The bond we share with our dog is special; we are drawn to our dog as they are drawn to us. Dogs provide us with excellent companionship and unconditional love. They also provide us with health benefits including lowering our blood pressure and keeping us more active. We even have dogs who assist those with developmental and physical disabilities. There is no denying dogs are truly a man’s best friend; but how can we make this bond stronger?
Karen Goldberg, for example, has gained an extreme bond with her animal companion. In an interview about her pet, she explained that her Golden Retriever, Romeo, is her baby. Time is a crucial component in developing a deep bonded relationship with your pet. Ms. Goldberg lives alone and works from home keeping constant company to her lovely Golden. Her amazing relationship with him has inspired her to write several songs about it. She went on to discuss her extreme love and bond with her pet and how he has respect of her boundaries which have been set through a loving and deep connection.
The bond with your dog begins the day they come into your life and it simply grows from there. You may not think about it at the time, but you can provide your dog with a number of bonding opportunities including grooming, playing and simply spending time. Throughout his life, playing through several minutes or daily grooming are simple acts which can bring your dog closer to you.
A deep connection will also assist you in training your dog as there is likely a clearer line of communication between the two of you. A clear line of communication is crucial throughout training. After all, if they do not understand how you are communicating and you do not understand how they are communicating, how will they be trained properly?
A deep connection will allow you to understand your dog better. One of my prior clients, an English springer spaniel mix, was developing problems with several forms of anxiety. With additional attention given to the dog and certain measures, we were able to get her back on track and her behavioral problems had significantly improved. With additional attention given to the dog and certain measures, we were able to get her back on track and her behavioral problems had significantly improved. Implementing a daily grooming routine and taking an hour out of each day to play were among the measures to develop trust and increase the bonding opportunity between pet and pet parent.
There are also other instances where the sense of trust between the dog and owner can assist in reducing behavioral problems. For example, dogs that are afraid of thunderstorms may even begin to react with anxiety before the storm hits due to their sense of the storm’s arrival. Petting your dog, if well-bonded, could significantly reduce this fear throughout the storm. This simple action releases oxytocin, the happy hormone. If your dog is well-bonded, he will release oxytocin while petting him throughout the storm which is likely to reduce his fear throughout the noise.
De-sensitizing your dog via training will also increase your bond and decrease the fear. Desensitizing means introducing your dog to other random noises; for example, bringing your pet to the gun range will assist your dog with her fear of noises. Hunting dogs are often not afraid of thunder due to being exposed to noise in unexpected times.
Well-bonded dogs also make excellent work dogs and companions. One excellent example of a very bonded dog which makes an excellent working dog is the K-9 German Shepherd used in Police K-9 Units. The bond between officer and k-9 is developed deeply throughout their trainings in addition to working and living together. This kind of relationship is crucial in this environment to work properly; but beyond the limits of their work, the love and affection that is seen between these coworkers goes above and beyond. An officer was slain in California by the name of Kevin Tonn. His dog partner, Yaro, was near his coffin throughout the service whimpering. This act shows how deep the bond is between the officer and his canine due to all of the time spent together in training, at the home and in the field; not only as coworkers, but as best friends as well.
Developing a bond with your dog can significantly impact your overall feeling of well-being, your health and your happiness. Not only will developing the bond help the human counterpart but will also develop a larger level of trust with your dog. Your dog enjoys the bond with his pet parent and is also likely to be happier and healthier.
Amber Johnson, Animal Behaviorist
Miss Amber Johnson has many years of experience with pets and is a licensed cat and dog nutrition and behavior specialist. She currently collaborates with PetPremium where she counsels clients in pet behavior and nutrition. The statements made in this article are the personal opinions of Miss Amber Johnson and based on independent experiences and could be different from the opinions of PetPremium Pet health Insurance or any other pet health insurance provider.