You always bore the ones you love.
And that’s not a terrible thing. One of the great blessings of being with those you love and who love you back is that you don’t have to work so hard to impress them.
But it’s still good to do special things to strengthen your relationship.
Here are a few things Honey and I like to do together, just the two of us:
Share Food – Honey’s favorite bonding moment. I’ll pit cherries and eat half while sharing the others with her.
Heck, the world’s largest religion has made shared meals a sacrament. It’s gotta have something going for it.
Wrestle – Did you ever notice how much more boys like to do this with dogs than girls? But it’s fun for everyone. I wrestle with Honey while she’s on the bed and I’m standing beside it. Our “paws” are on a more equal footing.
Groom Her – No, not toenail clipping. But Honey loves being combed and brushed. And I love leaving all that dead fur in the compost instead of all over my bed.
Go For A Walk – Yeah, I know for many of us this is a twice-a-day activity. But how about if you let your dog set the pace, direction, and duration? If she wants to run, run. If she wants to walk for two hours, walk for two hours. Who knows where she’ll lead you?
Play Nosework Games – Do you ignore your dog’s strongest sense? Because nothing will make you closer than helping him explore the world by scent.
Introduce your dog to finding things by scent on cue, then use it to play games around the house and yard.
Train A Trick – I’ve never been big on training my dogs to do tricks. But meeting other people who do has changed my mind. And Honey finds it fun. I’ve incorporated tricks into our walks. And lately, trick training helped distract Honey from a particularly severe thunderstorm.
Cuddle – Yep, Honey thinks she’s a lap dog. Sometimes she just likes to curl up in my lap. Usually when I’m working…. But still, a great bonding activity.
Take A Drive – If we had asked her, Honey would never have let us get rid of the car. She loves a slow, sniffy drive with the windows open. From the look on her face, I’d have to say a car ride to her is like a trip to the museum for an artist.
Play Chase – How do dogs play with each other? Honey and her friends like to run after each other. Sometimes, to keep Honey’s recall strong, I drop the leash and run away from her. To her, it’s fabulous fun. Especially when she gets a liver treat for catching me.
And besides, what could strengthen your bond more than your dog associating good times with following after you?
Take A Nap – Okay, not something Honey and I actually do together. I hate sleeping in the middle of the day. But my husband loves it. And I strongly suspect that snoozing together on the shore while I swim around has made them closer than ever.
Every Bond Is Unique
Your dog might not enjoy any of the things Honey and I do together. We’re all different.
My husband wishes I enjoyed foot rubs as a bonding moment. But I’m too ticklish. (And ladies who love foot rubs, do not leave your phone number in the comments. He’s taken.)
I’d swear that some of the foster pups we’ve hosted find following someone on their way to use the toilet a bonding moment. Luckily Honey believes in privacy.
What makes you and your dog closer? Why not spend a few moments this weekend and build your bond.
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I just enjoyed a wonderful book about a man who traveled across country with his dog exploring the nature of the human-canine bond. It’s a great summer read. And if you live in the continental U.S., you have a chance to win your own copy here.
Your Turn: What things do you do with your dog that build your bond?