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Best ways to bond with your Dog

09 May 2013 | by | Posted in: Wag Wiki

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”- Charles M. Schulz

The fact that you are reading this article shows that you love your dog very much. It also shows that you care for him and you want to build a strong bond with him. However, I must say that in order to build a healthy bonding with your dog, you need a combination of love and some amount of rules and structure. I have a one and half year old Labrador named Casper. He is the most energetic and cheerful member of our family.  I walk him daily in the evening, play fetch and groom him. I ensure that I spend quality time with him. He loves to play games like tug-of-war and being outdoors. I take him to the park frequently, which he likes most. At the same time, I have made some set of rules which he is supposed to follow while he is at home. I would say that we both have a special bonding which is built on the foundation of love and trust.

I think the best way to connect with your pet is to spend time with him. Make him do some exercises, play with him and groom him.  

I always try to understand my dog by observing him. He always tries to tell me about his likes and dislikes. From his simple gestures of coming to me and licking my hand, I can interpret that he wants to go outside.  It may seem funny but every morning he comes to me and licks my earlobes gently to wake me up! His cute little gestures always make me laugh. He is an amazing creature.

What are the ways to bond with your dog?

Here are some ways which might help you in establishing a strong bond with your dog:

Most of the dogs are always full of energy like Labradors. They love running and jumping.  If they are not given any activity they get bored and show destructive behaviors. Many times they spoil expensive stuffs too.  One of the best ways to tackle this problem is to re-direct their energy into positive pursuit.  Play with them. Involve him in running and chasing games. Play hide and seek and flirt pole.  Training a dog to come is another important part of obedience training for dogs.  Get your dog some safe and chewable toys. Now-a-days you can find lot of chewable shoes and balls online. You can also get toys like kongs to keep him busy and entertained. Do not ever leave your dog alone without providing him any recreation. Give him some occupation to keep himself busy. I keep my dog busy with his kong toy filled with his favorite treats, cheese and peanut butter.  Make sure you make your dog do some obedience training as well.

At times, I walk my dog on a loose leash so that he can smell and explore the surrounding environment. During activities like fetch, I hand feed him his favorite treats so as to establish trust.

You must not only look to what you desire from your dog but also how you can fulfill what he desires from you. This approach is a key towards building a strong relationship with your dog. Apart from this, this is useful in getting your dog do the things which he does not want to do, like bathing.  Keeping in mind that my dog Casper does not like to take his regular bath in bathroom, I take him on my terrace and play games with him using water hose. He does not like getting drenched in water but he is happy getting wet while playing.   In between I scrub him and he takes it happily.  Through this, I engage him into an activity which he likes without any stress or physical force. Always be patient, calm, fair and consistent with your dog. This way you will be able to gain his respect.( Essential Training Tips for new Puppies and Pet Parents )

Do not respond in anger or yell at your dog. If you are calm, he is more likely to listen to what you are saying. Do not punish him for jumping on your sofa one day and not another. Be consistent. Never punish him if he is not able to perform a particular command. At the same time, set some rules in the house so that he does not bully you. If you always get frustrated or angry, it will be hard to establish a healthy relationship with your dog. Healthy and strong relationship should be built on trust and respect.

Dogs can sense fear naturally. If you fear what your dog can do, he will sense that fear and will become fearful and uncertain because of it. So never be fearful of your dog. Remain calm, fair and consistent. It will make your dog feel sense of safety and security. He will always know what to expect from you. Always teach him some regular commands and hand gestures so that you can communicate with him. Establish some set of rules for him to follow. Establishing a regular routine for your dog is another important thing to establish relationship with him. Many dog trainers suggest that strong bond is dependent on dominance rules like walking ahead of your dog, eating before him and walking through the doors first. 

Many of these rules are useful in building a healthy relationship with your dog not because they establish your dominance over him but because they add structure to your relationship. Rules make you a respected pack leader. If you will try to make him do these activities with fearful or angry attitude, he will misbehave, get frustrated or become aggressive. Gaining trust is entirely different from getting love from your pet. Dogs have unlimited capacity to love you but it takes little time when it comes to trusting their owners. Trust is built when you show interest in your dog’s interests. Forceful training methods or activities can destroy his trust in you.  In order to gain your dog’s trust, focus on what is best for him rather than what is best for you. Do not over expect anything in return. At the end of everything, make sure you take care of his health. Visit his vet at least once a month. Make sure you take him for teeth cleaning and vaccinations regularly.

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson wrote in Dogs Never Lie, “Among human, love does not survive a growing acquaintance, but in a dog, love seems to grow with acquaintance to get stronger, deeper. Even when fully acquainted with all our weakness, our treachery, our kindness, the dog seems to love strongly and this dog love is returned by most humans. We, too, seem to love our dogs the more we get to know them. The bond grows between us and our dogs.” This shows why you need a dog as companion. Whoever you are, they give you so much unconditional love which rarely any human companion would give you. Your dog never judges you on the basis of your looks, social image or income. He always loves you with his heart and thinks you as a wonderful person!


Learned a lot from your article:)Damn sure your dog will always be happy tc.

By: Anshul Kheta | 10 May 2013

Thanks Anshul :)

By: Shilpy | 10 May 2013

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