Five Top Tips to Bond with Your Dog

Top Five Tips to Bond with Your Dog

Five Top Tips to Bond with Your Dog

ThisHow do I know if I have a strong bond with my dog?

I love Luna. And I know she loves me back. 

Dogs magnify love back to you tenfold. What you give them, they give back to you. 

That’s one of the reasons 40% of households in the UK now have a dog. 

On Sunday, I went for a woodland dog walk with Max and Luna. They love this walk, and so do we. On a sunny Sunday morning, what could be better?

I am very vigilant with my dog watching as Luna sometimes gets scared. I saw a friend running through the forest with her dog, off the lead.  This was utterly inspiring. Can you imagine running with your dog through the woodland, the sun shining through the trees? Luna is gazing at me with love, trust, and affection – okay, the reality would be more likely me panting and sweating, searching for Luna as she would probably run off after the first squirrel she smelt/ saw/ heard.

How do you know if you have a strong bond with your dog? 

This got me thinking back to the beginning of dog training. The instructor, Karen, sent Luna and me away the first day with the homework ‘Luna needs to learn her name.

What?!  

She was right, and we got there in the end. So why do some dogs shadow their humans? Why do some dogs follow every command? Why do some dogs act like ‘Peter Perfects?

Like children, they all have their moments; what you see in a split moment is not always reality.

Some top tips as a parent I picked up along the way work for every one of my children even though they are so different, like positive reinforcement over punishment, building trust, and open communication.

So, what are the critical top simple tips for bonding with your dogs? How do we build love and trust? How do we raise a companion that runs by our sides through the forest even if they see a squirrel?

Five top simple tips to bond with your dog

Quality Time

One of your pups’ love languages! Put your phone away, turn off the and play play play, get down on the floor, throw that ball, squeak that squeaky donut, and enjoy it. 

It doesn’t matter if you run, walk, skip, or dance. They will love spending that quality time just you and them inside or outside. It doesn’t matter.

Be consistent and have a routine.

Consistency, too, is essential. Just like children, your dog will thrive on boundaries and routines. Whether it’s that last thing at night, bedtime wee, or when they have breakfast, they know what time it is! There’s no point letting them jump up at you one day and telling them off the next; they’re far too clever for that.

Training Sessions

Unexpectedly, part of our bonding time, not only because I had to hear the harsh truth that after six months of Luna being in my home, she still didn’t know her name. We were both trained to learn trust, consistency, rules, and commands and to focus on each other. We were in it together, that’s for sure.

Body Language

Learn to read their body language. We know when Sasha is going to react; you can feel her go tense, see her raise her tail, the stare of doom; reading the signs helps us to start to use our training to help her feel safe and confident and try to avoid and deter the reactive barking, being a German Shepherd she looks aggressive, she’s a Big Friendly Giant. We’re not doing her any favours by letting anyone think differently.

Luna is still fearful sometimes, and reading the signs helps me give her comfort and security. They both know when I am sad, stressed, or need a hug, it’s only fair we do the same.

Build trust through all of the above and love and affection.

Being gentle and calm around your dog, it’s best for both of you to lower stress and anxiety. Just like some humans, some dogs do not like being hugged, and for some, touching their faces can feel uncomfortable or even aggressive. Give them space when needed, but also provide that belly rub when requested.

A strong bond with your dog helps with training, behaviour, and trust, lowers anxiety, and significantly improves your mental health.

For a relationship that genuinely thrives with trust, love, and mutual respect, it’s worth every second. I believe there is nothing better than the unconditional love you find with your dog (please don’t tell my children I said that!)

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