At K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore, we offer therapy dog services for children with reading challenges.

One of the primary reasons we welcome dogs into our families is their strong bond with us. It helps to always make an effort to form a strong connection with your new dog, whether it’s a puppy or an adult. Our lives are made more prosperous, and our hearts are nurtured because of this simple friendship.

When it comes to dogs, they provide us with warmth, love, and unconditional companionship, but it’s their fierce loyalty to us that we cherish the most. Building a solid relationship with a new family pet or dog is a rewarding experience. Here are ten easy ways to build a strong foundation of friendship with your furry friend.

  1. Get A Head Start On Things

During your first encounter with a dog, lay the groundwork for building a friendship. Give them a reason to come over and look at you.  Get comfortable in their presence by letting her smell you and getting used to your scent. This will help her understand that you are not a potential danger and respect her personal space.

If you don’t overdo it on the hugs and cuddles, she’ll appreciate the opportunity to assess your suitability before you make physical contact with her. Puppies go through this process quickly and easily, but older dogs may take more time.

  1. Become Close With Your Dog

Start interacting with your new friend after they have carefully sniffed you and shown signs of relaxation around you. As soon as she shows any interest, start calling her and telling her what a lovely dog she is in a calm, collected, happy voice. When she approaches you, give her a treat or pet. Pull out a toy and start playing with her after you’ve gotten to know each other. This will show her that you’re a loving friend who she can rely on while still having a good time.

  1. Make an Effort

It’s always exciting to bring a new puppy or dog home because that’s when the most bonding happens. Building a strong bond with your dog begins with the seemingly trivial stuff you do for him every day. Teach your dog, you are the starting point of all great things in her life by feeding, walking, training, and playing with her.

  1. Build Trust

Train your dog to sit or lie down on her mat when you are busy in the kitchen. Treat her only when she is on her mat to reward her for her good choice. She will learn that she might get a treat when she is on her mat, but not when she is following you around while you cook.

Train him to sit and wait for your release before eating his own meal. Do not disturb him while he eats. Some dogs may resource guard their food if they think you might take it away from them.

As she goes through these routines, she learns to respect her place within the family while also developing trust.

  1. Work in Tandem

Training is a great way to build a strong relationship with your dog based on open communication, mutual trust, and respect. The more you work with your dog, the more you’ll learn about communication and trust from each other as you teach her new cues. When you and your dog work together and communicate effectively, this desire to please each other is satisfied. Always train your dog in a way that is kind, positive, and reinforces good behavior.

  1. Make Time to Have Fun And Relax

Another essential element in developing strong bonds is having fun together. When you play games like tug-of-war, chase, fetch, or “find it,” you’ll build a stronger bond with your dog because you’ll be the center of attention for all of his excitement. Don’t be afraid to be silly and have a good time; she will appreciate your positive attitude!

  1. Make a Point of Paying Attention To Her Exclusively

For dogs who enjoy cuddling or lying beside you while being stroked, touch and quiet one-on-one time are two of the most effective bonding tools we have at our disposal. Dogs use body language and touch to communicate. Ear scratches and massages are great ways to show your furry friend how much you care. Be on the lookout for signs that your dog is enjoying the attention; stress can impede the development of a strong bond.

  1. Spend Time with Each Other

Running errands with your dog can strengthen your bond with her, so if the weather permits, consider doing so together. Extra time spent outside the house with you and your dog is always beneficial.

Many dogs are excellent running or jogging companions once they attain physical maturity, occurring around two years. This exercise is a perfect way to keep your dog busy and entertained while relieving boredom and releasing excess energy. Think about things like hiking, cycling, jogging, walking, and swimming, to name a few. You and your dog can strengthen your relationship by participating in these enjoyable activities together. Including your dog in your exercise regimen will make her feel more attached to you.

  1. Show Your Love Unconditionally

Please remember to spend time each day appreciating and loving your dog for all the love and joy he brings into your life as well. The key to a strong connection that lasts a lifetime is to share mutual love and respect.

For information on K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore, send us an email through this form. One of our experts will contact you shortly to discuss various details of our certified therapy dog programs for children with reading challenges or community outreach.