Dogs often show us unconditional love simply because they are loyal to us and care about us. And as a family we should be giving the same amount of love back to them. As you know, it takes time to build a healthy relationship especially when you first adopted them.
The reason is that they will need to adjust themselves to the new home and new owner. And it is very important to create a strong bond with your dog so that you both can live a happy life together.
Here are the 10 tips to improve the relationship with your dog.
1. Spend More Time With You Dog
One of the most important things that you will need to do is, of course, spend more time with your dog. This will for sure have a positive impact on the relationship especially if you both enjoy the activity.
For example, take them out for a walk, go hiking together, go to the beach nearby and relax, or even watch TV together. You can also play their favorite games with them such as tug of war and ball fetching.
Whatever it is, make sure you spend at least 30 minutes doing something together a day.
2. Train Your Dog and Be Consistent
The next thing that you can do is to train your dog. This doesn’t just strengthen the bond with your pooch, but they will learn what is allowed and not allowed to do, hence a well-behaved and loving companion.
Also, it is important to be consistent while you train your dog so that they understand what you are trying to ask them to do.
Though it doesn’t mean you have a better relationship with your dog if they obey your commands simply because they are scared of you and trying to avoid punishments.
So, focus on positive reinforcement, praise them and reward them for their good behavior and I’m sure they will love you more.
3. Always Be Calm and Cool
It is also crucial that you stay calm every time when you communicate with your dog.
Yes, it can be frustrating when they don’t understand what you are trying to get them to do and have to repeat yourself several times. But yelling at them wouldn’t solve the problem either.
Imagine raising your voice to your kids when teaching them something, it is not going to help with anything but would rather make them afraid of you. The same goes for dogs, whether it is to call them over for dinner or to teach them new tricks, you will have to be patient and stay calm.
4. Understand Your Dog’s Behavior
You will undoubtedly need to understand your dog’s behavior and body language as well.
For instance, what are they trying to tell you when they make a particular facial expression or what does it mean when they wag their tail?
What do they like and don’t like to do or eat?
Take time to observe them and see how they react when you do a certain thing.
All these little things will determine the relationship with your dog. Obviously once you understand them more, you will know when they are unhappy, stressed, and are begging for outdoor time. And do things that will comfort them will result in a stronger bond.
5. Prepare Healthy Meals and Your Dog’s Favorite Food
Dogs are just like humans. They can sense if you simply prepare food to fill their stomach or if you actually make it with love.
To bond with your dog, ensure you provide them nutrient-rich meals and of course, their favorite food as well. So, they know how much you care about them and want them to stay healthy.
6. Give Your Dog Affection
You will also need to tell your dog that you love them too!
You can do this by responding to them when they cuddle with you, talk to them, give them a nice massage, kisses and so on.
It is also important to co-sleep with your pooch to provide them a sense of security which is another way of building trust and to show them that you really care about them.
7. Be Cheerful and Playful
Did you know that human emotions are contagious?
If you are upset and stressed all the time, you will also affect their mood. Same thing applies if you are cheerful and are always positive, your dog will be happier to be with you, hence a better relationship.
8. Communicate Clearly
Another important thing is communication. Lack of communication is a barrier to a stronger bond with your dog. Just like you and your partner, delivering a clear message can avoid misunderstanding which can lead to a happy life together.
That said, dogs don’t communicate the way we do and certainly don’t know how to speak. So it is important to give them time to learn what you mean when you say a particular word especially if it is something new to them.
Remember, consistency is the key here. This includes your body language, tone, and your facial expression.
9. Petting and Grooming Session
Physical contact is equally crucial and is another way of building trust.
One thing to note is that some dogs love it when you touch a certain part of their body such as their head and paws, and some just hate it.
Make sure you pay attention to what they like and dislike and respect their wishes. You should also groom your dog regularly so that they know you care.
10. Regular Outdoor Activities
Remember, they are dogs and just let them be who they are. Don’t adopt them and lock them at home all day. They are going to hate you if you do that to them.
Plan some outdoor activities that both you and your dog can enjoy such as camping, hiking and swimming. And for safety reasons, ensure you have the necessary dog gear before you head out.