Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
How to Love a Dog and Be Loved in Return
There are some people out there who are natural animal lovers. They seem to intuit the needs and emotions of animals and also have the ability to respond accordingly. Understanding animal body language comes easily, and they can put a pet at ease quickly.
Other folks can only dream of high-level human-animal companionship and may have to learn about animal behaviors the hard way. No biggie! With a bit of determination, patience, and a positive can-do attitude, you can learn how to love a dog – and, what’s more, be loved in return.
There are a few basics to letting a dog know you aren’t a threat. For starters, lower your voice to a slow, soothing tone. Get down on the animal’s level or even below where they stand. Do not run directly at the animal or maintain constant eye contact. Mimic the sounds the animal makes, like a breathy pant, squeal, bark, and sneeze.
Trying to show your dog how much you love and appreciate them? Try these tips:
- Start with an ear rub to trigger and release endorphins.
- Praise them, and say “I love you.”
- Feed your dog one piece of kibble at a time – by hand.
- Pay close attention to what they’re trying to tell you with their body language.
- Give them space before they need to ask for it.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise!
Training is another huge boon to the human-dog relationship. Not only does positive reinforcement training give your dog clear and defined methods of pleasing you, but it’s also incredibly motivating and rewarding (for both of you!).
Please let us know if you need help establishing the right dynamic at home. Once your dog knows their place, the bond between you can blossom and flourish.
Love a Dog, Achieve Happiness
Creating and supporting a loving relationship with your dog may not necessarily occur overnight. Once it happens, you’ll know it, and you’ll have zero regrets about how you landed there. Once you’ve laid the groundwork and shown how much you love a dog, they’ll demonstrate affection in their own way, such as:
- Sustained eye contact with happy blinks
- Ecstatic about your return home
- Constantly happy to see you (even if you’ve been together all day!)
- Can relax with you directly nearby
- Shows you their belly
- Responds to you
- Seeks you out (and your best scratching game)
- Won’t try to escape or run away
- Wags their tail
- Endless smooches
- Bows encouragingly to say “let’s play”
- Snuggles up in your belongings (and may try to eat your shoes…)
- Readily accepts grooming attempts
If you’re lucky enough to love a dog, get ready for a lifetime of love in return. If we can assist you toward this goal, we’re always here to help!