Dogs are our best friends though it takes work to build a canine/human relationship. I experienced this with my own dog. When Sloan was a young pup we were in obedience classes together. I was so focused on having a well behaved dog because of his breed, and not being the worst in the class it took time to notice how we were bonding. I remember on graduation day of one class I was handed his certificate and he jumped up and ripped it. I was so embarrassed! It's funny now however I learnt that he's not perfect and training is more than obedience. It helps us understand our dogs and build that relationship with positive training.
My perspective of how our relationship was supposed to be before I got Sloan turned out to be different than reality. I pictured us jogging down the street gracefully. Well Sloan hates jogging and honestly isn't good at it. I accepted that and found things we both enjoy together. After passing obedience classes I continued on to other classes and personally found intro agility strengthened my relationship with Sloan even greater. Non competitive agility was a blast that worked his brain and allowed us to relax and have fun. Now a days since he is older we hike (chosen over jogging) and do fun nose work as activities we do together.
Why is all this relevant and important? This one scenario is very vivid in my mind:
Sloan had TPLO surgery a few years ago and I took him for rehab to help healing. Imagine a stranger poking and prodding your sore leg. As he was laying down I was sitting on the ground with him as the physical therapist was working on his leg. He was staring up at me and the therapist said "Wow he really loves you, look at how he is looking at you" Now I cannot read dogs minds, though I can read their body language and for Sloan to be that relaxed he must have trusted my decisions. That trust came from us connecting through training, understanding and accepting him.
Think of activities that you both enjoy, where you can appreciate spending time building that bond whether it's classes, walks or hikes.
What are some of the ways you love spending time with your dog?