How to Bond with Your Dog
The bond between humans and their dogs dates back thousands of centuries, and according to a recent article from Scientific American, the domestication of canines goes back much further than many of us may have previously believed. The discovery of a bone from a wolf found in Siberia takes the traditional belief of dogs belonging to human masters from approximately 11,000 years ago to upwards of 40,000 years in the past.
The partnership that exists between us and our canine companions can be vital for working dogs like police, military and sheepdogs, but is also just as important for our family pet. Signs that this bond is weak can include:
- An indifference between you and your dog or with other family members
- A lack of focus and poor eye contact
- Beligerence or aggression
- A dislike of being handled, petted or given other forms of affection
- Lack of enthusiasm with playtime or exercise from taking a walk
- Depression and other lethargic behavior
Some of these behaviors could be due to a medical problem, for example, lethargic behavior can be associated with things like allergies, so you may want to check with your veterinarian. But if your pet has a clean bill of health, before things get to this point, or even if your dog may be exhibiting some of these signs, there’s many ways to strengthen the bond that exists between you and your four-legged friend.
Find Their Heart
As the age-old adage goes, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” and the same is true for dogs. Feeding your pet fresh and pet fresh and nutritional food that they truly enjoy eating will not only make them happier, but healthier as well. Giving them treats in moderation can benefit both training and deepen the bond between Fido and their human friend.
In the same way some dogs enjoy certain types of foods better than others, the same goes for some of their behavioral patterns. For instance, some dogs don’t enjoy being picked up, others don’t care for being hugged, and other forms of attention that we may think they like, but actually they are just tolerating this behavior. Get to know your pet’s likes and dislikes and respect them as well as their boundaries.
Be Aware of Behaviors
Again, awareness of some things that we might find pleasant as humans, smiling for example, may be seen as a sign of aggression with some dogs. For example, some smaller dogs don’t like to be “walked over” and this may make them feel threatened. Pay attention to things like body language, quick movements or stances that may make them anxious or afraid and avoid them.
The importance of physical contact is true for both humans and their animals. Grooming, petting and other forms of physical contact reduces stress levels, which also lowers heart rate and increases levels of relaxation. Spend time with your dog, play with them often and give them reassurance through your touch that they are important to you.
It’s not all about spending money on their veterinarian care, food, toys and treats, just like human children, they’d rather we spend more time with them instead of shelling out cash for our canines. This is the way we bond with almost everyone from our two-legged family members to our four-legged friends.