Bonding With Your Dog Through Training

By Steve Dale

Dog training is more than just an opportunity to teach your dog some skills. It also gives you a chance to bond with your pup. In particular, positive reinforcement dog training is a great way to spend some time with your dog in a productive and fun way. Whether you choose to put your dog in a training class or work on it at home, the time spent teaching them helps build a special bond. The training class, if it is a structured class, allows your dog to socialize and is a resource for you to answer questions.

So, what is positive reinforcement dog training?

Positive reinforcement dog training is a method of training that means you reward positive behaviors and typically ignore the behaviors you don’t like. Treats, praise and even toys can be used to reward your dog’s good behavior. Any time spent with your dog provides a bonding experience, but this is especially true with positive reinforcement training. Your dog will associate you with praise and treat giving, leaving him with a positive attitude towards your time spent together and helping you to bond.

What about other methods?

Other training methods might teach your dog how to behave and to follow directions but positive reinforcement training is the only method that really promotes bonding. By reinforcing positive behavior, your dog comes to trust you and will follow your guidance. Punishing him for his negative behaviors can cause him to be more withdrawn in the future and begin to fracture the very bond you’re attempting to build.

Keep it fun

Doing fun activities with your dog is always a great way to bond and for dogs to learn. Training doesn’t have to be boring and difficult. If you keep training sessions short and positive, it can be fun for both you and your pet. Once your pup associates training sessions with positive rewards, he might begin to view it as playtime, which is an important part of a dog and owner’s bond. We also know dogs (and likely people) are more likely to learn when they’re enjoying themselves.

Don’t stop at training

While training is certainly a positive and rewarding way to bond with your dog, doing other things with him is important too. Spend time at the dog park playing fetch, go for long walks or just cuddle up on the couch together. Participating in organized canine activites, such as agility and any other endeavor where you’re working as a team, is also a great way to bond. Another example is participating in animal assisted activities in hospitals or nursing facilities with your certified companion,. The more you do with your pup, the stronger your connection will be, as long as you are both enjoying yourselves.

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