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the Dog Blog

10 Ways to Build a Stronger Bond with Your Dog

A person building a stronger bond with his happy dog.

Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, or whether you have been together for a day or for ten years, there are always some special things you can do to enrich the close relationship between the two of you. Here are 10 ways that you can build an even stronger bond with your dog.

Teach Some Tricks

Training is a great way to build a stronger bond with your dog. You can be training a basic behavior or something more complex, but training helps to give your dog’s brain a workout. As he masters those training tricks and you reward him with love, praise and a few well-earned Bil-Jac Dog Treats, you are also establishing a deeper connection between the two of you. Not sure where to start? Read our post on basic dog training tips to find out how you can begin to build that bond with your buddy.

Get Some Exercise Together

Not only is exercise good for both you and your dog’s wellbeing, it can also help the two of you grow closer. Going for a walk or a run is a great way to create a fun routine that can give your dog a chance to check out new sights and smells, all while at each other’s side.

Create a Routine

Dogs are creatures of habit, so creating routines for several different behaviors can help you play a role in their regular habits. Setting and maintaining regular feeding times, bathroom breaks, and other routines can make your dog feel comfortable with you and their environment which builds trust. Dogs want to know what is expected of them and deliver that consistently to make you proud.

Engage in Play Time

There are times your dog may like to play by himself, but he also loves to engage in play with you. By being an active participant in play time, your dog can feed off your excitement and strengthen his bond with you. Regular, active play can also help cut down on problem behaviors according to a study released by Bristol University.

Bond Through Brushing

A quick grooming session can not only maintain your dog’s coat, it can also help the two of you grow closer. Your dog may be hesitant at first, but through gentle encouragement and affection, your dog can grow to love the attention and the experience.

Hand Feed Your Dog from Time to Time

Hand feeding your dog with treats a few times a week is another way to build a special bond with your pooch. Since your dog needs to be careful eating out of your hand, it forces him to focus on you and your commands. By rewarding good behavior with treats, your dog can gain trust and learn that you are his provider.

Pet with Purpose

When you pet your dog, it’s important that he knows that he has your full attention. A few absentminded head rubs are nice, but they’re not going to mean nearly as much as when you’re really invested in petting your pooch. Take some time, make the extra effort, and focus all your attention on your dog when you pet him. See what he enjoys the most. Is it rubbing his ears? A scratch under the chin? Or simply a good ol’ belly rub? Let him know how much of a good boy he is, because he’s most definitely a good boy.

Create Some Cuddle Time

It’s healthy to be active with your dog, but it’s also nice to slow down and spend some time relaxing together. Chilling on the couch, sitting on the bed, or meeting your best friend on the floor for some cuddle time is a nice, relaxing way to bond with your dog, as the physical contact can create a sense of safety and comfort that lets your dog know that he’s a true part of your pack.

Be Consistent with Communication

Consistent, positive communication is an important part of strengthening your bond. Whether you’re training your dog or going through his daily routine, make sure that you’re being consistent with both the words you use and nonverbal signals. By clearing up misunderstandings and encouraging good behaviors, you can build up trust with your dog.

Give Them Space from Time to Time

Sometimes the way to build a stronger bond with your dog is to give him a place where he can be alone. Dogs are den animals. Make a space, such as a crate or a dog bed in another room, where your dog can retreat to in case he needs to get away for a while in case he feels overwhelmed, wants to stay away from loud houseguests, or is in the mood for a quiet nap.

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Taking the time to be mindful of all the things that can bring you and your dog closer shows him how much you care and how important he is to you and the whole family.

Want to learn more about how you can build a stronger relationship with your furry friend? Join the Best Friends Club today for training tips, articles, and members-only discounts on Bil-Jac products that will help your best friend live a happy, healthy lifestyle.

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