There is something almost magical about the bond between a dog and his master. Other relationships rarely experience the unconditional love and loyalty between a dog owner and the dog. Unfortunately, creating a bond with a dog is not always an easy task. Establishing that bond takes a lot of time and effort, both of which are on short supply in modern, busy families. What are a few tips that will help you bond with your dog?
Earn the dog's respect by leading the pack. A dog needs a pack leader and will become that leader if one is absent. One of the best ways to get your dog's respect, and to encourage him to follow your lead, trust your instincts and bond with you, is by taking control of your "pack". Take a basic obedience class with your dog as soon as possible so that both you and the dog establish the proper roles early in the relationship. My dog views me as his pack leader and tends to follow my lead as we move through each day. He exhibits a different behavior and bond with me than with the other members of the family.
Ensure that your love for your dog is unconditional. Love is a natural emotion, but unconditional love sometimes takes human effort. Humans sometimes lose patience or see flaws and imperfections that cloud their natural emotions. Bonding between dogs and humans requires that unconditional love flows both ways. Certainly, there are times when frustrations occur between humans and dogs. Forgiveness helps return the emotional balance.
Include the dog in your busy schedule daily. Establishing a bond with your dog takes time. For proper bonding, the dog needs to get to know you, understand your personality and learn to trust you. Trust and understanding build over time. For busy dog owners, this means that the dog must be penciled onto your calendar each and every day. I work from home, so I spend a lot of time with our current dog, or, at least, in his presence. During the day, I try to take regular breaks for walks with him or even just a few minutes to pet and talk with him. A dog craves the time and attention of his owner, and this positive time only adds to the relationship's bond strength.
Provide proper care for the dog. While providing adequate food, shelter and medical care may seem separate from relationship bonding, they are building blocks. If your dog receives his basic needs, his mind and body are more content to focus on other aspects of life, such as trusting and bonding with his family.
Actively participate in your dog's training and activities. One of our daughters rarely interacts with our dog. She took little interest in his early training and rarely participates in playing or care activities. She and the dog never became acquainted, and this is obvious in their relationship. He is far more devoted to the other family members than to the elusive child. Be involved with your dog. Play with the dog, walk him and participate in training activities. Spending time with the dog in structured, trust building training and activity sessions, offers priceless bonding opportunities.
Sources:Basic Dog Obedience
Fundamentals of Puppy Ownership