Besides chocolate? That’s easy – through clear communication and realistic expectations! Then what are some great ways to build a solid relationship? Being a great communicator. Which means, communicating in a language the other person or animal understands – remember, with dogs their first language is body language – so be aware of what your body language is saying, not what is coming out of your mouth…. Secondly, be a good “listener” – watch your dogs overall behavior, especially their body language – are they taking food? Tail tucked? Growling? Barking while backing away? Jumping up while wiggling their rear end? Look at the entire picture, interpreting what they are “saying” from their point of view, not yours.
As for the expectations, let me first say: “Know Your Animal!” It is one thing to have expectations, but have realistic ones… Thinking otherwise can only lead to increased frustrations. Is it fair for us humans to expect dogs to behave like us? No. Just like it isn’t fair to expect another human to think like oneself.