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How to bond with your dog emotionally?

Follow these 6 tips from a fellow Pet Parent

Effective Ways to bond with your dog

Forming a strong bond with the dog you adopt is vital to its well-being. Here are some effective ways, tried and tested by several dog parents that will ensure that the next time the door is left open, your little fluffy companion does not feel the need to escape.

Robert Wagner once said “Pets have more love and compassion in them than most humans.” To be able to completely be your pet’s most trusted and beloved ,one has to do more than just play and feed .More often than not pet owners fail to establish a strong connection or bond with their dogs and that can have a major effect on the pet’s growth, mental health and behaviour. Having adopted several dogs as pets and interacting with fellow owners, I have narrowed this process down into simple doable steps. Following these may work but every pooch has its own thinking ability and coping mechanism and may require some creativity. The basic idea is to be able to figure out how to win their little hearts by trying sets of different methods.

In my experience, I have noticed that most dogs start communicating as soon as the owner goes above and beyond to make them comfortable. I remember when I had adopted my first thirty five day old puppy, he was terrified at the thought of being touched, would bark at anyone around and hide as soon as someone tried to communicate with him. He was a tough nut to crack, but a lot of patience, attention to detail and space was really all it took. Here are some important tips to keep in mind while connecting with your adorable companions.

1. Learn and analyse body language.

Dogs have unique ways of expressing themselves, be it licking, sniffing or movement. They have various facial expressions and postures to communicate intentions or strong emotions. Spending quality time reading into your pet’s body language can make you aware when they are happy, anxious or nervous even. This particular skill prepares you for the worst and helps avoid a great deal of confusion.

2. Spend the necessary amount of time your furbaby needs.

If a sturdy relationship is to be formed, the bare minimum will never cut it. Sometimes it took me four to five months to simply be able to pat a stray that I was fostering. Patience is the key. If your pet needs some time, do nothing but provide. Forming bonds is about creating memorable experiences. Undivided attention for about an hour a day, random strolling, fetch with toys, hiking, visiting beaches and sharing other adventures with your pet every single day can get you very close to sharing a healthy bond.

3. Cut the little one some slack and give them SPACE.

Cuddling with your dog is the most ecstatic and astounding feeling. A lot of owners have an annoying habit of just being or doing too much. However, looking at things from the dog’s perspective makes it quite obvious that too much touching time is a big no-no. You wouldn’t want to give your buddy a reason to get aggressive, hide or avoid being with you. Occasionally, it is better to let the dog come to you. Letting the dog adapt to the space and its owner’s presence or absence is crucial. Trust me I learnt it the hard way.

4. Understanding Likes and Dislikes. (Yes it applies to dogs too!)

As your pet starts figuring out what appeals to it and what doesn’t, pay attention. Knowing the scents, food products, choice of toy and modes of touch preferred by your pooch will always come in handy. Similarly, being aware of what does not seem to appeal to your canine will help you avoid a lot of bad situations. My dog Colin had a fear of umbrellas, and that not only helped us make him feel safe but also gave us an edge when he was misbehaving. One little opening umbrella click would drop the slipper right out of his mouth!

5. Physical and Verbal Communication.

The very first happy achievement on the bumpy road of making your dog belong to you is usually when they acknowledge and respond to their name. To make them do so, communication is the only method. Physical cues like calling their name and running towards them helps them understand that the word or sound being spoken refers to them. Likewise, to make them familiar with other words more actions have to be demonstrated repeatedly over a time period. Interacting with my body and movement consistently helped my pets improve our understanding and brought us closer. 

6. Training and discipline.

It is truly paramount to understand that treating your pet is not always the perfect approach to enhance your relationship with them. Teaching them correct behaviour and boundaries makes your pet respect you. Offering treats when they learn a new trick, always makes them happier. Personally, I never knew how to train a dog before I tried for the first time. However, over time it got easier and sometimes quite fun too, for both owner and pet. Consistent training sessions with your dog will also familiarize and help habituate them in your space.

Primarily, one of the most significant things to remember before leaving your new companion at a pet boarding service or dog day care, however capable, is to ensure a loving bond and connection with your dog. If and only if your pet learns to trust you, will it ever try to adapt somewhere new. 

Being a dog lover, bonding with your little buddy and getting them to love and truly know you will inexplicably improve your mental well-being and quality of life. That’s a guarantee folks, from one dog owner to the one reading this*!

* Now you can schedule a fun dog spa at home session for your furbaby

* If you enjoyed reading this, you should check out other content on Snouters blog.