3 Ways to Strengthen Your Bond with Your Dog
October 31, 2023 | 3 min read
Updated October 31, 2023
By Becca Trigg
Have you ever wondered how to deepen the bond between you and your furry best friend? Well, you’re in the right place.
A strong human-dog relationship is based on love, trust, and understanding, and it can transform the way you and your pup interact. In this article, we’ll explore three effective ways to make your dog love you even more and strengthen the unbreakable bond you share…
Building Trust: The Foundation of Love
Trust is the cornerstone of any strong relationship, and this is especially true when it comes to our canine companions. Building trust with your dog requires three things: consistency, patience, and a positive approach.
- Be consistent in your behavior and routine. Dogs thrive on routine and predictability. Keeping a consistent schedule for meals, walks, and playtime can help your dog feel secure and loved.
- Use positive reinforcement. Reward your dog with praise, treats, and affection when they display good behavior. This not only reinforces the behavior but also helps to build trust and a positive association with you.
- Be patient and understanding. Training and bonding take time. Understand that your dog is an individual with their own personality and learning style, and be patient as you navigate the journey together.
Real-life success stories abound of dogs who have transformed from fearful or anxious to loving and trusting, all thanks to the patience and consistent efforts of their owners.
#1 Communication is Key
Understanding and effectively communicating with your dog is crucial for building a strong bond.
Learn canine body language
Dogs communicate largely through their body language. Understanding what your dog is trying to tell you through their tail wags, ear positions, and facial expressions can deepen your connection.
Use consistent commands and cues
When training your dog, use clear and consistent commands. This helps your dog understand what is expected of them, leading to better communication and a stronger bond.
Did you know that eye contact between humans and dogs has been shown to increase levels of oxytocin? Oxytocin is a hormone associated with bonding and affection, sometimes referred to as the ‘love hormone’, in both us humans and our canine companions.
Here’s how you can use eye contact to strengthen your bond:
Step 1: Practice Gentle Gazing
Establish eye contact with your dog in a calm and gentle manner. Avoid staring intensely as this could be interpreted as threatening. Gentle gazing can create a mutual feeling of love and trust.
Step 2: Combine with Positive Interactions
Try combining eye contact with positive interactions such as petting, kind words, or treats. This creates a positive association with making eye contact.
Step 3: Be Mindful of Your Dog’s Comfort
Pay attention to your dog’s body language and ensure they are comfortable with eye contact. If your dog looks away or seems uncomfortable, give them space and try again later.
Making eye contact in a loving and gentle manner can be a powerful way to strengthen your bond with your dog, fostering a deeper connection and sense of trust.
Pay attention and adjust
Be attentive to your dog’s responses to your commands and cues, and be willing to adjust your approach if something isn’t working. This shows your dog that you are responsive to their needs, further building trust.
#2 Quality Time Together
Strengthening the Bond Spending quality time with your dog is one of the most enjoyable ways to strengthen your bond.
Engage in play and exercise
Dogs are inherently active and playful creatures, and they require regular exercise and stimulation to maintain their physical and mental health. Engaging in play and exercise with your dog is a fantastic way to meet these needs while also strengthening your bond.
You can also use playtime as an opportunity to reinforce training and practice commands. This not only provides mental stimulation for your dog but also enhances communication and trust between you two.
Try new activities
From interactive games to outdoor adventures, there are countless ways to have fun and bond with your dog.
Take your dog to new places to explore, such as different parks, trails, or even dog-friendly cafes. New environments provide novel smells and sights, which are mentally stimulating for dogs. You could also try playing games, like hide and seek, puzzle toys, and treat-dispensing toys can provide mental stimulation and fun for your dog.
Include grooming and physical affection
Regular grooming sessions and physical affection like petting, cuddling, and belly rubs can also strengthen your bond, as they help to build trust and show your dog that they are loved.
Top Tip: Always pay attention to your dog’s body language during grooming and physical affection. Some dogs may be sensitive to being touched in certain areas. Respecting their boundaries helps build trust.
#3 The Power of Canine Reflexology
Following on from physical affection, reflexology is a practice that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to promote healing and relaxation. It’s not just for humans; dogs can benefit too!
What is canine reflexology?
Canine reflexology involves applying gentle pressure to specific points on a dog’s paws, ears, and other areas of the body. These points correspond to different organs and systems in the body, and reflexology can help to promote balance and wellbeing.
Building trust through touch
By incorporating reflexology into your routine, you can help relieve your dog’s stress, alleviate pain, and promote a sense of calm and wellbeing. This not only has physical benefits for your dog but also helps to build trust and strengthen your bond.
Learning the techniques
If you’re interested in trying canine reflexology, it’s important to learn the proper techniques and pressure points. There are many resources available, including books, videos, and workshops, that can help you get started.
Building a strong bond with your dog requires time, patience, and understanding. By building trust, improving communication, spending quality time together, and exploring the benefits of canine reflexology, you can deepen your connection and enjoy a loving and rewarding relationship with your furry friend. So, put these strategies into practice and watch as your bond with your dog grows stronger every day.
If you’ve found this article helpful, we encourage you to share it with other dog lovers! Feel free to leave a comment with your own experiences and tips for building a strong bond with your dog. For more great content on strengthening your relationship with your furry friend, check out our other articles and resources. Happy bonding!
Author Oelze, Patty, "Why Dogs Like Eas Rubbed", Wag!, February 2, 2018, https://wagwalking.com/behavior/why-dogs-like-ears-rubbed
An all round animal lover, who absolutely adores writing and researching anything puppy! Over the past few years, I have been able to gain ample pet knowledge; specifically joint health and dental hygiene. When I'm not typing away in the office, I can be found sitting in a country pub or growing chillies