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Our dogs' lives completely revolve around us. They depend on us, look up to us, are loyal to us and love us unconditionally. Because we are their world, our relationship with our dogs is so important. Having the best possible bond will enhance and enrich your dog's life in intangible ways. Here are a few tips on how to improve you and your pup's relationship to help give them the best life possible:
One of the best ways to deepen the bond with your dog is by spending quality time together. Yes it's that simple! You can spend quality time in so many ways - from cuddling on the couch or snuggling in bed to going on walks or runs, to playing together, to belly rub sessions and beyond. Spending time together doing things you both enjoy will enhance your relationship immensely.
This one goes without saying. Of course it's important to be kind to your dog and give them all the love in the world. But it goes beyond the obvious too. Activities like brushing their teeth, brushing their coat and grooming them, clipping their nails, etc. may not seem fun but still strengthen your bond. Your dog knows that you're taking care of them. In addition, spoiling your dog with toys (and playing together with them as mentioned in #1) is a great way to treat them well and show them love, which will in turn improve your relationship!
Another way to take good care of your dog, and hence improve your relationship, is by giving them some treats. So many dogs love their food and love treats even more. So when you give your dog a tasty snack, it means a whole lot to him or her. Try to give them something special every so often to show your love.
Dogs are very sensitive and creating a safe and comfortable environment goes a long way in strengthening your relationship with your dog. Try not to lose your temper around your dog (even when it has nothing to do with them) because it can cause anxiety in your dog. Creating a calm and healthy environment will help your dog feel more relaxed and comfortable with you, thus improving your bond.
Another great way to improve your relationship is to get into training. Not only are you spending quality time, but you are working together toward a goal and learning new things together. And the more training you do, the more you'll trust your dog which leads to more freedom for them. For example, if they come when called, they can spend more time off-leash. The freedom and trust further create a healthy environment for you two. Plus, training requires mental and physical energy so your dog will feel more exercised and satisfied. All of this helps your bond.
The last way to improve your relationship on our list is learning your dog's body language. This is something that takes time and some knowledge of canine body language in general. Being able to understand what your dog is saying (without actually saying it) and recognize their feelings will allow you to react accordingly. For example, if you can help your dog when they are anxious, scared or sad, they will feel more bonded with you. It's the same with people as it is with dogs: recognizing another's feelings - be they human or canine - will strengthen your relationship!