Bonding is essential whether you are fostering a shelter dog or raising a new puppy. The bond between human and dog is a special one, indeed. Dogs are fiercely loyal protectors and companions to their human partners and once special bonds are formed, they are unbreakable. That is one reason why it is essential that once you choose to become a dog owner, you take that decision seriously. In most cases it is far easier for a human to leave a dog than for a dog to leave a human; dogs rely upon us for everything and trust us completely. If you decide to make a dog a part of your life, make it a life-long bond.
Bonding Tip #1: Dispel Energy Together
Dogs have a lot of pent-up energy. They can’t just go shopping or to work or to the park the way you can to burn some spare time or energy. They need you to help them find positive ways to release energy before they become bored and destructive. Finding ways to exercise and play together is a two-fold way to keep fit and healthy while building bonds!
Running, chasing, and hiding games are all great ways to dispel lots of energy for both you and your dog. These games are great for bonding and for building trust! Using treats that hide in toys and hand-feeding your dog are great ways to show your dog your playful and nurturing side at the same time.
Bonding Tip #2: Patience is a Virtue
Whether you have a new puppy or a rescue dog, there’s a good chance he will have some bad behaviors. Don’t get frustrated or angry with him, but do be consistent and fair when it comes to abolishing those negative tendencies. Dogs need patience and consistency, just like children, to learn what is expected of them. They have no innate sense of what is right and wrong and rely on you to teach them what you need from them.
When teaching your dog the house rules don’t reinforce something one day and let it slide the next. If your dog isn’t allowed on the couch, don’t ever let him on it. Sending mixed messages is an easy rule to break but leads to extreme confusion for your pal.
Bonding Tip #3: Rule with Kindness
You don’t have to bully your dog to make him obey your rules. Lots of people think that dogs need to be punished with water, newspaper, spanking, etc. While some of these things could be effective, they are not great ways to build a lasting relationship with your dog through trusting bonds. You are naturally in control of your dog because you control his food, shelter, toys, and everything else he holds dear. If you embrace your position as the leader of the pack and treat your dog with respect and kindness, things will naturally fall into place as long as you set ground rules and follow them.