The relationship between humans and dogs is a particularly special one and can be traced back through history for thousands of years. Dogs offer great companionship and loyalty for their human counterparts. Not only do they make great family pets, but they also work alongside humans in a number of settings. 
Many dogs assist those with a disability. Guide dogs assist people who have lost their sight, but they also help those who struggle with mobility or have a medical condition. Other roles include Dog Therapy, Custom/Border Control and working with the Military. Their highly developed sense of smell makes them the perfect candidate for these roles as research shows they can smell fear, anxiety and sadness. 
Today I would like to discuss a number of ways you can build, improve and maintain that very special bond between humans and mans best friend. 
Going for Walks 
Walks with your pooch are not only a great time for you and them to bond but for them to also bond with other dogs. Walking allows both parties to de-stress and relax and can improve a person’s metal health while allow your pooch to release energy, enjoy a good sniff and meet new friends. 
I love going on long walks with mum and dad. Most of the time I can be off lead and just run free however sometimes I like to bark at my follow dogs (in a playful and attention seeking kind if way) but mum knows not all other dogs enjoy being barked at, so I must go back on my lead. 
Allowing your dog to sniff on your walk is important as this is how they gather information about an area. Through sniffing they can find out who else has been in the area and even what mood they are in. We take in life’s joys through sight and sound, your pooch does this through his or her nose. 
While out for walks you can also play with your pooch. Many dogs love a game of fetch while out of the house as they have a lot more space to run around. To be honest I am not a big fan of fetching outside, love it when I am at home but not so much outside however my friend Bella is a big fan and takes a tennis ball on every walk. 
Learning new tricks 
Teaching your dog new tricks is a perfect way to bond with them and you are never too old to learn something new. Also, you do not have to teach them new tricks, you can just practice something your dog already knows. Either way you will achieve the same benefits. 
Teaching and practising tricks allows communication, concentration and builds trust between you both. Tricks can also help the health of your dog by helping to build up muscle tone, increase flexibility and balance as well as boasting your dog’s confidence. I love doing tricks for my mum and dad and regular show off what I have learnt so I can get extra treats and lots of praise. 
I love cuddles! I truly believe I would be content to cuddle up next to my mum or dad all day every day if I could. Who doesn’t love a cuddle?!? 
Touching and cuddling your furry friend releases a hormone called serotonin which results in reduced stress and anxiety. Cuddling therefore is great for both you and your dogs mental and physical health. 
I get cuddles when mum and dad wake up or before they fall asleep on the bed but most of our cuddles are on the sofa whilst watching the TV or when mum is helping with the website and blogs. I know many of my fellow dogs aren’t allowed on the bed or sofa but that’s ok, cuddles can still be had by getting on the floor with your dog. We really do not mind where the cuddles take place just as long as we are getting them. 
Training Classes 
Another great way to bond is by going to training classes. Training classes are not just for puppies, older dogs can also enjoy them. There are number of different training classes available such as basic obedience, recall, scent work and agility. 
Like with learning new tricks, training can stimulate your dog, build trust and confidence in each other and improve both their physical and mental health. Training classes may be a one-on-one affair, or it may be in group. Group training allows your dog to train with other dogs improving their interaction with others and builds their concentration. 
Mum and I went to recall classes. These were a lot of fun, I made some new friends and got lots of tasty treats. 
Hand feeding 
Handing feeding your pooch is a great way to bond and build trust. It encourages your pooch to focus on you, creating great manners and impulse control. If your dog has a nervous disposition then hand feeding can help with building trust, socialisation and confidence. On the other hand, if your pooch gobbles their food down without chewing it then hand feeding promotes control and patience. 
I enjoy hand feeding with mum and dad, they make me wait to be invited to take the treat and when I do a good job, they give me lots of praise. Dad even tests me further by making me wait in one room and taking the treat in to another before calling me to come and get it, this is a challenge for me but its so much fun and I love seeing the pleased smile of their faces. 
Holidays/Days Out 
I am a very lucky dog, even before HoundAbout was created, mum and dad would take me with them to as many places as they could. Now it is essential I go with them so we can find all the great places you can visit with your own dog. 
Dogs become a huge part of a family and being able to take them with you on holiday and for days out not only includes them but in also increases that bond between the family and them. 
Playing with your dog is not only fun for them but is also a great way to strengthen your bond. There are a number of games to play with your dog. These can include fetch, tug of war, and chasing. 
I love to play with my mum and dad. I'm good at fetch in the house and garden but as soon as we go out on to the field, I find sniffing to much of a distraction. Plus I think it's funny what them throw a toy and they have to go an get it hehe. 
Bonding with your dog isn't just about the big things, it can be the smallest of things that really cements the bond between you. For example, a glance in their direction, talking to them or a pat/stroke on the head because all these things show your pooch you love them and in return they will love you unconditionally.Do you have a favourite way to bond with your dog? 
Until the next adventure..... 
Love Titch 
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