Want to deepen your relationship with your dog? This one surprising tip from a trainer will strengthen your bond

Dog gives owner its paw
(Image credit: Getty)

As pet parents, we all want to have a strong bond with our canine companions, but sometimes it can be hard to know the best way of going about building and nurturing a deep relationship with our fur friends in a way that’s fulfilling for both us and them. 

Sure, we can feed them a good quality diet, make sure they’re well exercised, give them a cozy bed to sleep in and dish out a longest lasting dog chew or two as a reward for good behavior, but are there other things we could be doing to ensure we’re on track to be best friends forever?

Well, according to expert dog trainer Amelia Steele, there certainly is - and we have to admit, her tip took us by surprise! In a video shared on Instagram, which you can view below, Steele suggests that teaching your dog a new trick is a powerful way to create a lasting bond. 

“Skills that you teach your dog don’t have to have a point for them to be useful,” she explains. “I love teaching my dogs tricks, I think it’s a great way to spend time together and build our relationship.”

Steele says that so often when she shares the tricks she’s taught her dog or encourages other pet owners to do the same, she gets the same sort of questions about how the trick can be practically applied in real life or what the point of it all is.

“Here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to have a real-life application for it to be valuable,” Steele explains. “If I spend half an hour with my dog teaching him a trick, all of that time is really valuable one-on-one time. It’s mental stimulation for him, it builds our communication and I often find that dogs that do know lots of tricks and do know lots of skills are much more likely to listen to the things that you actually need them to do because you’ve built up that understanding.”

So, if you’re looking for an enjoyable way to deepen your relationship with your dog, why not try branching out and teaching them some super fun tricks? We have a feeling your canine companion will thank you for it.

Enjoyed this piece and looking for more great ways to strengthen your relationship with your fur friend? Then be sure to check out these great indoor games for dogs - perfect for those days when it’s too wet to go for a walk. 

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.