Building a Relationship With Your Dog

Have you recently added a new puppy to your family? If so, you might be stuck for ideas when it comes to building a solid relationship with him. Even if your dog isn’t a new addition, you may sense that your owner/pet relationship could use a bit of tweaking. We’re going to talk about a few tips you can exercise with your fuzzy pal that will help you to generate a trusting and loyal bond.

The first thing you need to learn, if you don’t know already, is that your dog will view your family as his pack. Even in the wild, packs of dogs have a leader, known as the alpha. In your pack, you should be the leader; this will make your dog not only obedient to you, but loyal and respectful.  It’s crucial that you include your dog in family activities, but never give him reason to believe he should be the alpha (ie: eating from your plate, taking the lead on walks or entering doorways before you, playing tug-of-war or another game where he can physically overpower you, etc.). You must assume the air of a leader and let your dog understand that while he is a valued and loved member of your family, his place is last in the pecking order (human family members always come first). Acting as the leader will give your dog a stability he will appreciate and respect, and respect is everything when it comes to having a good relationship with your pet.

It’s also important that you show your dog that he can trust you. Trust is the fundamental element that creates a long-lasting bond and it must be maintained. One way that you can encourage your dog to trust you is by developing a steady routine that he can depend upon. You are his source of not only food and water, but it’s up to you to let him outside for play time and to do his “business.” Try to make sure he’s fed and watered around the same time everyday and let out to potty frequently. Your dog will have inherent trust in you if you prove that you are a good leader who can be depended upon to provide his basic needs.

Try to take up an activity that you and your dog can do together every day or a few times a week. Brushing your dog’s fur every night or taking him for one-on-one walks will help him feel appreciated and valued. Bath time and exercising can also be good bond-building routines. Keep your dog involved with your life every day through chores and other activities. Training is an excellent way to get your dog involved. If your dog is already housebroken, buy a set of dog stairs and train your dog to use them. Let him know that he is a cherished member of the family and you will see what a blessing the companionship of a dog can be!

For more great tips about raising pets, or to purchase a set of pet stairs, visit Help Your Pets here.

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