Bonding with your dog happens through training almost automatically. So, I thought writing this would be a cinch. However, after thinking through how our clients approach training, I realized a lot of dog owners and dog lovers get caught up in the how of training and not the why. It’s understandable, because we think about getting visible results when we invest in training. One result we don’t immediately consider is how we can improve our human-dog bond exponentially by going through dog training together.
Typically, when you consider training, you are looking for results in areas like:
It’s easy to forget that the most important part of training is not the cool tricks or the nice workout, but the loving bond that you’re creating together.
Here are our top tips on how to make dog training a better bonding exercise.
Bond With Your Dog Through Training Classes
I’ll say it again, training is the single most effective way to bond with your dog. Whether you’re about to get a brand new puppy, going to the adoption center to pick up an older pooch, or trying to figure out a new way to engage with your current dog, every time you take a new class you learn more about your dog’s amazing capacity for learning.
Simply watching your dog improve as they attend these lessons will strengthen your bond. Every little step they take is an accomplishment for both of you. By being involved, you can also transform yourself as a loving dog owner. You can add being a passionate amateur dog trainer to your roster of skills. And, you can take pride in all the cool tricks you’ve taught your dog too.
Your dog will return your happiness and excitement nearly tenfold! Dogs get so much pleasure and worth out of pleasing their owners. Let them know in small ways how important they are to you, and they’ll always stay busy figuring out new ways to make you proud and excited again (and get another treat too, of course!).
Some training exercises are more effective than others for promoting the bond between you and your dog. Teaching your dog tricks like “roll-over”, “down”, or “shake” open up new means of communication and understanding, but there are more complex exercises and activities that require higher levels of focus from both parties and result in a deeper level of bonding. Here are some of our favorites:
- Basic Commands: Sit, stay, come, down, leave it, and others are all invaluable means of communication that you can build upon.
- Agility: Nothing beats the admiration you’ll feel when you watch your dog finish an agility course.
- Rally: Rally will strengthen and reinforce your communication skills with your dog unlike any other sport.
- Grooming: Your dog will definitely enjoy regular grooming sessions and come to love your touch even more.
Don’t stop here either, every dog is different and there are tons of ways that you and your dog can become closer. Maybe your dog loves long walks, or snuggling on the porch?
The first step to a strong bond is spending time with your dog. You may never know their preferences or quirks if you’re not there to find out. Which leads us to…
STAY INVOLVED With Your Dog’s Training!
We have several clients that bring in their dogs for training who can’t always stick around for a private session. Other clients drop off dogs for boarding and training simultaneously. These are all excellent options if they are a good fit for your current goals. However, when you can be involved with your dog’s training you definitely should.
You’re not required to be at a training session, but you can lose valuable bonding time by missing them. At DogBoy’s we host both group training and private training sessions that you can attend with your dog. If you can find the time, we highly recommend finding a training class that’s a good fit for your schedule but we understand that this is not always possible.
A customer once told us: “You know I loved my dog before we started training here, but it wasn’t until after that second class that I fell in love with my dog.” He started seeing his dog as a loyal companion and best friend instead of just a pet when he realized that learning excited both of them equally. Now they’ll do anything for each other.
Finding the time can be difficult, but if you’re there for your dog you’ll be rewarded with loyalty and love that will last their lifetime. If you need help scheduling or finding classes then contact us today. At DogBoy’s, our goal is for you to fall in love with your dog right here at the Ranch.
Good Dog by Jesus Alenda
Dog Hug by Aaron Jacobs
Dog Face by Matt Deavenport