Throughout history, the dog has been considered man’s best friend. If you take a look around, it is clear to see the relationship among pet parents and their furry companions. Research has noted approximately one in four households has a canine companion and this number is growing. Not only are they excellent companions, they serve in the workforce just as we do. Dogs, such as the German Shepherd, are often found as partners in the military and police field. The relationship between human and dog is truly remarkable.
Companionship is the most common relationship found between dog and dog parent. Why are dogs recommended as a companion? Scientific studies have proven dogs are actually great for our health! Having a canine companion actually lowers blood pressure, assists with anxiety and helps to keep us active. The dog feels these benefits as well. Scientific studies have shown when we make eye contact with our dog or our dog understands we are pleased with them, oxytocin is released which is a “feel good” hormone associated with the trust and love your dog has for you. Humans also release oxytocin when they are feeling bonded with their dog. Dogs have been recommended for those with disabilities to increase the levels of oxytocin in their body.
Your bond with your dog begins the moment he or she comes into your life. The strength of this bond may vary though, mainly based upon the amount of time you spend with your dog and how that time is spent. Participation in training, grooming and play activities are several activities which enhance this bond significantly. If you have ever seen a police or military dog, you will see how dedicated they are to their human companion. This is due to the extreme amount of time they spend together as a unit.
Understanding canine body language will also assist you in enhancing the bond between you and your dog. When you understand canine body language, you will better understand what your dog is trying to tell you. This level of communication is crucial when developing or enhancing your relationship. For example, when your dog is happy you will see he or she may be panting with a relaxed body, may be lying with one paw tucked under his body and wag his tail. If your dog is standing with one paw raised, this is a sign of anxiety and is nervous about his or her surroundings.
If you adopt or rescue a dog who has been abused or neglected in the past, you may have a more difficult time developing a strong bond with your and your dog. Remember though, the key to developing the relationship is time. Dedicate as much time as your possibly can with your dog and that relationship and trust between you and your dog will develop.
If you are experiencing a difficult time building your bond with your dog, you may seek out assistance from a Canine Behavior Specialist who will guide you through the bonding process and explain in further depth how to enhance your bond. Joining a canine obedience course is also another option to increase the bond as this will provide a structured environment for you to spend additional time with your canine companion.