How to make your pet dog a part of the family – Part 5

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life we can lose touch with our families- even if we’re living in the same house! This can be especially true for the family pet, who doesn’t have much of a voice to begin with. When things get busy in our lives our pets are often the first thing we neglect, but if it happened to your dog in the past it doesn’t mean it is your dog’s future. Here are some fun ways you can make your dog a part of the family.

PLAY GAMES:

Most people don’t play games enough as it is. Our culture tends to focus on being productive and earning money but fun is important too. And who better to play with then the eternal playmate, your dog? In my experience even the crankiest dogs have something that will entice them to play. Some like to chase, some like to search, some like to play keep away… there are so many games you can play.

One of my household favorites is “football”. We play this with the sturdiest football we can find which when thrown has an erratic landing pattern and is very hard for my dog to hold onto, which makes the game more challenging where it needs to be and easier for us when we give chase. We play monkey in the middle with her and use the hillsides to our advantage. She loves this and when she gets too rough it gives us the opportunity to correct her behavior and immediately move on to reinforce her positive actions with more play.

Another game we play with our little dogs is “chase”. We tie a stuffed toy onto a clothes line and just throw and pull repeatedly. They catch it and tug it, they leap for it and bicker over it and they always have a good time. So do we incidentally.

TAKE WALKS:

Anyone that owns a dog will tell you that a walk is a great time for bonding. You may have some intense training ahead of you but it will be worth it. A walk can become a moment of zen in an otherwise hectic or depressing schedule. Your dog will love you for it even more than for a treat or toy you can offer. A walk to a dog is like the pinnacle of their day. They get to smell new smells and see new sights, even if you walk the same path every morning. Making your dog happy will facilitate the bond you are working towards, and if you include your whole family who knows what you will find to talk about along the way.

PHOTOS:

Stage some cutesy shots of your pooch. Dress that puppy up and have a good laugh over it. Your dog won’t mind much so long as it is getting attention. While you’re at it, why not get some action shots of your dog doing what it does best? Take the time to get to know your dog’s personality and further develop how proud you are to know it. Send the shots to your friends and family, see what they send you back.

QUIET TIME:

These are the moments you share when you just lay beside one another. Rest a hand on your dog or let him sit in your lap. You don’t always have to entertain one another. Sometimes just being close is enough. If your dog is hyper seek these moments after a walk and play session. Quiet time is a good time for thinking and being thankful for both you and your pup.

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