Dogs are supposed to be man's best friend, but that doesn't mean that we all immediately get on with all dogs. Even if you love and respect your dog, you can feel like you don't have the connection you wish you had. Sometimes a dog will favor one person in the family and others can feel like they're missing out. If you or anyone else in your family wants to improve your relationship with your dog, you can take a few steps to get closer to each other. Have a look at these methods for forming a better relationship with your dog and think about how to implement them.
Spend Quality Time Together
If you feel like you're not as close to your dog as you want to be, perhaps you're just not spending a lot of time together. It can sometimes be difficult to have the energy to interact with your dog at the end of the day, but it's good for both you and your dog to do so. Playing with your dog or going for a walk gives you the chance to interact, and it can help to reinvigorate you if you're tired too. Of course, spending time together doesn't have to mean doing something active. Sometimes, just cuddling up to your dog, or perhaps grooming or stroking them, is good for both of you too.
Improve Your Communication
Communication between you and your dog can be complicated. Different species naturally communicate in different ways, so you have to be careful about projecting human ideas onto your dog. Having a good understanding of your dog's body language and other methods of communication will help you to communicate better. As well as recognizing how your dog communicates, you can be more clear when you're communicating. Keep your commands and signals consistent so that your dog doesn't get confused and use the right tone of voice too.
Focus on Positive Reinforcement
It's important to use positive reinforcement to train your dog so that she will want to respond to your commands. If your dog knows she's getting a reward, she'll feel much more enthusiastic about doing what you want. You'll find that many dog training materials promote positive reinforcement over negative methods, which aren't always great for discouraging bad behaviors. Clicker training gives you one way to train your dog using a system of association and rewards.
Know Your Dog
As well as understanding how dogs communicate, it's also useful if you have an understanding of your dog's personality. All dogs have their own likes and dislikes, and knowing what your dog's are will help you to connect with them more easily. You can make your dog happy by giving her the food and toys she likes, and avoiding things she doesn't like, such as loud noises, busy environments or other dogs. By getting to know your dog better, you can treat her better.
If you want to improve your relationship with your dog, make it your mission to spend more time together. The more you hang out with each other, the closer you can become.