Adopting a new dog is a great experience, and you want to establish a strong bond with your canine friend.
However, creating a strong relationship with your dog is something that you do over time.
Whether you just brought a new puppy home or you have been with him for several years, here are 10 tips to strengthen your bond with your dog.
1. Use Positive Training Methods
When it comes to training, you need to first set your puppy up for success and teach him how to behave, instead of constantly correcting annoying behaviors.
Using positive training methods will help make training an exciting activity for you and your dog. Your pup will learn that you’re a respectful person who’s worth paying attention to.
It’s never too late to teach your dog some basic tricks, and the Brain Training for Dogs program is a great resource to teach your dog some helpful tricks while strengthening your bond with him.
This program uses positive reinforcement training methods, which help to strengthen the bond between you and your best friend. Your dog will learn that you are his provider and solving problems together will help make that bond stronger.
2. Give Your Dog His Own Space
Some dogs take time to settle in a new environment, so try and make your pup more comfortable by giving him his own space.
Your dog is in a new environment with new sounds, smells and sights. It can be a scary time for many dogs, so make your dog more comfortable by giving him his own crate, bed or a secure place where he can relax.
3. Relax Together
As far as bonding with your dog goes, you can never go wrong with relaxing and spending some quality time together with your pet.
Invite your pooch on the couch for some cuddling or massage sessions.
Relaxing together is a great way to bond with your dog, and you can teach your pup the importance of chilling out together by adding it to your regular routine.
4. Feed Him
Hand feeding is particularly helpful for anxious or shy dogs.
Hand-feeding your dog is an activity that will establish trust between you and your puppy and it’s a great way to build and improve that bond.
If you are not too enthusiastic about having him eat food directly from your hand, you may want to give him treats while he sits next to you. That closeness establishes trust and improves the bond between you and your dog.
5. Set Clear Rules
When it comes to strengthening the bond between you and your dog, it is important to set clear rules.
Make sure all members of your family stick to the same rules. Having different people giving out different orders will confuse your dog.
You can avoid confusion and frustration by making sure every member of your family sticks to the same rules.
If you want to improve the bond between you and your dog, set clear goals and make sure everyone is on the same page.
6. Play Together
Another effective way to create a strong bond with your dog is to play together.
Some puppies will be ready to engage in exciting activities with you as soon as they come home while others will need to be lured.
If your puppy is not ready to play, chances are he is overwhelmed by the new environment, so make sure he is comfortable first.
Some fun games to play with your new best friend include Frisbee, hide-and-seek, tug of war and treat dispensing toys.
Playing together with your dog will improve the bond you enjoy with your pup, and it can also help solve certain problem behaviors.
Research has shown that a lack of playtime increases the chances of dogs developing annoying behaviors, including jumping up, biting or chewing.
7. Determine What Makes Your Dog Happy
Take the time to learn what makes your dog happy, and do more of it.
If your dog likes playing with you, find time to play with him. You can also use the things he likes most as rewards for good behavior.
Keep in mind that what makes your dog happy may not necessarily make you happy, e.g. chasing birds or digging up the ground. You can still use such things to strengthen the bond between you and your puppy; you just need to get your creative juices flowing.
For example, you can play Frisbee or tug of war with your bird-chasing dog. Or build a sandbox for him if he is fond of digging up your yard. With some creativity, you can turn many problem behaviors into fun activities for you to enjoy with your pet.
8. Give Your Dog More Attention
If you want your dog to respect you, you must give him your undivided attention.
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9. Walk and Travel Together
Another great way to strengthen the bond between you and your new puppy is to take him out for daily walks to discover their new environment.
Since they are not used to the neighborhood, make sure that you give them more time to explore all the new and exciting things in the area.
Also, when you go on a trip, be sure to take them with you. Exploring new places and smells is one of the best ways to strengthen that bond.
10. Learn Your Dog’s Language
Some pet parents get annoyed when their dogs say no.
Instead of getting offended when your new best friend tells you no, try to determine the reason. Perhaps he is feeling unwell. Maybe he doesn’t understand you.
In some cases, a dog with behavior problems developed them because there was no one listening to him. If he resists training, his owner either punishes him or gives him treats until he obeys.
Or perhaps he is not telling you no, he is simply asking you to “wait a moment”. Maybe he is sniffing something fascinating or he has seen something exciting.
If your dog says no, try to find out why. For that reason, train your dog properly so you don’t get offended if he doesn’t respond immediately. Understanding your dog’s body language can greatly enhance your bond with him.
Be sure to check out the Brain Training for Dogs Program, your ultimate guide to enjoying life with your new canine friend.
The program is about what to do in order to raise a well-behaved dog. It will teach you how to improve your bond with your puppy by understanding their needs and behaviors.
As a result, you’ll be able to stop problem behaviors, teach him good habits and establish that strong bond you desired before you gave your dog a home.