There is something so special about the relationship people have with their pets. Of course, you can bond with just about any animal globally, but history has seen countless instances of human relationships with “man’s best friend.”
If you are reading this article, you are undoubtedly a dog fanatic whose heart is set on gaining their pup’s affection. But, as with any relationship in life, you will need to nurture the bond with your pet. All it takes is a significant amount of patience and understanding, but if you invest in this relationship, it can improve your life in numerous ways. Whether you are a seasoned dog parent or a new one trying to find their groove, you will find this thoughtful list of ways to make your dog love you an insightful read.
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Best Ways to Make a Dog Love You
Maintain Eye Contact with Your Dog
Maintaining eye contact isn’t just a valuable tool while training your dog; it can also help you create a deep bond. When your dog peeks at you, its brain releases oxytocin (the “love hormone.”) Oxytocin is the same hormone that a mother’s brain releases when first bonding with babies. The key is to maintain natural eye contact with your dog while you’re playing or cuddling. But if you force eye contact with your dog, it’ll probably get a little uncomfortable and look away.
Take Your Dog Out For Regular Walks
Dogs aren’t meant to be house-bound, no matter what breed you have. In essence, you may be overlooking that regular walks aren’t just an opportunity for exercise; they’re also quality bonding time. As such, it’s essential to make an effort to walk your dog several times a day. Of course, they will be getting in that much-needed exercise and bathroom breaks, but they’ll also enjoy spending time with you.
Show the Dog Affection
Last but not least, show your dog a lot of affection. All you need to do is give your dog pats, rubs, or gentle scratches throughout the day. Regular physical contact will let your dog understand that you love and care for him. In addition, you’ll probably be able to tell that your dog loves these minor interactions. For instance, your dog might stick his tongue out or look at you affectionately if you rub his ears. Remember, dogs do not like having their face or head patted. Also, avoid giving your dog big hugs, making them feel uncomfortable.
Understand What Your Dog Loves the Most
Once you know what drives your dog the most, you can be more responsive to their needs, which will make them like you better. Letting your dog do what it enjoys doing will also improve its self-esteem. For example, if your dog loves digging or playing fetch, create an approved space to explore (such as a doggie sandbox) or throw a ball around every day.
Keep your dog near you
Dogs enjoy spending time alongside their owners, so let your dog be your companion. Give your canine a lot of attention throughout the day and let it follow you around. Being around you will make him feel secure and content. If dogs don’t get enough attention or companionship, they can become lonely and start acting out.
Give Your Dog Toys
Make a habit of playing with your dog regularly. If he is bored of playing the usual game of fetch, buy some fun toys for him. Always choose toys that are of appropriate size because your dog may choke on them if the toys are small or have small parts that could come off. Conversely, If the toys are too large, your dog might have trouble playing with them.
So regularly inspect the toys for rips, tears, or loose threads that could cause choking hazards.
Set a Comfortable Space for the Dog
Most canines love sleeping in bed with their owners. It’s up to you to let the dog sleep in bed with you or if you want him to have his own cozy space. Suppose your dog loves to have his own space, set out a dog bed with blankets and toys in the corner of a living room. This area will offer your dog a chance to have his own space while still being part of the household action. Ensure that other pets or kids in the home aren’t bothering the dog if he is in his area. The dog should feel like it can peacefully relax without distractions.
Groom and Feed Your Dog
Many dogs naturally adore the people who feed and care for them. Give your canine good nutritious meals every day and use that time to interact with the dog. Hand-feed your dog every once in a while to make him understand that he is so unique to you, or you can also hide food in treat puzzles. You should also groom your dog and check his coat for health concerns. Look for skin irritation that could be irritating your pet, such as fleas. Talk with the veterinarian about the best treatments that give your dog quick relief from the itching.
Positive Reinforcement Training
Your relationship will enhance if your dog knows how to react to basic commands (such as sit, come, stay, and heel). Consider clicker training to reinforce good behavior through positive associations. For example, give your dog food treats or verbal praise(saying good job or good boy) when it obeys your commands.
Comfort Your Dog When He Is Afraid
There are a lot of persistent, toxic, messed-up myths about dog behavior. One of them is the “rule” that you should not comfort a fearful dog. For example, suppose you pet your canine when he gets startled by a loud noise and cowers beside you. In that case, you’re only encouraging him to be afraid of loud noises. This isn’t true. It is based on a misunderstanding of how pets learn. You cannot reinforce emotions the same way you reinforce behavior.
If your pup is scared, you don’t have to tell him to suck it up and get over it. Instead, you’re allowed to reassure him.
Avoid Punishing When Your Dog Misbehaves
Never yell at, hit, or scare your dog. Reacting in anger will make your dog fear you and damage your relationship. Instead, be patient with the dog. Some dogs will take a bit longer to respond to training than others.
Socialize Your Dog
Socialize your dog in a calm, structured environment instead of a chaotic place where he might feel overwhelmed. For example, instead of just allowing the dog to run around the dog park, visit a friend that has a calm dog. Give both the dogs the opportunity to interact, but don’t force them. Keep in mind that your dog will be happier if it’s coming into contact with other dogs or people.
Healthiness Equals Happiness
It is hard for any pet to feel loving if its basic health needs aren’t met. So take your dog for regular check-ups at the vet and keep it current on vaccinations. Get proper medical care and treatment if your dog becomes ill or injures itself.
Dogs know you care for them only when you SHOW them you care. It is a relationship that works only if it is two-way. So, when you display love and affection to your dog, they sense it, appreciate it, and reciprocate. Indeed, it’s as easy as that!