Bonding with Dog: Getty
Whether I’m working to redirect a cat chaser or just teaching a new puppy how to “sit," the key to helping my clients achieve training success is nurturing the bond between person and dog. Going through the mechanics of training will certainly produce results, but without a strong bond the results aren’t nearly as quick or impressive. Without a bond, frustration is inevitable.
What exactly is the bond? Many people are quick to confuse love for it – they’ll say, “Oh, I know my dog loves me.” Of course your dog loves you – you take him for walks, fill his bowl twice a day and provide a cozy place to sleep! The bond is related to love, but there’s so much more to it … in short, it’s a relationship steeped in love plus equal parts of mutual trust, respect and regard.
In my book, “Bonding with your Dog: A Trainer’s Secrets for Building a Better Relationship,” I present a short 5-question quiz to help people determine the strength of their bond. The most telling question is, “Are you afraid that if your dog slipped out the front door unleashed, she’d take off running and not come home?” It gets to the core of the bond – do you matter to your dog, or are you just a speed bump on the road to her getting her way?
If you’re frustrated with your dog, or feel that she’s stubborn, or stupid, or that training “doesn’t stick” with her, it’s likely that you have a bond problem. The good news is that it’s never too late to start building your bond. For more information about the benefits of the bond and how to grow a strong, mutually rewarding bond with your dog, check out “Bonding with your Dog: A Trainer’s Secrets for Building a Better Relationship.”