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The Art of Engagement: Techniques for Building a Stronger Bond with Your Dog

Building engagement is one of the most important elements to training our dogs because it establishes the foundation for a strong and trusting relationship between you and your dog.

When you engage with your dog in a positive and meaningful way, they learn that they can trust you and look to you for guidance.


This trust helps them stay focused and motivated during training, allowing them to learn new behaviors more quickly and effectively. Not only that, but it also helps create a lasting bond between the two of you.



Four Steps to Building Engagement


KNOWING WHAT YOUR DOG VALUES

Most dogs love stinky, smelly treats like cheese, hot dogs, lunch meat, freeze-dried liver. Try giving your dog different treats and find what they like best! Some dogs also love play, toys and affection. Whatever your dog loves, use it as their REWARD


BUILD POSITIVE ASSOCIATIONS

You can do this by offering treats, praise, and playtime when your dog interacts with you. Positive reinforcement helps your dog learn that being around you is fun and rewarding, and they will be more likely to seek out your attention and engage with you.


REWARD FOR VOLUNTARY ATTENTION

This comes hand in hand with Step 2. Every time your dog checks in with you, moves towards you and especially when they make eye contact with you, mark & reward!


INCORPORATE FUN & INTERACTIVE GAMES

Games, such as fetch, tug-of-war, or hide-and-seek, can be an excellent way to build engagement with your dog. These games allow your dog to interact with you while having fun and encourages you to be in the present moment with your dog, which helps strengthen your bond


 

About the Author: Ashley Diaz is a dedicated pet owner and animal lover with over 10 years of experience providing professional pet care. With certifications in applied animal behavior & training, she shares her knowledge and insights on pet ownership, behavior, and welfare in her blog. Outside of her work with animals, Ashley enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, practicing yoga and playing the piano.


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