Dogs are incredibly intelligent, intuitive creatures. They are capable of learning and picking up on human emotions. Their complexity means that they understand love and devotion and is what earned them the position of “man’s best friend.” There are, therefore, many different ways to show your dog you love him that he will understand and that will strengthen your bond with one another.
Your most caring dog moving company will gladly share our staff’s top tips for showing your pet how much you care.
Despite the old saying, it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. Puppies may need the most training and be more receptive to learning, but it’s important to continually challenge your dog’s mental stamina. Consistently reinforce behaviors and tricks you’ve taught your dog throughout his life, and don’t hesitate to try to teach him something new. This keeps your pup occupied and continually looking to you for positive reinforcement and new learning experiences.
Become Their Leader
As pack animals, dogs need an established leader. Taking this role will make your pup feel more secure and confident because there is no confusion as to who is in control. Maintaining the pack leader position in training will help improve your dog’s obedience, establish boundaries and restrictions, and improve their confidence.
Reinforce with Positivity
Like humans, dogs thrive on positive reinforcement. Encouraging your dog during training with verbal and physical praise will enhance their learning immeasurably and increase their happiness. In addition, treats are a classic tool for encouraging positive behavior from your dog. Especially in the early years, treats, combined with pats and verbal praise, are the gateway to a happy and well-trained dog.
Train Outside the Home
Many dogs behave perfectly at home but become disobedient and uncontrollable in public settings. This happens when dogs aren’t exposed to discipline outside the home. When you’re out with your dog try to do the commands usually done at home. This will teach your dog that they need to follow your commands both inside and outside the house.
Dog parks are a great place to train your dog outside the home. This is where you can let your dog off leash and practice the come command without the chance of them running away. When your dog is playing with other dogs at the park, don’t be afraid to give them praise for their play. On the other hand, make sure to discipline them when they misbehave. Consistent repetition is the only way to train your dog both in and outside the home.
Communicate With Your Pup
Some dogs know sign language, but most communicate to their owners with a variety of multisensory signals. Sound, smell, and touch are the primary means of canine communication. With humans, dogs usually express themselves through sound cues and body language. Owners can read these signals to understand their dog’s mood and thoughts.
They Love To Hear Your Voice
You know those dog owners who talk to their pups as if they were their children or their best friends? Try being one of those people every once in a while. Talking to your dog in a warm, comforting voice paired with reiterating certain phrases like “I love you,” “You’re my best friend” or even “Who’s my smart boy/girl?” can make your dog feel special.
It turns out that dogs and humans receive and process the sound of voices similarly. That means dogs recognize and attribute emotions to a voice much like we do. When you’re talking with your dog, maintain a consistent pitch or tone. This will reinforce your bond by teaching your dog that you’re a consistent and warm presence in their life.
Learn Their Language
Pay attention to what your dog is telling you through his body language or his little yowls and whines. Although dogs may recognize voices like humans, they rarely communicate like we do. Instead of listening to words, dog-owners need to watch and listen for non-verbal cues. Eye-contact, growls, wimpers, barks, and grunts, and body language are all indicators of your dog’s thoughts and moods.
For instance, many dog owners are shocked when their dogs begin growling during playtime. Far from aggressive behavior, your dog is more likely having a great time. It’s important to identify the contexts where growing is positive and others where it is negative. This will help you train your dog to behave appropriately in both situations.
Dogs yawn when they’re nervous. Sighing can either indicate contentedness or disappointment. Whining usually means your dog wants something such as a pee-break or another treat. Whining can also signal fear or anxiety. In most cases, groaning is a sign of contentment. Many puppies groan as they prepare to sleep, and older dogs often groan when pet.
Watch Their Body Language
Everyone knows the phrase, “the eyes are windows into the soul.” This might be true for humans, but not at all for dogs. For whatever reason, dogs communicate their mood in physical ways very differently than humans.
Instead of focusing on your dog’s face, look at their ears, tail, and sleeping position. These physical features can help you determine if your dog is feeling happy, threatened, or secure. If your dog’s ears are laying flat, they’re either experiencing fear or feelings of aggression. A happy and calm dog’s ears are upright, forward and loose.
The tail is another helpful indicator of your dog’s mood. Surprisingly, a wagging tail doesn’t always mean your dog is happy. If the dog’s tail is low and wagging, it could mean they are feeling anxious or fearful of a situation. Try to identify what’s stressing your dog and train them to feel comfortable in those types of situations.
Lastly, sleeping position is an often overlooked indicator of a dog’s mood. Dogs laying on their back with their legs up are relaxed and secure in their surroundings. On the other hand, dogs coiled into a donut are in a protective position, so they might be experiencing insecurity with their environment.
Learning about your dog’s communication style through barks, tail wags, and licks will help you identify what makes your dog happy. Trying to understand and being in sync with your dog’s emotions is a great way to show your dog you love him.
The Power of Touch
The power of touch extends to all members of the animal kingdom, including your canine pal. Try doting on your buddy a little bit more every now and then with some extra ear massages, chin rubs and butt scratches. Yes, we said butt scratches — you know, that spot just above the base of his tail that sends his rear end wiggling back and forth every time you pat it? That’s the spot.
When giving your dog extra pets, try also paying attention to their body language to better understand what he likes and doesn’t like. For example, patting your pooch on the head when you see him may seem natural to you, but many dogs perceive it as a display of dominance and can feel threatened by the gesture.
Some trainers and dog owners use hand targeting to train their dogs. The goal is to have your dog touch their nose to their hand on command. The hand distracts the dog and gives them a physical destination to touch. Hand targeting is useful for leash training, encountering other people, and simply getting the dog to go somewhere specific.
Different from training, playtime is when your dog lets loose and releases all their extra energy. Playtime can happen on your daily walk or back at home. One-on-one playtime between you and your dog is necessary to keep them active and healthy, and it also strengthens your relationship with one another.
Try something different every now and then other than the traditional fetch and tug-of-war like getting down on all fours to play and see the world at your dog’s level. This inspires trust in your dog since, for a time, it puts you on equal terms rather than being dominant over them.
Many dogs were bred to perform specific tasks, so why not incorporate these skills into your playtime? For instance, if your dog is a retriever, it makes sense to play lots of fetch games. Similarly, water dogs love to swim and be around water. Incorporating a dog’s genetic predispositions into playtime is a sure bet for a happy and content pet.
Play dates with other furry friends is important as well. Dogs as a whole are social creatures, so socializing them with other pups early on in life makes for a happier, more trusting companion. These experiences as a puppy will teach your dog how to remain calm and secure in social situations. Without this exposure, dogs become anxious and unpredictable when encountering other dogs and other animals in general.
Pet Van Lines, Your Trusted Professional Pet Movers
Providing your dog with extra ways to show him you love him adds enrichment and an element of spontaneity to his everyday dog life. Don’t underestimate your dog’s capacity for love and understanding, and you’ll be rewarded with a happy, affectionate friend for life.
When it’s time to move, make moving day as stress free as possible for you and your pet by enlisting the services of Pet Van Lines, your trusted professional dog movers. We will safely transport your furry companion to your new home, providing your pet with the care he needs to feel safe and loved. Contact us today to learn more about our services.