By Jenny Perkins, an Animal Behavior Specialist
Dogs are one of the cutest creatures on the planet and are termed as “Man’s best friend.” Everyone loves dogs, but there is a drastic difference in being a dog lover and a dog parent. When you become a dog parent, the relationship begins with love, and gradually you and your fur baby develop an unbreakable bond. The bond grows so profound that your pooch starts to understand your signs and follows what you say. But developing and reinforcing it over the passage of time is a difficult task, especially if your dog has been through an abusive past. So here are six ways that can help you become better dog parents:
Give time and attention
Like every relationship, the one between you and your fur baby also requires time. Spend time with your dog, think of activities you can do together. Take your dog for a hike or a walk as that would help you two communicate in a quiet environment. You can also take him to the beach, play games such as fetch, hide and seek, and the game of tug. Make sure you make every activity engaging and different each time. And also remember, you need to focus entirely on your furry friend, no distractions allowed.
Add some love to his food
The way to a man’s heart goes through his stomach; the same applies to our fur buddies. Don’t just give your dog store-bought food, put in some effort and cook him a meal yourself. You can also prepare homemade dog treats. The second part is feeding, try feeding by hand or at least accompany your dog while he eats his dinner.
Understand your dog’s behavior
You should be able to interpret your dog’s expressions and body language. By doing so, you can identify when he is scared, angry, upset or happy and react accordingly to different situations. This way your dog will know he can count on you and your bond will grow strong.
Trust is the foundation of any healthy bond, for building faith you need to assure your dog that he can rely on you for his protection. It takes time especially if he has been abused in the past, but keep trying. The primary ways you can build this trust is by loving and caring, by not putting your dog in dangerous situations and by comforting him when he needs it.
Train your pooch
Training is vital for communicating with your dog; it will help him understand your commands. You can either train your pet yourself or hire an instructor or send him to a training class. But what I would recommend is that you do the training yourself, as that will give you two the chance to interact and have more time together. Remember patience is key; find the right training manual, start with basic commands and your dog will learn in no time.
Respect and praise
Dogs have a profound concept of respect and personal space. If you feel your pooch doesn’t like the way you pet him, respect it and consider all his likes and dislikes. Praising is equally essential; dogs love it when they feel they have pleased their parents. Whenever he follows your commands, behaves like a well-mannered pup, always praise him and offer treats. Don’t lose your temper or yell in front of your dog as that might upset him.
Guest blogger, Jenny Perkins is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.
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