A dog’s bond with its guardian and other pets within its environment is critical in determining how it relates to each of them. However, most pet owners seem to ignore this aspect in their dog’s livelihood, leading to either a depressed or over-aggressive pet.
Specific elements like how your dog behaves around you, its response to your orders, and its interaction with other pets can prove effective in understanding your pet’s bond status. This article focuses on all the vital elements you need to consider to build a relationship and analyze your dog’s behavior.
Love develops naturally for pets, while building a healthy and robust bond takes time and requires your constant attention to grow effectively. You must understand that a strong bond is essential in creating a foundation for your pet and other pets around it. Here is everything you need to know about bonding with your dogs and building a healthy relationship.
How to Know if Your Dogs are Bonded?
There are various elements you need to observe in your dog’s behavior to know if your dogs are bonded or not. Bonding with you, its owner, and other pets is essential as it dictates how your pets live and behave around each other.
If the bond is weak, you can expect frequent quarreling and fighting, whereas a strong bond builds a healthy relationship between all the parties involved. The following signs prove effective in hinting if your dogs are bonded.
Bonded With Their Owner
Keep Tabs at Your Location
A strong dog-human relationship leaves your pet craving your presence. A dog craving your company and attention sees them frequently keeping tabs on you and always wanting to know your location.
You will find that they know what time you arrive home and leave for work, and you will always find them anxiously waiting for your arrival. When on walks and off-leash, your pet will always keep you in its sight.
Recognizes Your Name
It is not a surprise for your dog to react to your name; it signifies that your pet has a strong bond with you.
Many dogs are familiar with their owner’s name and seem to respond positively every time they hear the names of their owners. It takes time for your dog to familiarize itself with human names, so be patient and continue caring and showing affection to your pet.
Dogs always feel the need to protect those they love, regardless of whether there is a real threat or not. So, if you observe your dog standing guard around you every time you eat or relax, you may be right to conclude that the bond between you two is significant.
A guarding dog will often sit near you, facing away from you and always on alert. Although guarding is positive, it may lead to being over-territorial and result in behavioral issues.
Herding behavior involves your pet always being on the lookout for those close to you, and it is a sign of a healthy human-dog relationship. This behavior is a pattern that effectively shows emotion and dogs use it to enforce safety around those they care for.
You are more likely to experience this if your dog’s breed is more involved with controlling livestock; good examples are Australian shepherds and border collies.
Rubbing Their Face on you
Dogs mark you as theirs by rubbing their faces on your body, which can signify a strong relationship between you two. Rubbing their face is a common means of showing affection to dogs, affecting how you interact with them.
However, if you notice your dog doing this with almost everything, it may be wise to consult with a vet to prevent potential infections and skin issues.
Bonded With Other Dogs
One way to know if your dogs are bonded is by observing how they behave around each other; do they enjoy playing together? Dogs sharing a healthy bond will always get along, and you will watch them spending substantial time together doing various activities together.
One common game dogs enjoy playing is playing bow, where they raise their butt and legs in the air in unison, facing each other.
Snuggle Up Close
Touching is the most effective approach pets take to show emotion to humans and each other and hints at how much they trust each other. Dogs that snuggle up and tend to sleep together have a stronger bond than those who are always apart.
It is almost impossible for a dog to lie close to another animal with whom they don’t get along, making it an effective method to determine your pet’s bond.
They are Always Together
Dogs sharing a healthy and robust bond always want to be around each other, whether sleeping or taking walks out. You may notice that excitement will be mutual every time you plan to go out if both pets get to tag along. Leaving one behind will result in slight resistance and less enthusiasm during the entire activity. If you observe this behavior with your dogs, it is a sign that they get along.
Calm Each Other Down
Specific situations like visiting the vet create a terrifying place for dogs and may result in extreme anxiety about your pet, which is not ideal. Tagging along a pet that gets your dog to such activities may create a more favorable environment by leaving your stressed pet more relaxed and comfortable. According to vets, dogs sharing a solid bond rely on each other for comfort in stressful situations.
