HOW TO REPAIR RELATIONSHIP WITH DOG
If you are here you are likely having problems in your relationship with your dog. You have experienced that event of your dog completely ignoring your advances and walking away from you, leaving you asking how can a dog I adopted make me feel so bad about myself?
Truth be told, we are feeling this way because there is a high possibility that we are approaching our relationship with our dog from the human perspective. What do I mean by this? When we as humans meet each other and want to get acquainted, there is a level of excitement in us. We shake, hug or kiss ourselves, sometimes passionately. We are happy to get to meet this new prospect and why not.
Now let’s look at dogs, when they meet each other for the first time, they don’t get over-excited, there is a calm demeanor around them almost as if they don’t care about meeting new dogs. They don’t look at each other in the eye and it looks as if they take turns inspecting each other.
You see little differences like this lead to miscommunication between us and our dogs. This also affects our relationship with them negatively. This is one of the many reasons why you are not getting along well with your dog. To summarize the answer to the question:-
HOW DO I REPAIR MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY DOG.
The answer would be, you have to bond with your dog and create commitments between you two. You do this using the same tactics an average dog would use to bond with another dog.
To expatiate more on this here are some guidelines to follow.
1. Give your dog some space.
Your dog has obviously shown you that he or she is not interested in you, based on this reality, the best thing you can do is let your dog be for a while. Trying to force yourself on your dog would only further damage whatever is left of the relationship by creating more bad experiences with you and giving your dog more reason to abhor you.
For a short while, act as if your dog does not exist to you, that means no talking to them, no touching them, and no eye contact. Basically, you don’t want the state of things to deteriorate further between you and your dog.
More importantly, doing this gives you time to go into the next step of repairing your relationship.
2. Take some time to understand your dog.
This is an important step, you see, each dog breed has its characteristics, and even at that, each dog is unique in behavior. Take your time to learn more about your dog’s breed, if you have already done so before, you need to refresh your knowledge. Your dog not vibing well with you is usually an indication of you doing something they are not comfortable with consistently.
In addition to learning about your dog’s breed, you should understudy your dog’s personality, daily routine, likes, and dislikes. For dogs that were already mature before adoption, a trip to their shelter or former home would come in handy here. Most people would be open to discuss the lives of their former dogs in hope that they are living a better life (and the decision to give them away was the correct one).
If you don’t have the above option, then you will have to depend on your power of observation. Watching your dog interact for a few days or weeks would give you a little insight into how they want to live their lives.
3. Start building a new relationship with your dog.
The keyword here is building a new relationship, which would entail doing things for your dog that leaves him or her dependent on you for such activity. The idea is to create scenarios where good things come to your dog when you are around. This way your dog starts to associate positive things with your presence in their life.
You see with the knowledge of your dog’s personality and interacting with your dog by the way of building up a new relationship, your dog would have no other choice than to reciprocate.
Dogs are social creatures, and no matter how much they may dislike one’s presence, if that same presence comes with benefits for them, they would naturally change their disposition to such an individual.
Use some of these tips to connect with your dog on a deeper level.
i. Take over your dog’s feeding schedule.
This is actually a good place to start, for one thing, dogs do not joke with their food. You can always start by working together with whoever is currently feeding them. They call the dog and you put the food and water into the respective bowls.
As time goes on, you can even take control of the whole process, your dog would start to associate your calls with feeding time.
You can even kick things up a notch by preparing healthy, tasty food for them. Of course with guidance from your vet doctor. Giving your dog food that is not just tasty but also nutritious is a sure way into your dog’s heart.
ii. Keep a calm composure
Keeping your composure around your dog is one of the best things you can do while repairing your relationship with them. Getting very excited about something or losing your temper around your dog would only be interpreted as you not being in control of the situation around you.
iii. Learn to communicate effectively.
You have taken time to understudy your dog, this entails understanding the basics of how your dog expresses himself. Their body language, head expressions, tail expressions, etc. Your ability to understand this is good, but you should also be able to communicate with your dog in simple and effective body language.
Keeping your composure while communicating comes in handy here, remember you are trying to repair your damaged relationship here. Using the analogy of trying to get one’s girlfriend back, you can’t express yourself carelessly around her else you may end up passing the wrong message.
This is not what you want. You want to pass your message clearly and effectively and move on.
iv. Go on walks with your dog.
Going on daily walks with your dog can also help repair your relationship with them. If you start off by doing all we mentioned earlier, your dog should be warmed up to the experience of going on a walk with you. If not, partner with their favorite person or a hired expert and tag along on the walk.
Any amount of walk outside the home is seen as a moment of freedom to express themselves and enjoy their environment. Associating these moments with you will help your dog bond with you better.
v. Talk to your dog.
Granted, your dog will not understand all that you say. Talking to them while engaging in your daily activity makes your dog feel that you are involving them in what you are doing. No matter what it is that you are engaged in, making your dog feel part of the process is a powerful way of bonding with them. They feel valued and important in this scenario.
Also do not underestimate your dog’s power of deductive reasoning, do not be surprised if your dog offers you some form of assistance, pushing a chair towards you, or even brings your tools of work to you. This shows that your attempt to revive your relationship is working.
vi. Do dog bonding exercises.
There are many dog bonding exercises you can do with your dog. You can:
Teach your dog basic commands: sit, stand, fetch commands, etc training your dog in these things gets them excited and eager to do things with you.
Play with your dog: A little hide and seek in the house, tug of war in the park, a game of fetch in the backyard. All this play makes staying with your exciting and enjoyable and the cool thing about playing is that, unlike teaching commands, there is no expectation, just the fun.
Grooming your dog: This boards well especially when it comes to brushing their hair, whether short coat or long coat. That feeling activating their skin pore is an experience that most dogs look forward to.
Touching them correctly: Dogs love to be touched, giving them a good pat on the back, rubbing their belly, handling their paws gently, all this gives your dog that feels good feeling and helps the bonding process.
Rewarding them with Treats and Praises: Always acknowledging your dog when they are behaving as expected is a good thing and this is where Treats and Praises come into play. It’s like proof that he or she is behaving properly and makes them comfortable and confident in their state.
Snuggle with your dog: For dogs that love to snuggle, cuddling beside each other can be a way of bonding with your dog. This is something their ancestors used to do together as people who lived in packs. Doing this with you is like acknowledging that you are part of the pack.
4. Operate from a position of love.
Remember the main thing that causes damage in our relationship with our dogs is our inability to see things from our dog’s perspective. You can try to manage this lack of perspective by viewing the things your dog may do from the point of love. This way, even when dealing with your dog’s bad behaviors, it would be from the point of correcting them and not unleashing anger or pent-up emotions on them.
Working on your relationship with your dog is undoubtedly the best thing you can do for them. The emotions and memories they create with us are priceless and this is something that you really can’t substitute with anything. Having that one being that is dependable on even when all other relationship fails is something to protect, especially in this chaotic world we live in today
Hi, I am Charles Nwankwo Editor-in-Chief, Mydoggything.com. Gleaning from Professional Dog Trainers, behaviorist, Registered Veterinarians, and Breeders. We are passionate about making dog care easy for you. My job is to make sure that you get the best-updated dog care information to understand and take care of your dog or dogs.