. You want to actively bond with them. Here are five things you can to do to bond with your dog.
1. Learn to Respect Your Dog’s Identity
One of the first things you can do to bond with your dog is to learn more about its personality and to treat it appropriately. Knowing what they love and hate is a great way to endear yourselves to them.
For example, I’ve got a couple of dogs myself. Helen is a small dog who looks quite adorable. She loves being around people but dislikes being cuddled with.
My other dog is Rex and is a massive 75 pound animal. Now he likes just lounging around on my lap or on the couch.
I treat them the way they like to be treated. This means that though I try to give Rex his exercise, I don’t push him on being more active.
Helen gets the occasional pat and body rub but no hugs or cuddles. If you want to bond with your dog, you’ll want to respect their boundaries so that they can learn to appreciate you.
This can range from respecting their likes to just providing them with foods that they like.
2. Remember That Your Dog is a Dog.
When you attempt to bond with your dog, don’t try to treat them like small human beings. It’s a tendency of some people to think of their dogs as small children.
Though this is adorable, you don’t connect with your dog as you do with your child.
To properly bond with your dog, you will need to treat them as what they are: pack animals. For this to happen they need structure, discipline, and praise. They need to feel that they are part of a pack and that you are the pack leader.
Do some form of training so that they can feel guided by you. This is what they are hard-wired to do. Reward them and praise them when they do well.
This reinforces good behavior and actions. Leaving them untrained is a recipe for disaster.
3. Don’t Expect Too Much
Another part of your attempt to bond with your dog is to learn not to expect too much from them. It’s part of remembering that they are dogs. They will do things that you feel are stupid or a bit too much.
A good example of this is if you get home and find that they have chewed up your carpet or made a mess.
The natural response is to get angry and punish them by sending them outside with a bunch of yelling. However, that’s a bad move.
To truly bond with your dog, they need to recognize you as a reasonable figure of authority. If you caught them in the act, then yelling at them is a natural move since they will know that they are doing something wrong.
However, if you just found the mess, your dog will not be able to connect what they did with your yelling.
It will seem like that you are yelling for no reason. Always remember to discipline your dogs firmly but calmly to build your rapport.
4. Learn to Communicate With Your Dog
The biggest barrier that you will encounter when you try to bond with your dog is the simple fact that they are unable to talk. People bond with each other by sharing stories and talking with each other.
If you want that same kind of bond with your dog, then you will need to be able to communicate with them. This is a big obstacle for many people.
Fortunately, your dog really wants to communicate with you. They communicate through sounds and actions. Some of these are really basic.
For example, when I see Helen pawing at the bottom of my front door, I know that she wants to go out and ramble on the lawn. Rex whines at me when he’s feeling hungry. However, it can’t be all as easy as that.
You will need to learn individual signs of what your dog wants. Each dog has their own particular way to signal to you what they want. Learn all the small signs so that you will be able to recognize them and respond to them.
With your increased ability to understand your dog, you and your dog will be able to slowly connect with each other as you try to respond to each other.
5. Love Your Dog
It may seem corny and a bit simple, but the very basic act of loving your dog can go a long way to build a bond between you two. Your dog is very sensitive and they will know that you love them.
However, it doesn’t hurt if you show it in more overt ways. It doesn’t mean spoiling them though.
All you need to do to show your love for your dog is to spend time with them. Petting your dog or rubbing their bellies is a nice way to show your affection.
Simple praise is also a great way to show your love. Take them on walks around your neighborhood. Dogs are pretty simple in that they want to spend time with you and to make you happy.
Show your dog that you’re happy in their presence and that can go a long way.
These are just five general ways you can bond with your dogs. You can probably think up of more specific ways to bond with them.
Try to be creative and remember that the important thing is that your dogs know that you love them – that’s where your bond will start to grow from.