KEEP IT SIMPLE FOR EFFECTIVE RESULTS
I’ve always had the most amazing relationship with my dogs and would love for you to experience the same.
So, here are my top tips from what has worked for me and will, hopefully, help you achieve an unbreakable bond with your canine companions.
Get to know your dog as an individual
Like people, every dog is different, they have their own personalities, motivators, triggers, likes, dislikes and so on.
Don’t forget to look into their breed characteristic. traits. Study your dog to see if and how they display ‘typical’ behaviours and get to know them for who they are and not what the book says they should be.
Adapt any training to what works best for them and is not necessarily in the ‘rules’. Your dog needs you to know them.
Learn to communicate with your dog
Dogs have their own ‘language’ and forms of communication. They use body language, as well as vocals and different behaviours to communicate to people and other dogs.
As an owner you have a responsibility to enable two way communication to ensure your dog’s needs are understood and met.
Spend quality time together
Take time to find out what your dog enjoys doing and join them in their favourite activities.
When a dog is experiencing pleasure their brain releases a chemical called dopamine that makes them feel happy.
Some dogs enjoy some ‘free expression’ time, basically just doing what comes naturally to them ie digging, so if they like to dig get them a sand pit and you can both make a mess!
Recognise and reward positive behaviour
By rewarding good behaviour, a dog will learn to associate the behaviour with a form of praise, making them feel happy. They will learn what you want from them by your positive reinforcement in the form of a reward. This produces positive results for both owner and dog.
Always use fear free and force free training and communication
A dog will learn much more and a lot faster if training is associated with a feel good factor.
Using force or inflicting fear in any way will not only create an unhappy and anxious dog, but cause further ongoing problems and a negative impact on their mental and physical wellbeing.
Whether you are at home or out and about, I totally recommend talking and engaging with your dog on a regular basis. I’m sure ‘outsiders’ think I’m crazy, but I am constantly talking and interacting with our boy and this keeps him focused on me and responsive when needed.
Don’t punish or scold – learn to change behaviours
A dog doesn’t know right from wrong and won’t understand when you are telling them they are bad or naughty. They rely on you for guidance and training, so you need to learn how to change and implement good behaviour rather than bad.
Punishment and scolding come under the fear subject mentioned in 5. By knowing your dogs needs and behavioural triggers you can correct behaviours and this results in an all round win.
Make life enjoyable for you both
Enjoy being with your dog and make sure they are happy during their time with you.
When you are interacting and both happy you are continuously strengthening your bond.
Whether its snuggling together or playing fetch, you are both feeling good and this has countless benefits for the two of you.
The last thing your dog needs is to be confused by being given multiple cues/instructions for one behaviour.
Be consistent with your requests and make sure everyone involved with the dog is on the same page. It will definitely make training so much easier and help keep everyone on an even keel and stress free.
Remain calm and confident – believe in your dog
Above all remain calm and confident, even when things don’t go to plan. If you get anxious or stressed then your dog will detect this and it will impact their behaviour.
Stay positive and believe in your dog. The better you can be the better your dog will be.
An exceptional connection involves mutual trust, understanding and affection
Yep, it’s pretty easy for me to sit here and say do this and that for the best dog and owner relationship, but I can only provide guidance and suggestions. It’s down to you as a pooch parent to get to know your own dog as their own individual, to practice trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t.
These tips have been invaluable to me in gaining trust from my dogs, their loyalty and devotion. Little things can has massive impacts, so it’s important for you to act appropriately. When you do start to see rewarding results, trust me, it’s the best feeling ever and no matter how testing the process has been, it will all be worthwhile.
And, remember, things change over time so keep at it and adapt with your dog.
Download the my free tips mini Ebook and why not use the attached sheets to make your own notes about your own dogs… My Top 10 Tips For Building The Ultimate Dog And Owner Relationship