Maybe you thought that the title of this post should contain the word not as in “How not to spoil your dog.” But the title fits the article’s intent. I am going to give you several ways to bond with your dog.
These ideas are certainly not vet approved and no certified trainer will encourage you to follow my suggestions. But your dog will love you.
Take the dog in the car with you whenever you can. That means that you have to pay attention to the weather. Don’t take him out on hot summer days or frigid winter days. Also, you should use a harness buckled to the seat belt if you want to avoid an accident. A dog jumping around like a toad is not only distracting, it is downright dangerous. And, when you do take him out, follow canine principles. It’s best to establish that humans and only humans sit in the front seat. If you have two dogs, buckle the alpha dog in the seat behind the driver. Trust me, dogs know the pecking order in the car. If you put the alpha dog behind the passenger and the beta dog behind the driver, the alpha dog’s pride will be hurt. Now if you own a truck with no backseat…let the dog drive.
Whenever you take your dog with you, make sure he gets a treat. Never ever return to the car empty handed. Just a wee tiny bit of that donut shop muffin will not hurt his waist line, not nearly as much as the coffee latte you had will hurt yours.
On foot, there are different loving acts that can be done. Make walks a doggy experience. If you haven’t tried playing hide and seek with your dog yet, you may be depriving the dog of his chance to hone his spotting or hunting skills. Just know that some dogs find hide and seek below their dignity. I had a dog who would look in the direction of where I was hiding and give me a look that clearly said, “Honestly, do you really think I don’t know where you are?” Her brother, on the other hand, just loved the game.
All dogs should be treated as lapdogs, no matter what their size.
Do agility training as well as obedience training. Dogs enjoy agility and they love showing off their acquired skills
Play ball with your dog. Now this may seem obvious, but if you use a tennis ball which is relatively soft, you can play soccer and baseball, as well as fetch. Use a mini tennis ball for small dog. Get a floating ball and play at the lake.
Bring the dog on the bed with you. This does not have to be an every night ritual, but an occasional visit. Make him feel special once in a while.
If you live somewhere where there is winter, play snowball with your dog. Ensure the dog is not getting too cold. Remember you’re the one wearing the $150 parka.
Finally, get down on the floor with him once in a while, and get a dog’s eye view of things.