What words come to mind when you describe your relationship with your dog? If things are not going as smoothly as you hope then this post is for you. With any relationship there can be ups and downs but I know as a dog owner you want to have the best relationship with your dog. I am going to share three ways to build a better bond with your dog.
First of all, creating a better routine with your dog is important. If you do not have one or are not consistent. Dogs love routines and they give them confidence and excitement for the basic things we may overlook. Meals, walks, play, sleep are all the things your dog expects to experience each day but being consistent is essential.
With a business where I have done pet sitting and dog walking, I have seen first hand how important it is to stay with a routine. It provides the stability and lessens the stress of never knowing when things are happening for your dog. Part of the frustration owners can feel on a walk for example, if their dog is doing poorly it is directly related to being consistent with taking a walk and working on training.
Being inconsistent and having unrealistic expectations sets you and your dog up for failure. Try getting up earlier to get out on a walk in the morning or evening as well as utilizing different ways to incorporate your dog into your schedule.
Also, I would use your cell phone calendar/app to put your dog on your schedule so you will remember and manage your time well.
This may sound silly and that you would never forget about your dog but life happens. A schedule means you have designated the time to do it and it will become easier to do once you establish one with your dog.
Feeding Your Dog
Secondly, the way you are feeding your dog can be having an impact as well. Putting food in a bowl, placing it down, and leaving or free feeding in the bowl seems easy enough for you as a dog parent.
However,that is not helping your dog associate you as valuable. They go over to the bowl and food is there but they do not think you did it. Instead, hand feeding them their meals gives you a chance to have fun bonding while working on basic training.
Therefore, makes your dog physically as well as mentally work for their meal by focusing on you. Some of their excess energy gets out, so when you leave for work they not only have a walk but some bonding in the house with you.
If you are running short on time then take your dog’s food in a Ziploc bag and feed while on your walk. You want your dog to do sits, down, eye contact, and stay net to you on walks.
Moreover, using a meal is another way to keep building your bond and rewarding great behavior from your dog. That is what dog training is all about.
Finally, time management is another thing that can impact building your bond. This may not seem so obvious compared to other things in your life, but finding the time and putting in the effort is essential.
Like I mentioned above, putting your dog on your calendar as well as looking at how much quality time you give during the week might give you a much needed reality check.
Walking your dog and being on the phone or just letting him/her out to go the bathroom is not going to build that relationship you want. Giving your complete attention is what will make the difference.
I understand the obligations dog owners have but making small changes will help both you and your dog. We use so much technology in our daily lives to manage or waste our time (I am guilty of that too) and stay connected with other people. Why not apply a little more of that thinking and time to your dog?
Another way we bond with our dogs is through walks. If you can give more time to getting your dog out on walks rather then potty breaks you may notice a difference in your dog and yourself. Too often with our lives a dog walk seems like a chore and can decrease how many you go on during the week.
Every dog owner is different in their life:
- Work schedule
- Skills of walking their dog
- Dog pulls or goes after things (squirrels, cats, etc)
I want you to use this list above to figure out how they may be impacting your bond with your dog. Change cannot happen instantly as a dog owner but if you take one area that you know will be easier to fix then do it.
Often when I speak to dog owners and make some suggestions they are surprise they did not think of it themselves. I am asking you to take the time and commit a little more to fixing your bond.
For example, you may think your work schedule is fine or too complicated to adjust. However, why not see if during the work week you can pick to get home sooner for an evening walk with your dog.
It is making just a small change that can lead to the quality of you and your dog’s life going better. When you are not rushed as a dog owner time can be enjoyable and training your dog does not seem so overwhelming.
I hope you realize that your bond with your dog can be changed in the right way if you choose just one of the ways I mentioned above. If you feel that you cannot do it alone the best thing is to get professional help. There is no need for you and your dog to suffer. Here is the link to chat to me.
Finally, I would love it if you could let me know if this blog post was helpful, and if you have any suggestions then leave a comment below. Here is the link again to set up a time to chat. I look forward to helping you and your dog.
Related Post: Three Tips for a Better Experience at the Dog Park