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Building a Stronger Relationship With Your Dog

When do you find yourself struggling the most with your dog? When will they just not listen? Is it at home when the house is quiet? Or is it at times when the environment is more exciting (a car pulls in your driveway, someone walks by the house, when you’re on a walk, etc.)?


When do you find yourself giving your dog the most attention? When you get home from work? In the evening when it’s time to sit down and watch TV? At night when they curl up in bed with you?


I would bet most dog owners are having a hard time when the stimulus in the environment increases, and the dog is receiving the most attention inside at the times mentioned above.


Here’s the issue; we love our dogs so much and are using the intimate times we have home to give our dogs an endless amount of attention. Meanwhile, our dogs LOVE to be outside, running around, exploring, and are doing so without much interaction with us (except when we tell them to stop/correct them). Dogs learn that things other than their owner (other dogs, squirrels, cars driving by, etc.) are the outlets available to express their energy instead of their owner. How do we become part of the fun so our dogs start to look to us during the difficult moments? How do we become more valuable in our dog’s eyes? Conserve your attention indoors and use it outside with your dog! As a result, you will have a stronger relationship with your dog.


Indoor Plan:


Create structure and be extremely purposeful with your affection. These two things will help set healthy boundaries so we are not seeing ‘energy leaks’ indoors. Implement the use of crates, pens, tethering (supervised!), and place training. The benefits of structure include:

  • Building your dog’s ability to decompress

  • Gives your dog the proper amount of rest (most dogs aren’t getting this!)

  • Prevents your dog from following you everywhere (sign of a codependent relationship)

  • Teaches your dog how to chill vs investigate every single noise they hear (builds impulse control)

  • Prevents you from giving too much attention

  • Provides you opportunities to give purposeful affection (shoot for 1-2 short massages/day. Be your dog’s massage therapist..think slow, deep, calming massages)

  • Builds your dog’s confidence and independence


Outdoor Plan:

Do activities you both enjoy together! Strong friendships are built on common interests and enjoying time together, and your relationship with you dog is no different. What do you love to do with your dog?! Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Go into nature and hike with your dog. Moving together in a nature is such a therapeutic experience for both humans and dogs.

  • Play tug- let them win! And see if they’ll chase you with the tug in their mouth.

  • Run together. It doesn’t matter if you’re going for an actual run, adding a couple jogging intervals into your walk, or running around your yard together. Just get out and run!

  • Sit outside and enjoy the sun together- it can literally be this simple!


For help getting your new routine started, reach out to set up a consultation!

Dog going on a ride with two humans
My personal dog Evan loves going for rides in our mule!

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