7 Ways to Better Your Relationship with Your Dog

Posted by Jackie Ly on

owner hugging their dog

Having a strong bond with your dog is incredibly important for both you and your pet. 

Not only does it bring a sense of companionship and unconditional love, but it also helps to build trust and understanding between the two of you.

When you have a strong bond with your dog, they will look to you for guidance and trust in your decisions. 

Beyond the practical benefits, having a strong bond with your pet also brings a sense of fulfilment to your life. Your dog will be your loyal companion, always there to comfort you when you’re feeling down and celebrate with you when everything’s going well. 

Whether you’re taking them for walks, shopping for toys, playing with them in the backyard, or just cuddling on the couch, the bond you share will take you both for life!  

How to build a strong relationship with your dog

1. Spend quality time with your dog.  

Spending quality time with your dog is one of the most rewarding experiences as a pet owner. 

One way to bond with your dog is through training and obedience exercises. This not only helps reinforce good behaviour, but also helps to strengthen the trust and communication between you and your dog. 

Taking your dog on regular walks or runs is also a good way to bond and get some exercise at the same time.

Another way to bond with your dog is through interactive play. Playtime is a great way to keep them mentally stimulated. It also burns off their excess energy and helps prevent destructive behaviour. 

Even visiting a dog park can be a fun experience.

Make sure you set aside a dedicated time for your dog, as they thrive for attention and companionship. 

2. Talk to your dog. 

One way to improve your dog's understanding of your commands is to use both verbal and physical cues. For canines, reading and interpreting body language is a vital form of communication within packs and in other social contexts.

When teaching your puppy to sit, the open-hand signal is a tried-and-true method. Repeatedly opening your hand while saying "sit" will teach your dog the cue. After some time of training, all you'll need to do to get your dog to sit is open your hand.

If you must take your dog into a noisy public place or another environment where it may be difficult for him to hear, hand signals will be an invaluable form of communication. 

Associating hand signals with orders provides you with an additional method of communicating with your dog, which might be crucial in a crisis.

When interacting with dogs, it helps to use any and all forms of body language. Dogs, as Vetstreet's Mikkel Becker explains in an article, may be taught to read and respond to their human companions' body language. 

Considering that dogs use every part of their bodies, from nose to tail, to communicate, it stands to reason that they are receptive to any and all methods of doing so.

3. Learn about the love language of your dog. 

Physical touch plays a big role in the dog-human bond, as it’s considered to be one of the five love languages for canines. 

The concept of the "5 love languages" has been discussed for more than 20 years. 

According to this theory, all languages are simply different expressions of love. Touch, quality time together, gifts, acts of service, and compliments are the languages that convey love and appreciation. 

Each individual has a primary and secondary love language. That pets have their own "love languages" has been theorised by some experts.

Physical Touch

One of the more obvious love languages of your dog is through physical touch. 

Physical touch is a universally recognized language of love. If your pet prefers to be petted and cuddled, then you know that physical contact is their "love language." 

Scratching their ears or massaging their backs for a long time is a treat for these animals. 

They may even show their appreciation by giving you wet kisses or rubbing their bellies against your legs. 

Dogs and cats who enjoy cuddling on the couch are examples of lap pets. To help them feel loved, these animals require lots of physical contact.

Quality Time

Would you term your pet a "velcro" cat or dog because they never leave your side? If this is the case, your pet may love quality time. 

Whether you want company or not, these animals follow their owners throughout the house. Some watch their owners pee and shower.

Since they are social, well-behaved pets who communicate this love language may make wonderful office pets!

Receiving Gifts

Gift-loving pets make every day feel like your birthday. These animals love gifts but they aren’t exactly desirable everytime. 

Nobody enjoys discovering half-chewed food on their pillow or dead rats on their porch. Even a slobber-covered squeaky toy at your feet might feel unpleasant. 

However, your pets may find these gifts less offensive. 

Love and devotion! Give these pets lots of food and toys to show you care.

Acts of Service

Genius pets may love giving acts of service. Animals that obey speak this love language. 

These dogs excel at agility classes without treats or encouragement. Pleasing you is its own reward! 

Maybe you have a super-protective therapeutic animal. These animals give and when these dogs do well, show them your love by showering them with affection. 

Give them lots of chances to shine.

Words of Affirmation

Words of affirmation are another evident love language since they are literal. This love language is expressed by happy mews, purrs, howls, or barks. 

Your dog will light up when you compliment them or say their name cheerfully. Train your dog with vocal praise. That may work better than treats. 

Use a happy voice to praise or convey affection. They'll feel adored!

4. Set and enforce dog rules. 

Setting and maintaining rules for your dog makes you a responsible pet owner. These rules and boundaries should be clear and consistent, and should be enforced calmly.

Some examples of the rules and boundaries that you may want to set for your dog include not allowing them on the furniture, begging on the table, and barking excessively. 

To maintain these rules and boundaries, provide consistent training and reinforcement. 

Use positive reinforcement techniques like food rewards for good behaviour.  And when your dog breaks rules, set time-outs or verbal corrections by redirecting your dog to appropriate behaviour when necessary.

5. Display positivity and enthusiasm towards your dog.

When pets express their happiness in the presence of their owners, it brings joy to those around them. 

Dogs will usually display enthusiastic behaviours when they return home. This includes wiggling their rear ends, bringing toys, excessively wagging their tails, jumping up and down, and leaping into their owner’s arms. 

Other expressive behaviours your dog can show you include them gazing at you with those adorable and loving eyes. Your pup’s silly behaviours, like rolling around in leaves, are always humorous and endearing. 

These moments of joy and humour bring a sense of delight to pet owners and strengthen the bond between them and their dogs.  

6. Attune to your dog’s emotional cues. 

To attune to your dog's emotional cues, pay close attention to their body language and behaviour. This includes observing their posture, movements, and facial expressions. 

For example, a dog with a relaxed and wagging tail is likely to be feeling happy and content, while a dog with a tense body and tucked tail may be feeling scared or anxious. The sounds your dog makes, such as growling or whining, can also provide insight into their emotional state.

Another aspect of attuning to your dog's emotional cues is building a strong bond with them through regular training, exercise, and play. 

By spending quality time with your dog, you will be able to better understand their unique personalities and develop a deeper understanding of their emotional needs. 

Regularly training your dog to respond to basic commands, such as "sit" or "stay," will help you to communicate with them more effectively, which can be useful in identifying and addressing any emotional issues that may arise.

Attunement is a two-way street, and this allows us to foster a deeper bond with them. 

7. Bond with your dog through hand feeding and proper nutrition.

Hand feeding your dog is a great way to bond with them and ensure that they’re getting the proper nutrition. Remember that not all dog foods are created equal, so it’s nice to do your research and find a high-quality brand that meets your dog’s specific needs.

When hand-feeding your dog, use small, bite-sized pieces of food. This will help prevent your dog from overeating and make it easier to chew and digest their food. 

You can also use different types of food, such as vegetables and fruits to give your dog a variety of nutrients.Having access to fresh water will also get them hydrated at all times. 


A dog's bond with its owner can be enhanced by regular training, praise, and affection. 

You may create a meaningful relationship with your dog if you establish firm limits and guidelines, give it plenty of opportunities to run around and interact with other dogs. 

And don’t forget to show your dog love and affection regularly - they’ll appreciate it just as much as we do! 

With a little patience and dedication, you and your dog will be on your way to a happier and healthier bond. 

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