It may be pretty obvious your pup adores you, always showering you with kisses and doing everything possible to put a smile on your face. But have you taken the time to stop and think about whether you show them just how much you care?
Your puppy loves to be doted on. But some of the ways we show affection are considered a sign of aggression. Take some time to learn about the best ways to show them how you feel.
Check out the following tips to give your puppy the attention they deserve.
Give Your Dog Physical Affection
Your dog loves to give you kisses, and they don’t mind physical affection. Show them how important they are with some loving of your own.
There are certain moves that most dogs love, but every animal is different. A little experimenting will show you what your pup prefers.
We know you can’t hug a Great Dane, but your dog will appreciate the following:
Did you know rubbing your dog’s ears is a natural tranquilizer? The spot behind their ears is one of their three nerve centers. Rub or stroke your dog’s ears to release endorphins by stimulating the pituitary glands and hypothalamus. They’ll be in heaven.
When your dog rolls over and offers you his belly, you should be honored. This submissive move shows that your dog trusts you. Does your puppy kick when you rub his tummy? That’s not a sign that you’re doing a great job, but an involuntary response. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt him.
While most pups appreciate a good rub, some dogs aren’t into belly rubs. Don’t be offended if your pooch falls in this category.
Petting Tips and Tricks
- Soft petting can calm your dog down.
- Avoid picking your dog up, even if they’re small enough to do so.
- Dogs are uncomfortable when hugged.
- Learn your dog’s stress signals (see below) and stand down if any of them appear.
Dog Stress Signals
- Ears down and back
- Appears frozen, stiff
- Tail between legs
- Hiding behind a person or object
- Turning head back
- One paw raised
Take Your Pooch for a Walk
No matter what the weather, your dog appreciates a good walk, even a short one. During the winter months check your dog’s paws for signs of cracking or discomfort. Dogs need regular exercise, especially if you don’t have a fenced yard for them to get exercise whenever they want it.
Have a Heart-to-Heart Conversation
Even though your dog may not understand you, talking to your furry friend is a great way to show them affection. It may feel awkward at first. But telling your puppy about your day is a great bonding experience.
If you don’t enjoy one-sided conversation, spend some time petting and telling your dog how much you love them. Your tone of voice expresses your feelings.
Give Your Puppy Some Space
Even if your dog is small, hugging is not a good idea. It smothers your pooch. While people hug each other to show affection, your furry friend considers hugging an aggressive gesture to prove dominance.
Though many dogs love spending time with their owners and being showered with affection, dogs need their space, too. If they are engaged in other activities like sleeping or gnawing on their favorite toy, give your pup some time to themselves.
Hang Out with Your Dog
If you really want your dog to feel like a part of the family, let them hang out with you as much as possible. Inside dogs tend to be more bonded with their owners.
You don’t have to be constantly giving your pooch attention either. Let them curl up on the living room floor during family movie night or roam about the kitchen with you while you’re making dinner. Spending time with your dog doesn’t mean they should constantly be the center of attention.
The more time you spend with your puppy, the more you’ll discover their favorite ways of being loved on. As the puppy parent, your dog will react more favorably to you than strangers.
The list above is only the beginning of what you can do to show your dog you care. Let your dog spend as much time as possible with the family, and they’ll feel like a part of it in no time.