Owning a dog is one of life’s great pleasures. We love our dog and our dog loves us.
Dogs don’t show affection in the same way that we do. Hugging is a common way for humans to show love for each other. Most dogs don’t like being hugged and will not interpret a hug as a sign of affection.
Related Article: Do Dogs Like Hugs
We need to find other ways of showing dogs how we feel. Here are some ideas.
Rub Your Dog’s Ears
Endorphins are a group of hormones which are released by pleasurable experiences. If someone greets us with our name and smiles as they shake our hands, this releases endorphins which contribute to the pleasurable experience.
All mammals produce endorphins – including dogs.
Rubbing a dog around the ears stimulates the release of endorphins. This spot is the location of many nerve endings and massaging it gives the dog a pleasant feeling throughout his whole body.
Lean On Your Dog.
You have probably noticed your dog standing near you and leaning on your legs. In the dog world this is a way of showing affection. They want to be as close to you as possible. You can reciprocate and lean on them. If they are lying near you, all you have to do is apply some pressure with your shins or calves. Not too much, just enough to let them know that you want to be close.
Talk To Your Dog.
Often, the only times we talk to our dog is to issue a command. This is fine and is part of having a well-behaved pet. It is part of any dog training regime. But dogs also enjoy just being talked to. It has been shown that the human voice can calm anxious or energetic dogs. You can talk about the things that have happened in your day or even read from a book. Speak in a relaxed tone and don’t put too much emotion in your voice.
You will often find your dog staring at you with his head to one side trying to figure out what it all means.
Gaze Into Your Dogs Eyes
While staring forcefully into your dogs eyes is a sign of aggression, the opposite is true of a soft eyed gaze. Your dog will see this as a sign of affection, particularly if you change your facial expression. Dogs often raise their eyebrows as a sign of affection. It gives them an open happy look. Your dog will be able to distinguish your raised eyebrows and will take this as a sign of your love. It is particularly effective when you greet your dog after an absence.
Sleeping With Your Dog
Ancestral dogs were pack animals. At night they would sleep together is their den snuggled up to each other for warmth and security. Animals are at their most vulnerable when they are asleep. If they are willing to sleep next to you, they are saying that they trust you not to harm them while they are defenceless.
By allowing them to sleep with you, you are showing the same degree of trust in your dog.
Dogs have an excellent ability to read our emotions. Just by going about our normal business and interacting with our dogs in a relaxed way, we are telling them that we consider them as part of our pack and are happy being with them.