Building a connection with your dog will help deepen your relationship and allow you two to enjoy each other even more. Doing so can seem a bit tough, but with this guide we guarantee you will have a much deeper & happier relationship with your canine.
This post is focused primarily on canines; however it can apply to several pets such as cats & mice. Here are the top eight strategies for building a connection with your pet:
Spend Quality Time Together
Recent studies have proven that phones and other electric distractions are damaging human and pet relationships. Turn off your phone, TV, and all other electronics and spend some quality time together.
Being distracted by other things is like ignoring someone at a party. The same is true with your pet. Even if you’re physically together, if you’re mentally “not there,” then your dog will sense that and a connection will not be created.
Give your dog your full attention and presence and together you will deepen your relationship.
Communicate Clearly & Avoid Punishments
Dogs actually respond better to visual signals than they do auditory signals. So while your dog may understand some verbal commands, your body language and facial expressions should match yoru words. Also you should express more with your body, face, and actions than you do with your words.
If your dog did something well, don’t just say “good job.” Smile, laugh, give him a pet, and really display the affection. Your dog will feel better understand and more trusting of you as a result.
Also do NOT punish your dog, and be consistent in rewards. Always reward your dog for good behaviors, and be consistent so that your dog understands which behaviors deserve rewards. If you are inconsistent in reward giving, your dog may feel hopeless and confused.
Punishing is almost never an effective strategy for developing a connection. It will only make your dog afraid of you and nervous. Your dog may not understand why it’s being punished clearly, so it will develop “learned helplessness.” Your dog may feel lost, worried, and undeserving, and so a connection will not be built between you two.
Reward good behavior and do not go hard on punishments for bad behavior. Communicate clearly what you want and your dog will love you for it!
Train Your Dog
Trained dogs are happier dogs. Well-trained dogs don’t need to be kept on a leash or in a cage. You can give your dog more freedom and more trust, and your dog will love you for it.
Your canine will also understand you more clearly because it’s been well-trained. Training allows you two to bond and learn how to communicate together so you both can get what you want out of the relationship.
Be Playful & Play Games
Piggybacking off of the first tip, turn off all distractions and have some fun! You don’t have to be all serious and philosophical. Scientific studies have proven that humans connect best with fun, and the same is true with your canine!
Go hiking, play fetch, and search up more games (or create your own). Having fun together is one of the quickest methods to build a deep connection fast.
As mentioned earlier punishments rarely do any good. It induces fear and hurts a connection. If your dog makes a mistake, don’t get all angry & upset. Always hold your temper and your dog will respect you for it.
Anger never does any good to relationships, so there’s no need to get in a fight or blow up on your dog. Your dog instinctively wants to serve you, so don’t hurt him or he will feel unworthy of your love. Stay calm during the bad and reward the good, and soon your dog will catch on.
Learn About Canine Body Language
Dogs can’t speak and comprehend words like we humans can. Instead they communicate through body language and facial expressions. Read up on some common canine facial expressions & body language and your dog will feel better understood by you.
You will also be able to catch onto what makes your canine happier so you can make sure your dog is happy too. Understand what you’re communicating with body language and what your dog is communicating to you, and a deeper connection can be built much faster.
Know Your Dog’s Preferences
Once you can understand what your canine is communicating, pay attention to what he likes and dislikes. Give him more of what he wants and avoid what he doesn’t like. You may discover that certain behaviors of yours were actually upsetting your dog, so you can avoid those behaviors and not do them around your dog.
Building a connection is not a one-way street. By understanding that your dog really is, your dog will be able to learn more about you as a result. You have to know each other to have a nice, deep connection.
In addition to being playful, touch is the #1 method for building deep connection between humans quickly. If you want to be mentally/emotionally close, you must be physically close! So snuggle up, cuddle, and get physical. Show your love & appreciation with touch as your dog does to you.
We hope you enjoyed this read and can now develop a deeper connection with your dog. By following these 8 strategies we guarantee that your relationship will deepen to a new level, and you will enjoy your relationship even more!
-Wildlife X Team International