Interacting with your Dog
The ways in which you interact with your dog are very
important. Positive interaction will result in a positive
relationship. And, negative interaction will result in
unwanted behaviors and a negative relationship between you
and your dog.
The more activities you do with your dog, the closer your
relationship with it. And the closer your relationship with
your dog, the easier it will be to train it and the more
gratifying to you both your interactions will become.
* Play with your dog.
The first and most important thing you can do with your dog
to strengthen the bond of your relationship is to get
outside and exercise or play with it. Dogs must have
exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy, and
healthy dogs love to play. Dogs in packs, (and the pack
instinct is exactly what you should be building with your
dog and yourself,) play together as a means not only of
recreation but of strengthening the bonds between them.
*Love your dog.
Another great way to interact with your dog is to show it
affection. Dogs instinctively want to please their leaders,
so the more you show your dog affection and let it know that
you love it, the closer the two of you will become.
* Praise your dog.
Take time each day to spend a little quiet time with your
dog and let it know how awesome you think it is. These short
spurts of time together will do a lot toward improving your
relationship with each other and building the amazing bond
that is possible between dogs and humans.
Just like children, dogs need boundaries. Set them up early
and stick to them. It is very unfair to a dog for your
wishes and attitudes to be unpredictable. So set boundaries
about proper and improper behaviors early on, and be
consistent with them.
* Listen to your dog.
Dogs communicate primarily with body language, and after
that with vocalization. Watch your own body language to be
sure that it is not telling the dog something different than
the commands you are giving.
Pay attention to your dog's body language to get clues about
what it needs or what training should be reinforced. If you
are having a play or training session and your dog seems
tired or lethargic it's probably time for a rest. If it
seems restless and can't seem to sit still, get the leash on
and take your dog out of the house. If there is a strange
noise and the dog has its ears back and/or its tail between
its legs, respond with quiet calm and if possible take the
dog to a place it feels safer, it is afraid. Your dog will
probably always understand your communications better than
you understand its communications, but you can learn a lot
just by observation.
The most important thing in your interactions with your dog
is that they are loving, consistent and designed to enrich
your relationship with him or her. The more you interact
with your dog in a positive way the better the relationship
between you will be and the better dog you will have.
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