Bonding with your dog leads to a much happier, healthier life together. What you do in life with your dog determines the overall bond that you have with them. Playing, training, exercising, and living together are examples of such. How do you know if your dog is bonded to you? We are here to help you along the way!
Eye contract is one of the first things that dogs learn in obedience class because it helps them focus. Eye contact may be a challenge, but in a loving relationship, it’s a sign of trust and love. Dogs also tend to check in with their owners by looking at them a lot to make sure that everything is okay. This said, a bonded dog is far less likely to run away as they have a strong recall response and will make sure their person is close by in new situations.
They are overly joyed when you come home. It’s because they are excited to see you! Chances are, you’re just as happy to see them. A happy, noisy, tail-waggy greeting is one of the surest signs you and your dog are connected. Body language is everything. A bonded dog is a comfortable dog. Your dog probably settles down after the initial burse of excitement at your arrival. You may see them wagging their tail, rolling over for a belly rub, or even a “bow” to encourage play.
Dogs who are attached to their owners are also very attached to their scent. They may snuggle up with their belongings -particularly clothing and shoes. Think of it from a dog’s perspective: scent is one of their primary means of communication, and your belongings communicate home, attachment, and love. Responsiveness is one of the biggest signs that you and your dog have formed a strong bond. If your dog listens to you when you speak, and obeys the commands you give, it shows that they’re attached to you. Basic obedience training is a great way to strengthen your bond.
If you’ve read through this list and are still worried, fear not: there are concrete steps you can take to increase your bond with your dog. The easiest (and most fun) is to spend at least 30 minutes of focused, one-on-one time together each day. This doesn’t include walks, yard time, or watching TV together. Your bonding time should be active and focused.