How To Improve The Bond With Your Dog
The human/canine bond is a deeply rooted understanding, measured in emotion, dependability, and mutual support. It is a need to belong and to feel wanted, useful, and safe. Vary these parameters, though, and you affect the bond. Fail to give your dog affection, routine, dependability, training and boundaries, and you will weaken that unspoken connection. Abuse or ignore her, or fail to see to her basic needs and you could sabotage the intimate link that time has so artfully established. Anything that makes your dog feel unwanted, neglected, or afraid will lower the strength of the human/canine bond. Let’s see how to improve the bond with your dog.
Signs that Your Bond is Weak
Even though you may be a caring, considerate person, your dog might still not feel a close bond with you. Signs of a weak bond include:
- Emotional indifference to you or others in the family.
- A failure to respond to commands, especially the recall command
- A lack of desire to play
- A distaste for being handled
- Regular attempts to run off
- Poor focus and eye contact
- Belligerence or even outright aggression toward you
- Depression or lethargic behavior
Note that a recently rescued dog could show some or all of these symptoms as she might still be grieving for her past owner or may simply be depressed over the unpredictability of her life to date. Give her time.
How to Strengthen the Bond with your dog
If you suspect the bond with your dog is not as strong as it could be, there are steps you can take to remedy this. First, if you have recently adopted the dog from a shelter, understand that it takes at least a few months for a rescue to adjust to her new home and to get over the grief of losing touch with her former family. During this time, be sure not to let her off-leash outside, as she might take off to find her old group. Make sure your fencing is up to the task as well.