Whether you have a new puppy, a senior dog, or any dog in between, it's important for you to develop a healthy, trusting relationship with your dog. Dogs are known as "man's best friend," but sometimes it's not that easy to get along with them. They can be temperamental, and often come with baggage from previous experiences that make it hard for them to trust, interact calmly, or get along with their human counterparts. No matter the dog's circumstances, it is vital to the dog and the owner to take time to cultivate a deep, lasting bond that helps the dog feel secure and keeps both owner and dog happy. So, if you need help making your dog like you, check out some of the tips and tricks below. You never know - maybe it's not too late to teach an old (or new) dog new tricks!
Making Dog Like You Through Play:
Just like developing a friendship with another person, human to dog relationships are built on time. Spending time with your dog and sharing experiences helps you feel closer to one another and promotes a dog's trust in you. Spending time together may mean your dog following you around as you do chores, watching some TV together, catching z's together, or going out for a walk. Perhaps the best way to cultivate time together in an enjoyable way is through play.
Just as parents seek play with their children, dogs thrive on playtime to build trust and relationships. Sharing a fun time can help your dog associate you with pleasurable experiences, making dog like you even more! Dogs love playing with toys, playing fetch, and the occasional roughhouse session with their owners!
Train Your Dog
Like children, dogs thrive in an environment that is structured and has rules. There's no need to be strict with your pup, but dogs should have limits. When dogs exhibit good behavior due to training, they gain greater confidence. Getting your dog enrolled in a basic obedience class at a minimum is a good start, but it doesn't stop there. You need to work with your dog daily to help him or her understand their commands and recognize you as leader of the pack. Ancestral dogs lived in packs, and they will respect and like you more if they see you as their pack leader.
Get to Know Your Dog
Like any new relationship, it's going to take some time and effort to understand the other's needs. You may have to start out with having your dog try out a bunch of toys or treats to get to know what he or she likes best. This can be a trial and error process. Providing your dog with things that they like will help them continue to associate you with the good stuff that they love in life! Similarly, limiting your dog's exposure to things that they dislike will help keep them content and feel positively about you. Most dogs dislike wearing restrictive clothing, loud noises, being stared at, and being hugged.
Touch Your Dog Often
Like humans, dogs respond very much to touch. You may say that touch is their love language. They cannot communicate with us verbally, so dogs depend on validating touch from their humans to feel loved and that they belong. Studies have shown that petting a dog relieves stress both in the dog and in the human, as heart rates lower and stress hormones decrease with this touch. Physical touch plays a big part in the connection and fondness a dog and person have for one another.
No matter how new your relationship is with your dog, there are certainly steps you can take to help make your dog like you even more than he or she already does! Spending time with them just like any relationship in your life is key to creating a foundation for you to love one another! Continuing to build this relationship through playtime, providing basic training, providing likes and limiting dislikes, and physical contact will help keep your dog content!