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Article by Dimitri Michel

Building a good master-dog relationship

Updated on 31 October 2023.

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It’s always been said that the dog is man’s best friend. The dog is both a companion and a member of the family, and with that comes responsibility.

Over the years, a special relationship develops between the two protagonists that needs to be nurtured.

Here are a few tips for good communication between owner and dog.

How did the dog become man’s best friend?

Studies have shown that dogs were already man’s pets 12,000 years ago. This is because domestication was already taking place between 14,000 and 18,000 BC.

Dog handlers were hunter-gatherers, and the animal accompanied them on the hunt. In addition to this role, it was also a guardian of the habitat and herds, and was indispensable in the face of rodents that attacked crops.

This animal is considered a descendant of the wolf, and acts with instinct. Each breed has its own character, strengths and weaknesses.

Their diet, care and environment also differ. The FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) classification into breeds is based on the shape and character of each species, and should be taken into account before choosing one.

The importance of a good relationship between master and dog

attentive sitting dogMaintaining a good relationship is important, as it can highlight a conflict-free, fearless exchange between the two species.

To achieve this, the human needs to understand his dog, and know all the signals he can use to communicate with him.

Gestures, postures and voice intonations are all important signs. They enable the animal to match a word and/or sound to a movement.

It’s the intonation that enables the dog to quickly grasp the message. Pronunciation must be clear and precise when giving instructions.

A more cheerful intonation, for example, will make him playful, and this can also be used when praising him, which is important. Whistling, clapping your hand or clicking your tongue will also make him react immediately.

The role of tenderness, firmness and play

Gentleness plays a key role in the training of the canine species. Of course, you have to be strict, but the animal also needs affection. The latter needs to be accentuated, especially when it comes to puppies.

But it’s important to note that puppies will grow to love their owners over time, and will become accustomed to them spending time cuddling and playing together.

Tenderness can be shown by holding the animal in your arms, or by a belly or head massage. The ideal is to maintain a certain level of trust and complicity.

As for firmness, depending on the breed, you’ll need to be strict to ensure obedience. But you don’t have to be firm with your pet under all circumstances.

The best training system is play. Games are important for maintaining a harmonious relationship between master and dog. You can choose from ball tossing, running and walking.

A few tips for building a good relationship

calm, lying dogMutual trust guarantees mutual confidence, and the dog must always be able to count on his master.

The owner must always preserve the master-dog relationship and, for example, give the dog healthy and sufficient food, a comfortable place to stay and time to rest.

His basket should not be placed in a high-traffic area, and he should be allowed to enjoy himself, while taking his safety into account.

Puppies are not obedient by nature; they become so as they grow up and take dog training courses.

This is the role of the owner, but also of trainers, breeders, veterinarians and behaviorists, where appropriate.

You’ll need to understand the meaning of postures, such as lying down, which evokes submission. Anxiety can be discovered through excessive barking, hyperactivity, licking or trembling…

When the rules of understanding and respect are acquired, obedience will follow and the master/dog relationship will be perfect!

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