Building a Bond with Your Dog

Updated: Mar 20


Finder Betty White & Keeper Laura | Photo by Lindsay Hayward

We all know that wonderful feeling when we arrive home and our dog is there waiting impatiently to envelope us in love. Our dogs give us SO much, but there are ways for us to give back some of that amazing love and support.


While understanding your dog is important, there are ways to further that understanding into an unbreakable bond. We believe that by connecting with our dogs through work, spending time outdoors, training time, touch, and most importantly trust—we can build a lifelong partnership with our canine companions.


Through bond building, you can discover all the unique traits your canine possesses, while also learning more about yourself and the shared relationship you and your dog have.

 

The nose knows — Connecting through scent work

At CDCI, the main way we deepen relationships with our canine finders is through scent work and its associated training! Sniffing is a natural ability for dogs. So, giving them the opportunity to show us what they can do strengthens partnership with their humans. And the use of positive reinforcement in our training means they get lots of treats too... Making it even more fun for bonding.

Finder Alva takes her nose "work" seriously | Photo by Lindsay Hawyard

Go for a hike — Connecting outdoors

At CDCI, we’re lucky enough to have the outdoors built into what we do. Whether we are out in the field or just having some fun in the backyard, being outside allows for time to connect through discovery. While out with your dog, pay attention to the things they might avoid or be drawn to and even what paths they tend to choose over others. There are so many outdoor activities to do with your furry friend that can help both pet and parent learn more about each other.


Click, treat! — Connecting while training your dog

While it may seem like fido always belongs by your side, there may be times when it's not safe. For example, you may be cooking with foods that are toxic to your dog. This is where “station training” comes in! What is station training? It’s quite simple: it’s basically your pup’s designated spot—a dog bed, rug, or even a crate are great choices—that you train them to go to on cue.


This behavior has many benefits, including having them stay safe while you’re cooking, asking them to go there when visitors arrive, or reinforcing them for being on their station at the vet’s office. On top of that, there may be times when our pets need time to themselves.


Snuggle up — Connecting through touch and snuggle time

A super simple way to bond with your furever friend is through physical touch! However, it is important to pay attention to your dog's body language to learn where they might or might not like to be touched.


Much like not every human enjoys hugs or kisses, the same goes for our canine companions. Taking the time to get to know which haptic behaviors your dog prefers will help you communicate your love and appreciation to your best friend. On top of that, it will help you develop a safe space for you both to coexist in. Check out this amazing infographic on doggie body language by Lili Chin to learn more about your dog’s cues on how they’re feeling.


Trust in us — Connecting through relationship

Everyone needs someone to lean on, and for many that is our dog! Through trust, our dogs can learn to depend on us and vice versa. Constructing a trusting relationship can start with letting your dog make the first move. Through positive reinforcement training and fostering a safe learning environment, dogs can learn how to look to us for help and support, which only builds trust. While trust is something that takes time and effort, it will only strengthen the bond between the both of you.

 

What matters most when creating a bond with your dog

Bond building is a core focus we have with our finders, and every keeper has a unique relationship with their finder/s. If you are looking for more ways to create a powerful and meaningful relationship with your furry friend, check out this list of books recommended by the CDCI family and check out this extra article on this topic.


We’d love to hear what special way you bond with your best friend! Submit your story here!