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11 Things You Can Do To Bond Better With Your Dog

Dogs are a human's best friend, and every friendship requires some T.L.C. Purina wants your life to be better with pets, and this info will help to make you and your pups bond even better!

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1. Speak with your body, not just your voice.

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Dogs are great at reading your body language and can pick up on subtle cues. A study shows that when people gestured toward a plate with less food than the other, the dog chose the smaller plate. Next time you interact with your dog, think about what your body is saying.

2. Always enjoy the little things.

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Dogs love to spend time with you and be by your side. Don't overlook little moments to bond with your dog. If you're running a small errand, like getting your dry cleaning, take your pup with you. They'll love the moment and feel closer to you.

3. Be the provider of all things good.

Tony Alter / (CC BY 2.0) / Via Flickr: 78428166@N00

Sure, it's a lot easier to leave a bowl of food out for your dog and to have the toys scattered about the house. However, if you're the sole provider of all things good, your bond with your dog will strengthen. This may also help to prevent all the random bits of kibble you find scattered around your house.

4. Don't just play — play brain games with them.

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It's important to play with your dog, but it's also important that you create mentally challenging and stimulating games with them too. Mentally challenging games are a great way to build confidence in your dog, strengthen your bond, and help defeat boredom.

5. Get some quality one-on-one time.

Courtesy of Nicole Sander

Don't you love when you go out to dinner with your friends and everyone is more engaged with their smartphone than the people present? Yeah, neither does your dog. Make some time every day to turn off the TV, put down the smartphone, and spend time with your dog. They'll notice.

6. Make every experience a positive experience.

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Dogs are going to hate bath time and/or the vet just like you are always going to hate paying taxes or waiting in line at the DMV. However, if you find a way to bring a positive element or reward to every negative experience, they'll trust you more and feel closer. Bring toys to bath time, or give them a big treat after a visit to the vet!

7. Learn your dog's body language.

Courtesy of Dr. Sophia Yin / Via info.drsophiayin.com

When you give your dog verbal commands or hand signals it's because you're trying to tell them something. Your dog uses their voice and body just like you, so it's important to understand what they're trying to say. Use the chart above for reference, or download it here for free.

8. Know how to correct bad behavior.

Pretty Poo Eater / (CC BY -SA 2.0) / Via Flickr: littlelovemonster

Punishing a dog for bad behavior isn't effective and will only encourage the dog to hide that behavior. Oftentimes, dogs don't know why they're being punished, and it only creates more confusion and stress, which can hurt the bond between you and your dog. Learn some effective ways to correct negative behaviors here.

9. Exercise with them.

Courtesy of Tim Sheehan

When dogs run, they have a release of mood-altering chemicals, similar to a human's "runner's high." Going on a run, hike, or walk together is a great way to alleviate boredom, spend quality time together, and increase your pup's mood.

10. Train with your dog.

John / (CC BY 2.0) / Via Flickr: willow-monk

Training is great way to create rules and better understand your dog. Dogs want to make their friends happy, and they like to be challenged too. When they're able to be challenged and achieve something that makes you noticeably happy, they will be happy.

11. Be consistent with them.

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Dogs like to have consistency and structure in their life just like every other living being. Be consistent with them every day. Don't show them reward and affection for jumping on the bed one day, and then punish them the next day if they jump on the bed with muddy paws. Consistency is key.

Life is better with pets. With Purina, you can help your dog live a healthy, happy life, and a happy dog is a happy family.

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