A Better Bond with Your Dog

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Dogs are viewed as part of the family. By providing for your dog’s needs, you will deepen the feelings you have for your dog and your dog for you.

By Dru Therrian

Bonding with Your Dog

A troubled, problematic dog lacks bonding.  This is a dog that doesn’t need or have any regard for people.  He may live in your house, but he may not treat it as his home.  An un-bonded dog is often independent, impulsive, and doesn’t recognize people in its pack.

You can absolutely “love” your dog, offer your home for him to live, and promise to take care of him forever.  But the dog may not respond in the same loving way.  He may poop, pee, chew up items, run away, and totally disregard your presence.

Dogs are viewed as part of the family, so the responsibility is to take care, be in charge, and lead your dog.  Your dog should be dependent on you.  By providing for your dog’s needs, you will deepen the feelings you have for your dog and your dog for you.

Bonding is a two-way street. 

To get your dog to recognize you as part of the pack, you must control the resources the dog values: food, shelter, and safety.

To booster bonding, you must spend time with your dog.  It starts when you offer food, shelter, and safety for your dog.  This bond can be enhanced when you play, groom, and really touch your dog to the point of examination without difficulty.

The ultimate bonding occurs when you move with your dog.  Dogs are travelers.  They move in organized packs with a leader and followers.  You must be the leader for your dog, and the dog must be the follower by no other choice.

Strengthening Your Relationship

Moving about with your dog will strengthen your relationship.  You must be in control of space and movement.  This will allow your dog to view you as the leader.  Whether you are walking your dog on a leash or having your dog loose in your house, you can teach your dog to understand the meaning of “Stop & Go.”

This means you must teach your dog when it is time to move, move out of the way, or stay put.  The non-moving commands of SIT, DOWN, and PLACE, along with moving commands of LET’S GO, HEEL, and COME, will help your dog understand you are in charge of space and time.

Many behavioral problems disappear when you take control and satisfy your dog’s needs.  Your dog will look to you for decision-making and will respond appropriately when you redirect the behavior by giving a command.  This allows the dog to earn praise rather than be punished.

Taking your dog out to a field and having a solid recall will bring immense joy to both you and your dog.  From your dog’s view, he will get to explore with his leader and satisfy many natural behaviors and instincts.  By having a solid recall, you will trust your dog’s compliance and be able to allow distance both great and small to be gained by your dog.

Obedience to listening can also save your dog’s life.  A quick response to a SIT or DOWN command can prevent your dog from chasing an errant ball into the road.

Final Note

Through the practical use of these words, you will build and strengthen your relationship with your dog.  You will be happier to take your dog out and about with you.  And your dog will view you as the leader and have better behavior, also enjoying the time spent together.  Now you can begin living together as companions, which was your intent when you brought your dog into your home.

Article reprinted with the permission of Out of the DogHouse, LLC. (dru@geaugadogtrainer.com)
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