Trust and connection. 

I feel safe with you. 

You feel safe with me. 

I could stare into those puppy eyes and snuggle with you all day!

I love you.

Each of these statements represent the feelings you experience when you are enjoying moments of connecting and bonding with your dog. 

If we can just SLOOOOOOW down and really and truly connect with our puppy – their energy, their spirit, their desire for your attention. If we can do that, all other training will be so much easier. When you truly connect with your dog, they feel the exchange of energy between the two of you, appreciate it and become more bonded and receptive to you and what you are asking of them.

How do you increase bonding?

Allow yourself to slow down, observe your pet, and sincerely connect with them. The rewards are immeasurable.

My 6 Favorite Ways to Bond and Connect with My Dog:

  1. When you see your dog resting and relaxed, take a moment to gently pet your dog, say his/her name. Reinforce the calm behavior by saying ‘good name’ or “good boy/girl.”  Keeping our actions slow and predictable will help the dog feel safe relaxing around you.
  2. Creating a predictable schedule and anticipating their needs with routines will help your dog gain confidence and trust.
  3. Say their name often during enjoyable activities like eating, petting and cuddling; don’t forget eye contact when you can.
  4. Clear communication (verbal and non-verbal) where the dog understands exactly what you are asking for. Set them up for success by using the same language and commands often.
  5. Use commands in fun and playful ways so the dog can please you, feel successful and can earn rewards.
  1. Exercise regularly. We all need to move our bodies, and dogs are no exception. Walking and hiking with your dog not only offers them (and you) an opportunity to let out your energy, get fresh air and clear our minds, but it’s also a chance to spend time together and bond. When you are out with your dog, be sure to talk to them, make eye contact, call them to you so they stay close, and let them know you see them.

Don’t make this mistake:

The #1 mistake I see new dog owners make is to pamper their dogs.  Dogs learn to respect their owners when clear boundaries and expectations are set! (i.e. avoid letting your dog direct where you walk; allowing your dog to nip, jump or get out of their crate whenever they want; or responding to their needs ASAP instead of when is appropriate. 

When you want to increase the connection with your dog, be willing to meet them where they are. Be willing to open your heart to the ups and downs along the way (life is a journey right?), and to love them anyway – through thick and thin! If they frustrate you or test you, try to ‘reset’ and begin again with confidence that they will learn! In return, they will love you during your ups and downs and be right there waiting when you need them most.

Your dog’s response and willingness to obey you is built upon connection and trust. Listen to their signals, provide them with plenty of exercise, love and positive reinforcement. In return, they will be your furry bestie!

To hear about a Canadian Doberman that I helped, click here to visit my Instagram. And for more helpful training trips, check out this blog: How to Stop Your Dog from Biting and Nipping.