Trainer shares the secret to building a happy relationship with your dog, and it’s super effective!

Smiling woman hugging her dog outside
(Image credit: Getty Images)

From the moment you welcomed your canine companion into your family, they've no doubt been a huge part of your life. And if you're anything like us, you're always on the hunt for new ways to strengthen the bond that you share.

We often think that the key to a happier relationship with our dog is to play with them, go on long walks, or even spoil them now and then with a long lasting dog chew. And while all of these are important, there's something crucial you can do to build trust with your dog and deepen your connection.

What is it? Well, according to expert trainer and behaviorist Renee Rhoades, it all comes down to respecting your dog's boundaries. Read on to find out more of what she had to say about this in a recent Instagram post...

According to Rhoades, we often spend a lot of time in our relationship with our dog thinking about our own boundaries. And while there's nothing wrong with having boundaries, we must remember that this works both ways.

"Respecting your dog's boundaries, instead of just concentrating on your own, can help you make huge strides in your relationship," explains Rhoades.

"Instead of focusing on how much respect your dog has for you, shifting your mindset to how much respect you have for your dog can help you relieve stress and tension around your relationship that didn't need to be there in the first place."

This means reading up on dog body language and paying attention to how your dog responds to certain situations. Once you've learned to read their signals of stress, you can do your best to respond in a way that makes them feel safe.

For example, you may be petting your dog and they suddenly move away and lie down on the floor. Instead of following them and continuing to try to pet them, you'd note that as a sign that they've had enough touch for the time being. 

"Respecting your dog's boundaries not only enhances your dog's overall well-being but also strengthens the bond between you and your dog, leading to a more harmonious and connected relationship," says Rhoades. 

There are so many ways for improving your relationship with your dog, but one easy win is knowing what your dog's boundaries are and ensuring you respect them. 

EcoKind Gold Yak Himalayan Cheese Dog Treats
$28.95 at Chewy

EcoKind Gold Yak Himalayan Cheese Dog Treats
$28.95 at Chewy
A healthy and delicious chew stick made with just three ingredients, these treats are odorless, natural, nutritious and highly digestible. Plus, they'll keep your canine companion occupied for hours! 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.