The 7 Most Overlooked Bonding Activities for You and Your Dog

When it comes to activities for your dog, personality type matters. Your dog is a unique individual, with interests and needs that vary from other canines. But most dogs do have one thing in common, they share share an innate need to bond with their human mate – yup, that’s you! Your dog would rather spend time with you than anything else in the world (except maybe free treats and squirrels), but it’s not always easy to find activities that both you and your canine companion can enjoy together. To give you a hand (or paw), we’ve created a short-list of activities that are often overlooked, despite the tremendous impact they can have on your relationship with your dog and your community. To identify the best suited for your situation, check-out the matching personality traits.

  • It’s simple, review the list below
  • Look for personality traits that best define your dog
  • If you share those traits, then you’ll likely enjoy the recommended activity together

If you’re really looking for a deep-dive into your dog’s personality, be sure to download the beta version of our Pet Lifestyle App on iTunes or Google Play.

Bonding Activities by Personality

My dog is… ✓ Social ✓ Active

*Image courtesy Best Friends Animal Society

Charity runs or walks:

Usually, most charity walks and runs allow dogs to join in as well. It is a fun way to raise money for a good cause, get some exercise, and bond with your four legged pal. Check-out awesome events like “Strut your Mutt” by Best Friends Animal Society


My dog is… ✓ Easy-going ✓ Fun  ✓ Sociable

Foster or volunteer with your dog:

Shelter dogs often need to be socialized before they are adopted into families. Your dog gets an opportunity to socialize too! Contact a local animal shelter to ask about volunteer opportunities such as: dog walking, socialization, foster care or community volunteer work. This is arguably the most rewarding activity on our list.



My dog is… ✓ Friendly  ✓ Gentle  ✓ Loves attention  ✓ Relaxed  ✓ Obedient

Therapy dog at a nursing home or hospital:

It takes a few key personality traits to really thrive as a therapy dog. But for those that have this special combination of traits, this activity is both emotionally and mentally fulfilling for you and your dog. Sick and elderly patients at hospitals and nursing homes often love to have pets visit them. But therapy dogs are also beneficial in schools, and many other community-based organizations. Studies have shown that exposure to pets during a time of illness can boost morale and even reduce recovery times. Therapy dogs do need to be well-groomed, and have basic behavior skills to ensure safety. Get more details about how to get started at



My dog is… ✓ Focused  ✓ Eager  ✓ Energetic

Dog agility courses:

Dog agility is a popular canine sport in which a handler directs a dog through a variety of obstacles such as a tunnel, teeter-totter, weave poles, and jumps. Handlers should be in reasonable physical shape, but don’t have to be athletes! Almost anyone can enjoy this activity with a high-energy, high-focus dog, and it’s possibly the best bonding experience available (besides sharing popcorn on the couch with a good movie).



My dog is… ✓ Confident  ✓ Independent  ✓ Free-spirited


Whether your dog is healthy and you would like him to have fun while exercising or your dog has physical health issues; swimming will help improve range of motion, mobility, over-all body condition, and lifts the spirit. It’s a great feeling to watch a relaxed dog enjoying the water. If you can swim with your dog, then the experience is even better.

Playing fetch:

The age-old game of playing fetch is notorious fun for dogs. Retrieving a ball, stick, or toy may seem trivial to people, but to a dog – it provides a sense of purpose, a ton of fun, and good exercise.



My dog is… ✓ Shy  ✓ Reserved  ✓ Needs TLC

Basic Obedience Classes:

Sometimes a dog is just shy by nature, while others have a history to overcome. Either way, this personality type really benefits in basic obedience classes focused on positive reinforcement. Plus, the group environment is very beneficial as your shy dog will likely be influenced by more outgoing canines in the group. Look for classes that promote communication and bonding as core features of the curriculum. Remember to be patient. Your shy dog needs time to overcome fears, but with your support and understanding the benefit can be tremendous.



My dog is… ✓ Senior or Disabled

(OK so that’s not a personality trait but it does influence personality)

Nature Trail Walking or Hiking:

A dog’s primary sense is smell. Regardless of age, a dog is stimulated by new smells, especially those found in nature. Senior dogs will eventually experience reduced vision, taste and mobility, but their sense of smell almost always dominates. Offering your senior or disabled dog opportunities to smell new and exciting things, is going to boost their mood and emotional state, while walking will keep them healthy and promote joint flexibility.



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