1. Talk To Them
There’s some mixed reports on how much language your dogs actually understands. They can be taught to recognize commands and certain key words, but how much does your dogs really understand? According to recent studies, dogs process language in a similar way to humans. So it’s not just the tone of your voice, but also what you say that matters. (Source: Independent)
Besides, sometimes you just need to talk to someone without being judged or interrupted!
2. Groom Them
Our dogs Squirrel and Banjo love to be groomed. This is not something we taught them to enjoy, they just decided this is the best treatment ever and they want more! Grooming them usually involves a good brushing to remove loose fur, some gentle stroking and just giving them your undivided attention. Our girl Squirrel thoroughly enjoys having her chest stroked, and will zone out until you stop. For Banjo, a belly rub is the best thing ever.
Grooming your dog also releases oxytocin (known as the love hormone) in both you and your dogs. This helps to strengthen the love bond.
3. Take Them On Walks
Walking your dogs regularly is one of the most important aspects of a happy dog. It’s the perfect opportunity for exercise, bonding, and exploration. Your dogs will get bored if you don’t take them for walks regularly, and can even become depressed. They need the mental and physical stimulation, and it’s important that you share this activity with them as part of bonding.
Give your dogs enough time to explore and sniff along the way. Remember that their sense of smell is much more advanced than ours, and each scent tells an interesting story.
4. Let Them Sleep With You
This one was difficult for me to get used to. I love our dogs, but I grew up with the understanding that dogs should sleep in their own beds, and humans in theirs. My wife, on the other hand, is more than happy to have all our furry fluffy pets (two dogs and two cats) sharing the bed as one big happy family. I gradually warmed up to the idea, and nowadays I feel much happier sharing our bed with our furry companions Banjo and Squirrel (and our cats Gizmo and Sprite).
Banjo is a mixed breed wire haired terrier, and true to his nature likes to tunnel under the duvet until he finds a warm spot against our legs. There he’ll stay until we get up in the morning, the later the better – he’s not a morning dog.
Squirrel is a unique, highly intelligent Collie / German Shepard cross, with some additional flavors added. Her bedtime routine involves the following: she will jump up on the bed when invited and sit up straight, staring at me until I give her love. Then she’ll thank me with a lick and settle down, either curled up like a fox or lying on her back with legs pointing in all directions. Squirrel is a light sleeper, and the slightest sound outside will have her darting off the bed to go investigate.
Long story short: sharing your bed with your dog will give them comfort, warmth, and bonding.
5. Lean On Your Dog
Our late Daisy was a Great Dane and also a Great Leaner. She would stand next to you and lean against you with all her weight, sometimes catching you off balance. Apparently this is how dogs hug! So hug your dogs back by leaning against them. Needless to say, if you have a small dog you’ll have to adapt your leaning by perhaps lying on the floor next to him and snuggling up.
6. Raise Your Eyebrows!
Most dog owners will know that looking a dog in the eyes can be seen as a challenge. However, if you look at your dogs with loving gentle eyes, and raising your eyebrows, they will feel the love. So wiggle those eyebrows, dial up the loving gaze, and share the love!
7. Feed Them By Hand
Food is one of the highlights in your dog’s day, and sharing that moment with them on a more personal level can help you bond with your dogs (especially a puppy or new dog) much faster. You don’t need to feed them by hand every time, but occasional hand feeding or giving treats can create a strong bond between you and your dogs.
8. Rub Their Ears
Did you know that dogs love having their ears rubbed? A gentle ear rubbing for your dogs is like a massage for humans: it releases feel-good endorphins. So if you want to relax your dogs and send them on a blissful high, give their ears a gentle rubbing.
9. Buy Them Something From WagaDog
At WagaDog you will find a wide range of exciting products for dogs, which you and your dogs will love! Grooming tools, fun toys, walking accessories, bowls and blankets, clothing and collars, travel and training tools – we have a wide selection of carefully picked items for you.