Bonding with your dog is a relationship that requires compromise, thinking about, consideration, and shaping. It’s worth remembering that you picked your dog—he/she didn’t pick you. In the past, dogs were kept for their functionality and could live outside. This is still the case for those working with dogs like sheepdogs and rescue dogs. However, the relationship with dogs has evolved with people keeping them in their homes and treating them to the same degree as humans. Keep on reading if you’d like to learn how to bond with your dog and create a lasting relationship.
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If possible, it’s great if you frequently take your dog for a walk. This is a great bonding activity, even if your goal is not to train the dog. These free walks will allow your dog to explore and sniff. You can also let your dog lead you, but you should keep them out of trouble. On the other hand, training walks can help you work on commands like “sit” in new places. Just going for a walk is probably one of the best ways to bond with your dog. When going on walks isn’t an option, you can take your dog for a car ride. This provides the dog with a different experience.
Teach new tricks
Tricks can help take training to the next level. One of the best tricks to teach your dog is the spin. To practice this, take a treat and go outside and walk your dog in a circle. After this, you can guide the dog and reward them after they go a quarter turn. Gradually reward your dog until they can do a half turn and then a full spin. Rename the behavior to a twirl or spin and practice until the dog doesn’t need persuasion with a treat. Teaching your dog new tricks helps exercise their mind and body. It also helps strengthen your bond by increasing trust and confidence.
Talk to your dog
Talking to your dog is another easy way of bonding with your dog. Reading to your dog can help shelter them while building relationships. Besides, it can help reduce stress. The practice is helpful for both you and your dog. Your dog will tend to enjoy hearing a familiar voice while you can take the chance to read something that you enjoy. Besides, you can also talk to your dog by frequently asking questions. This can make it easier for you when working from home.
Let your dog use their nose
Having your dog use their nose at home can help tap into their natural foraging and scavenger abilities. It’s easy to set up different things and let the dog learn to hunt its food around the house. One of the best ways of having the dog use their nose is to set a few boxes in a room and place treats. After this, you can instruct your dog to try and find the smelly, tasty, and high-value treats. As the dog searches for the treats, they get to use their natural senses and brains to try and solve the problem. Eventually, the dog can use the boxes as visual identifiers to locate the treats. After the dog finds the boxes, you can make the exercise more challenging by reducing the number of boxes and eventually taking the boxes away.
Exercise basic training
It’s advisable to choose a simple behavior to teach your dog. After finding something to train, spend at least five to six minutes daily using positive methods. This helps build a stronger bond since both of you learn to develop mutual understanding and trust. Besides training, always remember to reward your dog—it helps to reinforce behavior. For the treats, you can cut them down to smaller sizes, thus rewarding your dog without making them fat.
Engage your dog’s natural behaviors
One way of engaging your dog’s natural behaviors is using a flirt pole. It’s a giant cat toy for dogs that you can easily make at home or purchase. To use the pole, you should tie a toy at the end, swing it and let the dog catch it. You can also add some interesting rules to the game by having the dog drop and pick up the toy on request. The training can help teach your dog impulse control while creating a deeper bond. Furthermore, having the dog catch the toy helps decrease the likelihood of disappointment.
Use the power of touch
Some vets believe that a soft, gentle massage can help lower blood pressure and relieve stress. To properly massage your dog, use your fingertips in circular motions. The neck and chest are amongst the areas that dogs love to be massaged. Over time, you can discover favorite spots on your dog, like their ears, head, or hindquarters. Watching your dog relax during the massage can also be relaxing to you.
Find enriching toys
There are many dog enrichment products that you can get, including food toys, and puzzles. It is, therefore, essential to learn what your dog likes and dislikes. When using a new toy, you should observe how your dog reacts. Some things like food puzzles are enjoyable and safe. If a specific puzzle doesn’t work out, you can find something new or find a different toy. When using food puzzles, you will note that some are easier to solve than others. Avoid something that can cause frustration and find something tasty, thus motivating the dog to work harder. You can even make your own puzzles.
Always remember that bonding with your dog is an endless journey. Therefore, if you opt to do fun training exercises, they shouldn’t be a one-and-done effort. Instead, you should train the dog throughout their life, thus helping you create a more intelligent dog. Besides, bonding with your dog can help eliminate behavioral problems, separation anxiety, reactivity, nuisance behaviors, etc. It can also help give you some comfort during high-stress periods. Trying out these tips can help you find something that can bring you and your dog closer. And you will hopefully find new ways to bond with your dog.