Today I would like to share with you my experience with everyday obedience training and how to create the bonding.
As you may know, I am qualified in dog behaviour, got years experience in working with different types of dogs. Every single dog was different. There are no two same dogs, same like people.It is important to understand your dog.
I think if you really want to have that something with your dog, you need to spend time with them. Make simple things just simple for them, as knowing Roger I know everything is complicated for him. Or maybe I should have said it was complicated for him. This post will give you an idea how I build an amazing strong bonding with my dogs, that helps me not only in daily routine but also we work stronger as a team in sled dog sports.
Roger and his bonding
Roger was easy to build strong bonding, as this wee chap just adores people when he gets to know them. However, he found everything overcomplicated and he struggled to control his emotions. I have decided to go to school Paw Skills Edinburgh. I wanted him to be exposed to an environment that he has never been too: indoor full of dogs. Not necessary the dogs that he knows or likes.
First couple sessions were tough for me too. I didn’t know how to make sure he is calm before entering the hall. We finally both learnt that the best way is to keep Roger’s focus on me all the time. Such as touch my hand, or make him sit. He started doing simple things and was distracted what was happening outside his tiny world.
We managed to change Roger’s world. We don’t go to school anymore, but we train simple things every day. For a change, he has his agility classes, where all that we learnt at school came handy. Roger loves to please you, but you need to be very patient with him. He overtries things. Every day a lesson, and he is the master of some simple tricks.
Roger started to control his emotions and when I want him to get calmer he totally focuses on me. The amazing thing for canicross races. I also feel that he is more focus during our daily routine when I expect him to come. I call him he comes straight away, when in past he would do his own things. I believe that I am his owner and he wants to listen me now.
Laferra and her bonding
Laferra was a very unusual example of puppy, who has been terrified of everything apart from dogs. She doesn’t understand words: aggressive or reactive, she will make every dog love her. I decided that what I have learnt with Roger, I will use with her. She became the most cuddly and most gentle dog in the world. Lafie is shy but at the same time very confident. I tried to make her independent from Roger and walked her alone (simple thing, but make a difference).
I took Laferra for a workshop with our favourite Paw Skills Edinburgh. The group was small: 8 dogs. I thought great just perfect for Laferra. Oh, I was surprised when I saw her not really knowing what is happening. She was way overwhelmed with everything.
The workshop was a bit inside and a bit outside, which is a great place full of distraction for Laferra. Even flies were distracting her. Eventually, she got the hint and totally focused on me. She was delighted with cuddles she got after every time she did it right (I think she prefers cuddles than treats). She still wanted to say hi to everyone (dogs and people).
A two hours workshop made her very tired pup, but I can see since then and it is only couple days, she looks to me even more. She waits for commands and just cuddles in when she can.
Signs of strong bond
- Keeping tabs on your location when dog is off leash (Laferra will check on me every few sec, Roger not so much-so he doesnt get off lead much).
- Checking in to see where you’re at frequently (they followe me everywhere in the house).
- Performing obedience happily without hesitation (Both dogs love doing tricks).
- Making a great effort to find you when you play hide-and-seek (tough one as they just follow me straight away).
- The desire to be near you (they love to touch and cuddle with me all the time).
- A high level of focus on you, evidenced by frequently looking at you (Laferra is 100% in this, Roger is learning and with the classes he is much better).
- Strong ability to communicate needs, wants, and concerns (oh I defo know what and when they want!).
- A willingness to protect or help you in a threatening situation
- Some said cuddles? A love for physical interaction.
- Always coming when called, even with distractions present (Lafie- 100%, Roger- depends on situation).
Keep building the bond
It builds mutually beneficial love, affection and reliance! The bond starts from the moment that dog came to your life. It can be done through simple things: a walk, a game or an obedience training.