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Strengthen Your Family's Relationship With Your Dog

Family cover(Images from Deposit Photos)

Our four-legged friends enrich our lives with unconditional love, loyalty and companionship. So, it’s no wonder that they’re popular, with over 12.5 million household pet dogs in the UK alone.

But strengthening your family's bond with your dog goes beyond ownership. From spending quality time together to providing consistent training and care, here are ways to cultivate a strong and lasting relationship with your canine companion.

Enjoy quality time

Dogs are social animals, so owners need to spend one-on-one time with them. Dedicate regular quality time to bond with your dog through interactive play, walks and outdoor adventures. Remember that many dogs only get to go outside to do their business, so don’t let walks become a chore for you both. Dogs appreciate longer walks around the neighbourhood to take in new sights and smells, meet other dogs and people and exercise. 

Engage in activities that cater to your dog's interests and energy levels, whether it's fetching a ball at the park, going for a hike or simply cuddling on the sofa. Have fun together!

Dog bath

Be consistent

A study by fitted furniture specialists Hammonds showed that 87% of pet owners admit to spoiling their pets. Whether it be through letting them sleep in our beds or finishing off our meals. Occasional spoiling of your dog is fine and creates positive bonds, but consistency is key to building trust and reinforcing positive behaviour in your dog.

Clinical animal behaviourist Rachel Rodgers says, “Your dog may be allowed on the sofa when you’re tired and want a snuggle, but when you’re in a suit or a nice clean dress the dog isn’t allowed and gets told off. The confusion for the dog can then cause the relationship with the owners to become fraught. Is that person going to be nice to them? Or is that person going to shout at them? It can cause anxiety for our pets.”

So, establish clear boundaries, rules and routines within your household, and strive to be consistent in your expectations and responses. Consistency helps your dog feel secure and confident in their environment, fostering a sense of stability and harmony within your family dynamic.

Encourage shared responsibility and involvement among family members by letting everyone participate in caring for and interacting with your dog. Younger family members may be more likely to let your dog get away with certain behaviours though, so make sure everyone is on the same page with how consistent they should be. Dog love


Show them love

Treat your dog with kindness, love and respect, recognising them as valued members of your family. Show affection through gentle petting, praise and rewards for good behaviour. You may even be part of the 20% of Brits surveyed who treat your dog to a long soak in the family bathroom.

Avoid using punitive measures or harsh discipline, as these can erode trust and damage your relationship with your dog. Instead, focus on both positive reinforcement and interactions that emphasise desired behaviours.


You can teach an old dog new tricks! Modern dog training methods are suitable for dogs at any stage of their life. Through puppyhood, adolescence, adulthood and right into old age, dogs love to learn.

So, invest time and effort in training your dog using positive reinforcement techniques that emphasise praise, treats and rewards for desired behaviours. The RSPCA agrees that all dog training should be reward-based, whether that’s via food, treats or praise. Use consistent cues and commands to teach basic obedience skills, such as sit, stay, come, and leash manners.

And be patient with your dog. They’re intelligent animals but like humans, they have different rates of learning.