It's never too late to strengthen your bond with your furry friend. Whether you've been together for a few days or over ten years, you can always do special things to enrich your closer relationship with your dog. From eye contact to occasional play times, there are hundreds of activities that can bring you two closer.
So, how do you know when you've bonded well with your furry friend?
An article on Rover.com points out that;
If your dog makes regular, visual contact with you in new environments, it means your bond is strong. Similarly, a bonded dog is far less likely to run away. Bonded dogs tend to have a strong recall response and make sure their person is close by in new situations.
If you’re wondering about it, here are some tell-tale signs:
- They readily make constant eye contact
- They cling to you when walking or in a new environment
- They're thrilled to see you when you get back home from work or study.
- They're relaxed with or around you.
- They snuggle your stuff like carrying your shoes around in their mouth
- They listen and respond to you
- They seek out your affection
10 Best Tips to Build Stronger Bond with Dogs
Here we have compiled a list of ten different activities that will help to build an even stronger bond with your dog.
Exercising together not only helps to shed the fat but also brings you two closer. Indulging in any physical activity together is known to boost Oxytocin, a hormone associated with empathy, trust, and bonding. Here are some ways you can exercise together.
- Take a hike to the nearby forest, hills, or trails.
- Go for a trail run if your dog is agile and very athletic.
- Go for a swim together. Many pools allow dogs to swim.
- Indulge in catch and let-go, Frisbee, chase and hide & Seek games.
- Jog or walk together to the park.
Exercising is often the most preferred method of bonding because it stimulates both of you physically and mentally.
Be careful about taking your pup and older dogs for a run. They're often better with occasional, less-strenuous exercises.
Train them every day/Teach them Tricks
Dogs crave mental stimulation, and they love having a job. It's your job to keep them indulged in physical and mental training that boots their neurological development.
If you're wondering, dogs have an aptitude for learning from an early age. This is why trainers always recommend teaching them new commands from an early age.
Learning new tricks and training is an enriching experience for dogs; hence you should use this opportunity to strengthen your bond with them.
Start with teaching basic commands like Sit, Run, Stop, Rollover, etc. Teach new tricks every time after they've learned one. Dogs who have to stay all by themselves often indulge in reenacting tricks; hence, you should teach them new tricks by using positive reinforcement techniques.
Give them a Massage and Brushing.
Grooming is equally essential to dogs' health: regular grooming and massaging help combat stress, physical ailments, injuries, and vein blockage.
You can either take them to a professional groomer or even groom them at home using the right brushes and tools. Grooming them by yourself is a great idea to boost your bond. Your dog will always look forward to a brushing session from you.
Consider massaging them on a regular interval. It is incredibly beneficial for your dog’s health, flexibility, and circulation. It will help increases oxygen flow to the blood, relieves pain and muscle tension, alleviates anxiety, and remove the chances of hip or joint dysplasia.
Older dogs will enjoy frequent massages because of bone and joint ailment that is more common in the older age.
Engage in playtime
Schedule a little fun for every day. Playing games will stimulate your dog's mood and body and strengthen your bond with them!
You can indulge in a great many games with them, including playing game of tug, building an obstacle course, catching Frisbee or balls, or other mind-stimulating games.
Experts suggest indulging your dog in mentally stimulating games at home to beat stress and boredom and help for neurological development.
Regular, active play can also help cut down on problem behaviors, according to a study released by Bristol University.
Feed them personally
Your dog will love to eat out of your hand. Although it isn't possible to feed them by hand all the time, you can make sure to feed homemade dog treats occasionally, and a piece of food by hand, like when you go out, after a play, after a bath, and on other occasions.
Hand-feeding your dog is another way to build a special bond with your dog. They'd love to slurp the treat of your palm.
Create and stick to the routine
Your dog will love to hang out with you, play with you, or cuddle when you're home. Creating a daily schedule will keep your dog on its toes at all times. They'd look forward to going for a jog every morning, eat alongside you in the evening, and cuddle together while you're watching a movie.
Dogs are creatures of habit, so creating routines for several different behaviors can help you play a role in their regular habits. This will help you spend more time with them each day.
Pet with Purpose
Petting a dog symbolizes your affection and love towards them. Unlike us, dogs very well know this fact, and they encourage you to brush your hand on their head, neck, and around the belly.
Many pet owners casually brush their hands on their dog's heads, but this isn't enough to get their full attention and affection. You'd need to pet them as you mean it.
Take some time and make an extra effort to pet them every day. Start with gently brushing their head, and then move your hands around their fingers leading down to their neck and under the chin. You can end it with a gentle belly rub. Dogs love a belly rub.
Understand their body language
Dogs' can't tell what they're feeling or suffering; hence it's your job to comprehend their physical cues.
Dogs speak a lot through their body. When they’re afraid, they'll often look for comfort in the corners or under the blanket. When they're joyous, they'll wag their tails. Their ears will point down when they're concerned or sad.
You can take up the challenge and study their behavior to communicate with them more accessible. Sometimes, their eyes would tell you a lot about the state they're in!
Create some Cuddle Time
Dogs love to cuddle! Maybe it's their favorite time pass. It's nicer to show them that you care by cuddling with them.
Let them cuddle with you when you're chilling on the couch, sitting on the bed, meeting your best friend, or just lying around.
Cuddling helps boost the release of dopamine and oxytocin in dogs that helps to prevent an increase in stress and depression. They'll also feel safer when cuddling!
Give them a Quiet Space
It may come as a surprise, but yes, you should give them a quiet space from time to time. Dogs often love to sit by themselves, watching over the chores, peeping out of the window, or lying just lying around. You can preserve your bond by letting them enjoy their private time occasionally.
Make a private space where they retreat to, such as a crate or a dog bed in another room. Let them get away for a while if they feel overwhelmed or want to stay away from loud houseguests.
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Taking the time to be mindful and cater to your dog's needs will help to prosper your bond with them.
Want to learn more about animal wellness and building a stronger bond with your pet? Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale.