Strengthening the Human-Canine Bond

By Joan Hunter Mayer

Are you looking for ways to honor the special bond between humans and our companion animals? Below are some specific suggestions that animal lovers can implement – starting today! – to help make the world a friendlier place for inquisitive canines.

Be Their Advocate. Whether it’s an update to local dog park policies, adjustments to state laws, or dog-friendly regulations you want to see implemented in your community, be the canine-loving change you want to see in the world. Take pawsitive action.

Be Their Voice. Dogs have a lot to say, but often no one is listening. Go beyond the bark to become proficient in the verbal and non-verbal ways canines communicate, so you can be their personal interpreter and give them a voice. A good place to start is exploring resources on dog body language, so that when your friend is trying to communicate (in dog-lish), you can respond with love and comfort, laying the groundwork for a strong and trusting human-canine bond. 

Be Their Best Fur Friend (BFF). Sure, dogs are humans’ best friends, but are you a BFF to your dog? Enhance your relationship by creating opportunities to unleash adventures and harness fun from your pup’s point of view. Some towns (like Santa Barbara) are very dog friendly. One of my favorite dog-related activities is to take my dog on a walking tour – a great way to learn more about the town, get a feel for the community, and get some exercise too! Weather not cooperating? Take the initiative to create in-home activities that are enjoyable to you both. 

Be Their Hero. Knowledge is power – not just for humans, but also for dogs. Beyond life skills, there are amazing opportunities for your dogs to expand their horizons. This includes K9 Nose Work®, becoming a therapy dog, a search and rescue canine, or special detection dog. Dog sports and specialty courses can help improve your dog’s physical and mental well-being, as well as help strengthen the bond you share. Broadening your dog’s horizons will make you his or her hero!

Volunteer with a Local Shelter or Rescue Group. If you’re looking to get involved locally, Spark Rescue is a foster-based organization. Foster homes are needed, and fostering is a kind way to get that “pet fix” without the extra added responsibilities of full-time guardianship. If you’re considering opening your heart and home to an inquisitive foster canine, take a minute to walk through some of the initial planning and preparation steps. That way, you’ll have more time (and energy) later to focus on all the snuggles, adventures and pawsitive experiences! 

Thank you for being (or planning to be) an inquisitive dog guardian! Here’s to barking with the dogs, cheering for the humans, having fun!

The Inquisitive Canine was founded by Santa Barbara certified canine behavior consultant and certified professional dog trainer Joan Hunter Mayer. Joan and her team are devoted to offering humane, pawsitive, practical solutions that work for the challenges dogs and their humans face in everyday life. Joan offers coaching both in-person and online. If you are feeling inquisitive and have dog training questions, we invite you to contact The Inquisitive Canine for A Pawsitive Approach for Positive Results ™.


Written by Joan the Dog Coach

Joan Hunter Mayer is a certified canine behavior consultant and certified professional dog trainer who founded "The Inquisitive Canine." More information can be found at

What do you think?


0 Comments deleted by Administrator

Leave a Review or Comment

Movies Way Back When: An Authentic Stagecoach in the Movies

September Tree of the Month: Chilean Wine Palm