Read how food, play, and touch can improve bonding.
Build bond: With food, touch, and lots of play
Bonding is important for a relationship to succeed. This also applies to humans and dogs. Humans can do a lot to ensure that the bond between dog and owner is right – and both partners will benefit enormously from it.
Build bonds through food
The way to a man’s heart goes through his stomach. You can also use this old adage when it comes to bonding. Instead of serving your dog dry food in a bowl, you can hand-feed it. This strengthens the bond and the dog realizes that everything good comes from people. When feeding by hand, people carry the food on their body, for example in a belt pouch or feed tube, and then give the dog food when it has earned it – for example, if it has been dutifully called up while walking the dog or has successfully completed a small exercise has. Feeding usually does not take place in the house, but outside the house. In this way, humans can ensure that the dog takes a better look at them when they are out and about – because they never know when there will be something (gambling machine principle).
Build bonds through touch
In the wolf pack, members who like each other snuggle up to each other while lying down. This so-called contact lying is also a form of strengthening the relationship and building a bond. You should therefore also practice it with your dog. If he’s not allowed on the couch or in bed, no problem: just lie down on the floor with him for half an hour and cuddle. Bonding is also created through caressing and gentle touches. This is when the bonding hormone oxytocin, the cuddling hormone, is released, which ensures harmony. Therefore: Take your time to cuddle – it lets you and your dog get even closer together.
Build bond through play
Also, those who experience something together improve their bond. It is therefore important to do relationship work with the puppy. That sounds serious, but it’s not, because all you have to do is play extensively with your puppy. Playing and romping around together is not only a lot of fun, but also builds an intimate relationship with your darling.
Work as a team
The dog learns that positive things emanate from his people – and that it is worth paying attention to him because something great always happens when the owner is busy with him. Through small games, such as the first retrieval exercises, the puppy also learns to work together with its two-legged friend. It’s great here, for example, if you use the food dummy. The pencil case filled with lining can be thrown or hidden. The aim is for the dog to fetch or search for it. But he shouldn’t keep it for himself, but bring it to his human – so that he opens the food dummy and gives the dog a small reward. This is how you become a well-established team!
Rules should apply when playing with the puppy
Rules are important when playing, regardless of whether you are having a fun tug of war, throwing the ball, or going on a treat hunt together. The two-legged friend starts the game. And then he ends it. After that, the toy is put away – this way you also achieve that it is interesting. You also do relationship work, for example, if the dog is only allowed to chase the ball after you say “Okay!”. He has to wait for your release. This is how you train obedience.
The fun should not be neglected when playing
Of course, things shouldn’t always be serious. In addition to practicing and training, fun must not be neglected under any circumstances. You’re allowed to fool around with your dog for once. Because having fun together creates a bond! The common cause is important.