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Basic Training

10 Fun Ways to Bond With Your Dog

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Arguably the most important step in successfully training your pooch is relationship building. It is through bonding with you, his pet-parent, that your dog is made to feel secure, knowing that he is accepted as part of your family. By developing a loving and caring relationship, trust is built and companionship between you and your dog is made strong. This allows him not only to respond more promisingly to obedience training but also to improve the quality of both of your lives in the long run.

Fun Activities to Get Closer to Fido

1. Have a picnic. Look for a dog-friendly park and then pack a dog-friendly lunch for both you and your pup. Here, you and Fido can take a laid-back breath of air as you enjoy a healthy meal together without breaking a sweat.

2. Hiking. Head for a hiking trail or wooded hillside that permits leashed dogs Spend the day together, exploring and looking for new sites and smells. If you find n interesting rock or spot a lizard, show it to your dog. Likewise, if your dog seems interested in something, get in for a closer look. Your dog will love bonding over nature. And, as you continue to show him interesting found objects, he’ll continue to look up to you for more!  Just make sure to use flea or tick preventatives on your pooch while you use an insect repellant for yourself.

3. Road trip. Decide your destination, pick the routes to take, and bring along lots of things your dog loves. If you choose an overnight stay somewhere, make sure that you ask first if the hotel you intend to check in accepts pets. If not, you can rent a mobile home and travel en route for dog-friendly spots. Better yet, spend the night in a dog-friendly campsite and take your four-legged friend on an outdoor adventure while you’re there!

4. Take your dog to work. Some companies set aside a single day a year for pet owners to bring their pets into work. Check if the corporation you’re working for will permit your pooch to participate. While he’s at the office with you, take him around to meet co-workers and their pets. Take him for a long walk on your lunch break, and bring plenty of treats to keep him happy through the day.

5. Nursing home or hospital visits. For owners of mellow dogs, you can try spending some time together while helping others. Visit hospitals or nursing homes to cheer up some room-bound patients.

6. Teach new tricks. Train your pooch to respond to new commands. Just don’t expend too much time on your practice. Ten minutes will be enough for Fido to be excited about picking up something new and to interact with you. He’ll love the treats and undivided attention he gets from you. Make sure to give plenty of praise and over-the-top excitement when he “gets it.”

7. Winning titles. When your pooch has already learned the basic obedience commands, try working together to earn some obedience titles. Visit your local kennel club to learn more about how Fido can reach a companion dog status and later win higher titles. More important than any title is the extra time you spend together to earn it.

8. Movie marathon. Choose a film where the main characters are dogs (e.g. Homeward Bound, Milo and Otis, Dr. Dolittle, or Air Bud). Get a bag of tasty popcorn and a bowl of delicious dog bones, and then watch the video with your canine friend. Invite your dog onto the couch with you, or make a cozy spot on the floor for you both. Even if he’s not interested in the movie, he’ll enjoy your quiet time together.

9. Frisbee. Not only is tossing a Frisbee around very fun, it can also help your pooch stay healthy. Although it may take several tries to get Fido excited about chasing the toy, but if he enjoys playing fetch then he should also enjoy Frisbee. If your pup has trouble picking up a standard Frisbee, try a floppy, disk-style instead.

10. Buy a new toy together. Visit your local pet store and let your pooch pick out his own new toy or treat. There are lots of doggie playthings that will stimulate Fido both mentally and physically, and entertain him for hours. While you’re there, take a walk past the other animals, too. He’ll enjoy checking out the fish, birds, and other animals, too!

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  1. I have 7 dogs. <3 6 girls and a boy named Max.

  2. Avatar Of Leslie T

    Leslie T


    Take a nap with your dog!

  3. Avatar Of Iwona Iwona says:

    Bonding with your dog is very important. I started from spending time with my dog as much as possible. I observed his behavior and reactions I have trained him, played with him, taken him for hiking and picnics, introduced him to friends and extended family. Depending on breed, not all dogs are suitable to become hospital pets. But any game giving possibility of fun time together is a good bonding time. Soccer, frisbee, hide and seek, search for toy, retrieve ball or toy, swim together are very popular activities good for dogs and their owners to keep fit and bond together.

  4. Avatar Of Posey



    We play hide and seek. One family member holds me and another goes and hides. I love looking for them.

  5. Avatar Of Finn'S Mom

    Finn's Mom



    If you have water-loving furkids, there is no better bonding activity than taking a dip together. Whether it’s in a pup friendly pool or at your local pond, swimming with your dog is a great way to have fun and build trust. It’s also a great way to incorporate your dog into an active lifestyle!

  6. To clarify the visit hospital and nursing homes, I’ve had my
    dogs pass the national tests and get certified as a therapy
    dog to do so. Many hospitals and nursing homes won’t allow
    animals, especially dogs, without the therapy dog certification.
    Your dog has to have the calm demeanor and patience to
    do make these visits. They also have to know the basic commands,
    especially leave-it, to keep from hurting others and themselves.

    My current dog, a black lab mix, unfortunately, is too energetic
    to participate as a therapy dog.

    • Avatar Of Jerilyn



      Not necessarily. I used to take my dog when we went to visit an elderly aunt in a nursing home. They not only let me bring her in but before I could even get to my aunt I would be stopped by at least half a dozen elderly people, who were in wheel chairs or used walkers, so they could pet her. They would then start telling me stories about this or that dog they once had. I have a husky lab mix who is anything but calm, but loves meeting people and other dogs. She is not a certified therapy dog and as far as obedience goes she earns no stars in that department. There was a smile on everyone’s face by the time we left and I think my dog, Molly, was smiling too.

  7. Avatar Of Donna. D.

    Donna. D.


    I bond all the time by hugging playing always makeing their water bowls have fresh water. Giving doggie kissesback in forth. I tell them I love theml many times a day . They get a small bedtime snack before we go to bef. All my 3 babies sleep with me,yes they can hog my bed and pillows but we share.

  8. Avatar Of Caleb Caleb says:

    Make sure to take the time to bond with your dog. They need love and attention and they want it from you. Give the the love and attention they deserve.

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