Remember that time your dog was dragging you down the street chasing a squirrel? Or the time she ran across the street to greet her friend? Did your voice get more frantic, more shrill by the minute? Were you desperately trying to get her attention? Were you frustrated by her lack of discipline? Did you wish your dog was well behaved??
Well, it turns out that if our dogs felt well bonded to us this wouldn't be an issue. At Petminded we believe that having a well bonded dog is much better than a well behaved dog.
A well-bonded dog is one who clearly understands what you want and also feels well understood by you. There is a relationship that is reciprocal. You don't need more training classes to help encourage this kind of relationship. All you need is a step-by-step process for bonding with your dog so you BOTH understand and respect each other. With this in place, you can communicate in a pinch -- without needing to chase your pup down the street. Or just have fun together in a safe way!
Every good, healthy relationship is a two-way street. You give as much as you take and vice versa. When it comes to our dogs, we sometimes take more than we give because our dogs are so willing to give. But when we find the right balance, our relationship with our dogs will strengthen and we can develop a well-bonded dog.
How can you tell you have a well-bonded dog? Here are the 5 traits to look out for:
1. Interdependent (not codependent). Your dog looks to you for guidance and knows that you are in safe place.
2. Communicator. Your dog knows that you will listen to what they tell you and feel heard.
3. Confident. Your dog is comfortable being a dog and can express themselves - quirks and all.
4. Negotiator. Your dog will let you know what it is that they want and understand that sometimes they will get it and sometimes they won't.
5. Forgiving. Your dog knows you make mistakes sometimes and they forgive you because you also forgive them when they make mistakes.
These five traits tie together as a relationship based on clear communication, trust, understanding, and mutual respect.
✨BONUS ✨ A WELL-BONDED dog is a FUN dog. When you and your dog are well-bonded, you will create a lifetime of great memories together.
Some of the ways we can encourage a well-bonded relationship include:
1. Focusing on behaviors we want our dog to do instead of the behaviors we don't want them to do. Find ways to communicate and reward those positive behaviors.
2. Having fun with your dog playing and enjoying your time together.
3. Provide outlets for your dog to be a dog. Especially on days where we are asking them to do a lot of "human" behaviors like staying home alone, restraining from barking, and sitting still. Allow them to dig, tug, scavenge, vocalize, chase, and play.
A recent study tells us why having fun and playing with our dogs is so important! Researchers taught 2 groups of dogs a new task. One group rested afterward and the other group played after learning.
The next day...dogs were tested again on the new task. Researchers found that dogs who played afterward completed the task quicker and with fewer mistakes compared to dogs who rested! This is likely because these dogs made positive associations with learning and it helped them remember tasks better!
Dr. Shelly Volsche, Ph.D. Professor, Author, and former Dog Trainer recently partnered with us to offer this training: Petminded presents The Well Bonded Dog with Dr. Shelly Volsche.
Want to dig in deeper and receive support in your journey to having a well-bonded dog? Petminded launching a course called the Well Bonded Dog to help dog parents better understand their dogs, by building strong bonds with them. It combines scientific research with practical real-world insights from dog training. It's taught by Dr. Shelly Volsche, Ph.D. Professor, Author, and former Dog Trainer.
🐶 Understand your Dog's Point of View & How Your Dog Learns
🧠 Minimize Miscommunication and have Successful Training sessions
🤔 Proactively Manage Behavior Changes
✚ Understand what a 'Problem' Behavior is vs. an Undesirable Behavior
🎩 Apply Training & Enrichment Techniques to Build Stronger Bonds with your Dog
✔ Integrate Your Learnings in Your Daily Routine with Your Dog
🧡 Confidently Advocate for your Dog in Any Situation
Learn more about how to develop your relationship with your dog with Dr. Shelley Volsche in this new course! Sign-up for "The Well-Bonded Dog" →