When you bring your dog home, there’s a lot of things to think about. You have to make sure you train you dog properly, feed him the right food, potty train him, etc. There is just so much that sometimes it can be easier than you think to forget about one of the most important things: bonding with your dog! If you’re looking for some tips on how to make a lasting relationship with your dog, here are some great ways to accomplish that.
Understand your dog’s body language
When it comes to getting to know your dog, a lot of it is going to come from understanding their body language. Read up on the subject so that you are in a better position to understand your dog and learning about when he is comfortable versus uncomfortable. You have to remember that your dog is a part of your family, so you need to take his needs as seriously as you can for maximum benefit. No one wants to think about accommodating a dog, but it should be done. If you’d like to read more about this theme, I highly recommend a great book “For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend” from Dr. Patricia McConnell”, behaviorist and zoologist. All basic dog emotions are described to the details and how to recognize them. When I read it, I went outside with Kala and I immediately started noticing signs described in the book.
Play his favorite games
Your dog will have a favorite game or two: catch, fetch, tug of war, etc. Make sure you take time out of your day – each day – to play with him. Take him for walks, get on the ground and play with him, etc. Playing with your dog is a very easy way to make sure that both him and you get a great bond going and he will learn to associate you with fun times, which is always great for your bond.
Train him appropriately
Take tame to train your dog, not just basic stuff as house training, loose leash walking, coming when called, etc. Learn your dog a new trick, there are plenty of tricks which are just fun to watch and lots of them that you’ll find beneficial in your every day life. If you can’t think of a new trick you could learn your dog or you simply don’t know step by step process how to do it properly, there are tons of videos on line or you can check very popular book “101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog” from Kyra Sundance and Chalcy. Tricks aren’t just useless moves your dog know and makes them for your amusement, learning new tricks keeps dog’s brain in good condition, makes him think and after all mind games wear their energy so are very useful for those cold rainy days when you really really don’t want to go out for a long walk.
Spend quality time with your dog
If you hang out while you’re cooking or watching TV, that’s great, but make sure you spend time with your dog when you are just hanging out, too. Believe it or not, your dog likes to chat with you and will definitely notice if you put your full attention on him. If you want to really work at strengthening your connection with your animal, this is a good way to do it, plus it’s like free therapy if you use it correctly. Don’t underestimate the connection you get with your pet by simply chatting with him. It does a lot more than you’d think.
Understand your dog’s likes and dislikes
If you dog hates baths, remember that. If he loves walking a certain route, remember that, too. As mentioned before, you have to remember that your dog is part of your family and he needs to be taken seriously and treated the same way. You have to make sure that you are treating him properly and making sure that you are not doing anything that makes him upset or mad, because this can ruin an otherwise healthy relationship with your pooch. It seems weird to think about for sure, but it really does make a difference and you need to ensure that you are paying attention to your dog and all of the things that matter most to him. Because he is certainly doing the same thing to you and your needs. This doesn’t mean that you should never bath your dog because he dislike it, of course you should, but try to make pleasant every experience he dislike, by adding treats or playing with your dog immediately after it.
Set up a safe space with him
If you are still getting to know your lovely dog, make sure you give him his own space. It can be a chair, a dog bed, a carrier cage, anything that will allow your dog to feel as though he has a spot that is his. If possible, do your best to make sure that your dog’s space is near a spot you like to hang out, so that way you can spend some time together have a wonderful time, while still giving him the space that he needs to feel comfortable and safe on his own. This is more important than you would like to think. Also, if you see that your dog is in bad mood, remove the distraction and let him be in his safe heaven. For example, Kala really likes my 5 yo nephew, but I can see on her behaviour when she had enough. Mostly, she just turns around and goes to her bed. At that moment I forbid him to go to her to pet her or to call her to play, no matter how much he wants to. If you have kids and a Jack Russell, remember to give him space and some time alone, especially if he asks for it.
Groom your dog
Your dog loves to be touched and scratched, so grooming is something that can feel natural when it comes to winning your dog over in your favour. Strongly consider the idea of grooming your dog regularly unless he absolutely hates it. Your dog will enjoy it, and you’ll find that you get to spend some quality time with him in some form or another.
Your dog is a member of your family in so many ways that some of these things – while they may seem overkill to those who have not had a dog before – are pretty human. Remember the fact that your beloved dog is a very important member of your family, so you have to make sure that you treat him that way at all times to make sure that both you and him are very happy together. If you have a bad bond with your dog, it is going to really make things harder on both of you, but if you have a good bond with him, you’ll be able to make so many good memories that are going to make you and him feel like you’ve had the time of your lives. Essentially, when it comes to your relationship with your dog, you have to take it as seriously as that one that you have with your human family.
What do you think about my bonding tips? Do you maybe have something to add? Please, write it all in the comments below.