By ‘modern’ I mean ‘busy’. I would never dare to use being busy as an excuse to neglect my dogs’ emotional needs (or any other need for that matter).
Obviously, the more time you spend with your dog, the better. If you can take your dog to work, do. Take a trip to the pet shop together, go to a dog-friendly pub, visit your dog-loving friends. If you can take your dog shopping, do-but never leave your dog waiting in front of the shop while you’re ‘having fun’ inside. Make sure you don’t cause stress or discomfort – only do what your dog enjoys, ‘bonding’ will never convey ‘forcing’.
But it’s more about quality. Daily walks are a must (if you’re too busy to do that, don’t get a dog). Walk consciously, use the time to play and interact with your dog. Look at him, touch him, train a bit- but have fun in the first place.
Groom your dog. It takes a just few minutes and you can make sure he knows your touch is good. Talk to him in a soft voice, place your head next to his and let him sniff at you, see you and feel relaxed with you being close. Focus on him, even if it’s five minutes, let the time be just for you two. Don’t think about anything else then and he will know he matters.
I look into my dogs’ eyes. My eyes are then soft and smiling gently. All my dogs have learnt to look into my eyes -I call it oxytocin loading.
It doesn’t take much to show affection, to show you care, to give your dog undivided attention. Three minutes here, five there-and it does make a difference.