23 August 2022
Bonding is one of the most important, yet overlooked parts of owning a dog. Unless an owner is properly bonded with their dog, then their relationship will never be as good as it can be. Bonding sets the foundation for a strong relationship, and in the case of working dogs trust between owner and animal. While bonding should occur naturally if a dog is being handled and looked after well, it is still worth giving this matter some thought rather than take it for granted.
As dogs learn associatively, the first responsibility on owners when facilitating bonding is to ensure that their dog associates them with positive experiences. Put more simply, if your dog expects good things when it comes into contact with you, then it is far more likely to like you and enjoy spending time in your company. A very simple bonding exercise is calling your dog over to you, and when they respond rewarding them with a favourite treat or toy. It is very important that you never call your dog to punish it, as there is a risk it will subsequently associate hearing its name with receiving a punishment.
Training and working your dogs are excellent long-term ways of developing a bond, especially if your dog has a specific role such as protection and guarding. We often advise customers on long-term training programmes as part of our aftercare offer, and are happy to do so with a view towards promoting bonding. To find out more, please DM us on any of our social media accounts.