How to Bond with Your Dog Every Day
It's no secret that dogs and humans have a truly symbiotic relationship. You mutually benefit from each other's existence, whether it's through companionship, protection, or even service. Nevertheless, there's always room to enhance the connection you and your furry friend share!
If you're wondering how to bond with your dog, you'll be pleased to learn that there are several activities you can easily work into your daily routine. Maybe you've even been bonding with your dog without realizing it. Let's find out!
Factors That May Impact Bonding with Your Dog
Before getting started, it's important to note that the following external factors may make bonding with your dog a bit more challenging. Just remember that persistence will go a long way toward strengthening your relationship.
Your Dog's Past Experiences
Shelter dogs who have not been properly acclimated using positive dog socialization methods are often reluctant to bond with new pet parents. Unfortunately, the same goes for dogs who have been previously neglected or abused. Be mindful of your dog's past, and don't take it personally if the bonding process isn't going as fast as you wish.
Senior dogs may especially be established in their ways and less likely to adjust during bonding activities. Remember to practice patience as your older furry friend warms up to you and their surroundings.
Some dog breeds, such as the Chow Chow and Basset Hound, prefer alone time and tend to favor a mellow bond with their pet parents.
6 Simple Ways to Bond with Your Dog
Learning how to bond with your dog isn't a daunting, multi-step process! In fact, you've probably engaged in at least one of these daily activities already. By carving out time in your routine, you'll be well on your way to improving your connection with your furry friend.
#1: Exercise Daily
Regularly exercising with your furry friend is a wonderful way to strengthen your bond while maintaining physical fitness. Brisk walks improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, and decrease stress for both humans and canines. Hiking, swimming, and running with your dog are similarly beneficial. Not only can these activities bring you and your pup closer, but they're good for both of your well-being (just make sure your dog is comfortable with and capable of these workouts!)
#2: Practice Obedience & Trick Training
Using positive reinforcement and praise during training will help your dog learn new commands faster. Plus, you will improve overall communication, allowing you and your dog to form a bond built on trust and respect.
Whether you're helping your pup master basic dog commands or running through an advanced agility course, training will help you both understand and grow increasingly fond of each other.
#3: Make Play Part of Your Day
Everyone knows that dogs love to play. Physically and mentally stimulating, playing is an enjoyable way for dogs to stay occupied. It's even more fun when pet parents join in on the action! Participating in a round of tug o' war or playing fetch using play toys are just a few fulfilling, tail-wagging ways to bond with your dog.
#4: Establish an At-Home Grooming Routine
Brushing your dog is a bonding opportunity not to be missed. It keeps your dog's coat looking clean and healthy while providing your pup with the attention they crave. If done gently, brushing also feels good on your dog's skin and can be quite soothing.
As your furry friend becomes more comfortable and learns that it is okay to be handled, their trust in you will grow.
#5: Simply Relax
One of the easiest ways to feel closer to your pup is to cuddle up with them. Spending quality time together and feeling each other's touch, especially through petting, lowers stress and increases levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Oxytocin is known to deepen the connection felt between humans and dogs.
With this in mind, you and your furry friend can enjoy frequently cozying up on the couch together; it's therapeutic, after all!
#6: Do Something Spontaneous!
Most pet parents and their pups tend to follow a similar routine from day to day. While it's good to give your furry friend some structure, occasionally changing things up will keep them on their paws! By sprinkling in spontaneity, such as visiting the dog park or letting your pup pick a new chew toy at the store, you can help your dog understand that there's an opportunity for fun around every corner!
A solid bond is crucial to becoming best buddies with your dog. Instead of shying away from you or bolting out the door at a moment's notice, your pup will likely prefer to stay by your side once a genuine connection has been formed. We hope you'll both find a great deal of joy in each other's company by following these tips on how to bond with your dog!