Fortunately, bonding between human and dog usually happens swiftly and with ease. It’s generally easier to do it at younger ages, but, that’s not always the case. And, sometimes individual circumstances will mean it’s extra hard to build a bond where underlying issues exist from abuse or neglect. Individuality can also play a big part in whether the bonding happens quickly as all dogs will behave differently based on their unique nature and experiences to date.
That doesn’t mean that just because it can come easily to some that it isn’t something you can spend extra time to get right. For dogs without additional special needs, just a few simple areas to focus on will help build a lifetime of trust and bonding that will benefit you both.
What makes a good human-dog bond?
Mutual feelings of affection and a desire to care for and protect each other is the highest expression of a well-bonded relationship with your dog. Individually, both species (human or canine) have been good predatory species. Still, over the centuries, we’ve come to seek each other out, making for an extraordinary bond where both parties benefit from the relationship.
Aside from the evolutionary changes through domestication, trust sits at the base of all well-bonded relationships, whether that be dogs, humans or other animals.
How can you bond with your dog?
Most positive activities allow for an opportunity to build a bond with your dog and focussing on these areas can be great places to start:
- Play: The greatest way to form a bond is through the power of play. Really, this is built around the foundation of building positive interactions to build relationships and good habits.
- Physical contact: There are powerful chemical regulators that our bodies naturally produce to help reinforce and reward the need to care for and be cared for. Physical contact and other intimacy like eye contact mostly trigger these natural bodily responses.
- Empowerment: Helping your dog feel safe and secure and providing appropriate levels of autonomy and predictability will also help create an environment that your dog feels empowered, and in turn, building a lasting bond between you.
After reading this summary, continue the learning and building a great bond with your dog via the original post from the team over at Dogster.