Being a pet’s best friend is a beautiful thing. How does a tight-knit connection with a furry friend grow? Just like with humans, the bond between a dog and a human is built on trust, according to Lisa Radosta, a board-certified veterinarian behaviorist from Florida Veterinary Behavior Service and host of Vet Scoop. Lisa Radosta explains how you can tell whether you and your dog are on the right track and how you can strengthen your bond with your dog more.
Do You Share a strong bond with your dog?
If your dog is happy to be close to you, it indicates good things to be done. It’s not a good idea to have your dog act fearful whenever you’re around (tail down, ear forward, or scooting away whenever you’re around), But you do not want your dog to suffer from anxiety when you leave. “If your dog isn’t able to allow you to use the bathroom by yourself, it’s not a love-filled bond,” Radosta says. “That’s an unhealthy relationship.”
Being a confident, happy pet that’s not too attached is the best starting point. However, if you truly need to determine whether your dog is connected with you, Radosta states that there is one inquiry to make Is your dog seeking assistance?
If your dog is confident that your trust in him trusts you, he’ll turn to you when he’s feeling uneasy. For instance, according to Radosta, If you’re on a walk, and something scares you, Does your dog look towards you? If they do, it is a sign of high confidence.
How to Form a Stronger Connection With Your Dog
It’s okay to sit all day throwing a tennis ball and walking long walks around your neighborhood to connect with your dog unless you want to do those activities with your dog. There are many ways to bond with your dog.
1. Communicate with Consistency
“Dogs and pet parents are able to be a great couple however, that doesn’t necessarily create the strongest bond that is one of trust and absolute confidence,” says Radosta. “The greatest obstacle is inconsistent behavior.”
Sometimes, you might be okay with dogs barking at strangers in the street. However, if it’s your friend that you can hear your dog barking, then you must try to stop it as soon as you can. It sends mixed messages to your dog’s friend, who views both as strangers. The most crucial step you can do to create stronger bonds with your pet is to remain consistent with how you react to different situations.
2. Provide Comfort
It’s been said that offering pet owners affection when their dog is terrified, for example, in the case of thunderstorms, can increase a pet’s fear. However, Radosta needs to be convinced. “You cannot reinforce fear in a positive way,” she says. “It’s impossible. If the baby cries, and you comfort her, she will cry less but not more. It’s the same with dogs. It’s impossible to make the anxiety experience worse by adoring someone else.” So, go ahead and show your pet a little love.
3. Find out what your dog’s preferences are
The shocking truth is that not all dogs like walks. For that matter, playing fetch or even playing fetch. Dogs have distinct personalities, tastes, and preferences, so observe your dog to find out what excites him.
Please do not force your dog to do something you don’t want him to do. This can cause a break in the relationship between you and your pet. For instance, your dog might prefer to avoid going for walks due to his fear of dogs, strangers, or loud sounds. Therefore, in this case, you should not take your dog for long walks can be detrimental to your bond.
4. Make sure you are doing more of your dog’s Favourite Things.
After determining the activities that make your dog the happiest, try the same. “My dog loves lying in the water,” says Radosta. “Do I enjoy lying at the pool’s sun deck? Maybe not but spending time out with him makes us feel closer.”
Do the things he enjoys most. Does your dog love to wander around the lawn? Give his nose the food it craves and enroll in a nose-work and tracking class. Your dog’s most-loved activity could be yours too.
5. Learn Something New with Your Dog
One of the best ways to build trust is by using Positive reinforcement-based education, Radosta says. “When you both learn something, it strengthens the bonds. Dogs learn that you’ll offer him treats, toys, throwing the ball – when you behave in a certain manner.” This technique can teach your pet how to behave, simple tricks, and even agility-related dog sports such as agility.
6. Cuddle with Your Dog
For pet owners who have pets, cuddling is the top method to bond with their furry friends. It’s a great way to build two bonds, so you both like it. If your dog is a tiger who jumps on your lap or curls up with you, it’s apparent that you have an animal who is happy to cuddle.
7. Allow Your Dog To Have His Own Space
However, don’t be upset If your dog wants to be in his space. Certain breeds are naturally more social than others, while some prefer to be more individual. Be aware of your dog’s breed and character; if he prefers to nap in a different room, allow him to! There is no need to stay together all the time for a beautiful bond.
8. Find out Canine Body Language
Did you realize that dogs can be seen waging their tails when they’re feeling happy as well as when they’re stressed? Canines communicate with all of their body. You need to know what to look out for to determine your dog’s feelings. Understanding the meaning of your dog’s body language will help you understand his mood. That kind of knowledge will bring your relationship to the highest level.
9. Pet Your Puppy
Petting your dog can be an activity that is enjoyable for your pet. It’s soothing for both of you and is also relaxing for you. A Washington State University study revealed that 10 minutes of rubbing cats or dogs significantly decreased cortisol levels (a chemical that causes stress) in humans. It boosts mood, too, according to researchers from the National Institutes of Health. Pets can be one of the simplest ways to be healthy and connect to your pet!