How to Get my Dogs to Bond With Each Other
Getting your dogs to bond is not a simultaneous process; it takes time and requires dedication from all the involved individuals. Since dogs are social animals, they need to interact and create relationships with almost everything in their environment. This section focuses on the approaches you can take to get your dogs to bond with each other.
Introduce them Properly
Introducing your dogs to each other is one vital aspect that most pet owners tend to ignore when putting two pets in one compound.
The introduction is critical, since the first impression always matters. There are multiple ways to introduce two dogs, the most effective one being through taking long walks. This approach proves effective as home introductions may be viewed as an invasion of territory and result in a violent start.
You must establish dominance in your compound, as dogs are pack animals naturally. In pack animals, there is always an alpha who leads and dominates other pack members. By developing an ideal structure at an early stage, you increase the pets’ chances of living peacefully, creating a healthy relationship between all the animals. The best structured model is placing yourself as the alpha, meaning that the dogs will see each other not as competition in the pack.
Supervise all Interactions
It would be best to keep an eye on your dogs’ behavior every time they are alone together. Building a relationship between the two takes time, and observing their initial behavior will provide helpful information on how long it may take. Fights are very likely to occur, and supervision allows you to break up the fight before either of the dogs gets injured.
Observe Their Body Postures
A dog’s posture can tell you a lot about your dog’s current attitude. It is normal to observe some hostile reactions from your pet once you introduce a new animal into your compound, and your pet’s posture will hint at its response.
Dogs indicating an aggressive and defensive behavior often display stiff tails, forward-facing ears, teeth barring, and staring. If you observe this, separate the two and only reunite them once they appear calm and relaxed.
Give Equal Attention to Each Dog
Jealousy is a common trait for dogs living together; avoiding it involves giving equal attention to both pets. Showing more love and attention to one dog will leave the other feeling neglected and depressed, resulting in a tense relationship. Approaches you can take to ensure equality involve allocating equal playing, walking, and training time or arranging activities that will include both.
How Long Does It Normally Take Dogs to Bond?
Bonding with dogs takes time, and multiple aspects determine the amount of time it may take to establish a solid and healthy relationship. Some dogs bond with their owners almost instantly, while others may take several days to get used to their new environment and guardians.
Since all dogs feature unique background stories and temperaments, the issue of bonding is a case-by-case situation. After bonding, it may take between two days to two months for your pet to get comfortable with you.
The bonding process between dog-dog and dog-human is different, and it may take a shorter period for a dog to familiarize itself with another dog. On average, it takes less than a month for a new and old dog to bond and accept their positions in a pack. Although this process takes a shorter time, dedication and commitment are essential for quick results.
How Can You Tell if Dogs Don’t Like Each Other?
Observing your pet’s behavior around other dogs will hint at whether they get along or not. Dogs that do not get along will often be aggressive and are more likely to get into a fight over petty issues. Here is how you can tell if your dogs don’t like each other.
Aggression is the most common sign of pets not getting along. Whenever the two animals interact, you will observe aggressive behaviors like nibbling or biting. If not separated, it may result in a brutal fight that may injure either of the pets.
Pay Extra Attention to You
You may observe your dog paying extra attention to you in the presence of certain dogs; it can be a sign that the two animals do not get along well. The extra attention may be in the form of excessive cuddling or licking your face and hands.
Pushy behavior from your pet in the presence of another dog can symbolize your dog is not comfortable in its current environment. Your dog may appear to be pushing you away from the other dog, and paying attention to the situation will prove effective in controlling the entire episode.
Growling and Hissing
Dogs growl towards each other as a form of intimidation, and this characteristic shows that both pets do not get along. This situation is most common in multi-pet households where they compete for the owner’s attention and available resources like food and toys.
How Can I Tell If My Dogs are Unlikely to Ever Bond?
It is not a must to your dog’s bond; some animals are incapable of tolerating each other’s presence. You can tell if your dogs will never bond if every approach you proves inefficient. You can visit your vet for more professional input on why the two might be incompatible; genetics and childhood background may be significant contributors.