Bow-Wow Bonding Time: Activities to Bond With Your Dog

by Jen Jones Donatelli
 

"An old adage says that "Dog is man's best friend," and anyone who has a dog can certainly attest to that. So what's the best way to get some bonding time in with your fave cuddle buddy? It's easy to count the ways."

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"The recipe for a perfect day = dog + you + Frisbee + white sand -- just add water! Dogs love to romp and frolic on the beach and dig through the sand for buried treasure. (Who needs a metal detector?) When it comes to bonding, the forecast is sunny for this shared activity."

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"OK, so not all dogs love being groomed, but bath time can definitely be a bonding ritual between you and your furry friend. Use the time to show your doggie some TLC by massaging his scalp and brushing his fur gently. Good, clean fun indeed!"

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"If you've got an especially active dog, why not take her along on the running or jogging trail? Not only will you and your dog get much-needed exercise, but enjoying the great outdoors together will provide a breath of fresh air for your relationship."

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"Obedience training can be a productive way to spend time with your pup. (And who knows? Maybe he or she will wind up on "America's Funniest Home Videos.") "By teaching your dog to sit, stay, down, heal, your dog will start looking to you for guidance and rely on you for instruction," says Stacy Bodell of Much Love Animal Rescue."

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"Need a change of scenery? Camping with your dog can be just the ticket for a few days of much-needed R&R. Get back to nature and hike, swim and fish the day away with your furbaby. At the end of the trip, he or she will be begging for S'more."

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"Your dog brings a smile to your face every day -- why not spread the love? Joining a therapy dog program will give you and your pup the chance to visit hospitalized children and brighten their day. Plus, your do-gooding doggy will bask in all of the attention and warm fuzzies."

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"Yoga's "downward dog" pose is inspired by our four-legged friends, so it's no surprise that they're naturals at "Doga!" This wellness craze gives dogs and their humans a healthy dose of stretching, meditation and mutual massage. (Just be careful your dog doesn't mistake you for a tree during "tree" pose.)"

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"A big part of sealing the bond is being the best "parent" you can be. "Most pet owners feel like their dog needs only love, love, love, but what they actually need is security and guidance," says Bodell of Much Love. "They will learn quicker if you are consistent in how you handle them and, in turn, you both will be happier."

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