Improving the Human-Dog Bond: How to Have a Better Relationship with Your Dog

What is the secret to developing a strong bond with your dog?

Who wouldn’t like a better relationship with their dog? Often I see people posting questions such as:

  • How can I get my dog to like me?
  • Why does my dog like my boyfriend better than me?
  • How do I bond with my new dog?

What do you think the answer is?

Improving the Human-Dog Bond: How to Have a Better Relationship with Your Dog

The basic recipe, of course, includes things such as:

  • trust-building
  • learning to understand your dog
  • positive feedback
  • play
  • clarity and consistency of communication (which is, actually, harder than it seems)
  • gentle physical contact
  • meeting the dog’s needs

There are some variations to the formula depending on the source.

Example information: 7 Ways To Transform Your Relationship With Your Dog

The key ingredient

The key ingredient to any relationship is time. Quality time spent together. There is no way around that. Why would you even want a dog if you weren’t to spend time with them?

Both the amount and the quality are equally important.

What makes your dog happy? What can you do together that meets that need?

There are things that all dogs enjoy

  • time outside
  • physical activity
  • mental stimulation
  • sniffing things

My dogs

The thing Jasmine loved above all, were hikes. JD could play fetch until he drops.

With Cookie, of course, we do lots of walking. I tried various things, including tricks, light agility, fetch, canine freestyle moves. She will do all that but her heart wasn’t in it.

What Cookie wants to do is hunting. That’s what she lives form. How could we do that together rather than her doing it on her own?

Rottweiler with a Hound blood

Cookie looks like a purebred Rottweiler. Yeah, I can tell myself that all I want. But somehow, while she looks like a purebred Rottweiler, there is hound blood running through Cookie’s veins.

I could try to keep convincing her that “my” activities are enjoyable. Afterall, if she does those things, she gets treats and praise. But she’s just not having any fun.

Being my dog’s partner

I decided to become her partner instead.

We go frog hunting together. She’s the hunter, and I am her spotter. I can see the frogs better. I’m taller and can see further, and I can see them when they’re trying to blend with the weeds. I can tell her where to look for them.

Suddenly, I am useful and interesting to my dog

This has improved our relationship dramatically. Not that it wasn’t good before. But now it’s an entirely different level. We are a team. We do this together. Cookie has never paid such close attention to me.

Over time, we developed a whole new communications system. She looks to me where to find them. She learned a whole bunch of new words and sounds I use to explain to here where they are and what to do.

Why should we always expect dogs to do what we want them to? Why couldn’t it be the other way around?

It makes Cookie happy. Therefore it makes me happy. And we became inseparable. It’s our quality time together.

We do other things together too. Mouse hunting, mole hunting … And I do find ways of making myself useful.

What do you do with your dog?

Related articles:
My Dog Won’t Play: How to Facilitate Playful Behavior in Your Dog

Further reading:
9 Ways to Improve your Relationship with your Dog

Categories: Dog health advocacy

Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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