There’s something so very unique about the relationship people have with their dogs. Sure, you can bond with just about any animal on the planet, but history has seen countless centuries of human relationships with “man’s best friend.”
Needless to say, if you’re reading this article, you’re undoubtedly a canine connoisseur whose heart is set on gaining their pup’s affection. As with any relationship in life, you’ll need to nurture the bond with your pet. Yes, it will take a significant amount of patience and understanding, but if you invest in this relationship, it can improve your life in many ways.
Whether you’re a seasoned dog parent or a new one trying to find their groove, you’ll surely find this thoughtful list of ways to make your canine love you an insightful read.
Table of Contents
- How to make your dog love you more
- #1. Frequent walks and quality time together
- #2. Increased communication through proper training
- #3. Positive reinforcement for positive behavior
- #4. Give your pup a job
- #5. Whip out the yummy treats
- #6. Let your pup snuggle up in (your) bed
- #7. Bring Fido along on vacations
- #8. Take care of your furry companion
How to make your dog love you more
#1. Frequent walks and quality time together
No matter the type of breed, canines aren’t meant to be house-bound. While your award-winning giant poodle may turn her snout at the thought of a walk in the rain, never overlook the importance of regular walks. In essence, what you may be missing is the fact that regular walks aren’t just an opportunity for exercise, they’re also quality bonding time as well. As such, it’s essential to make an effort to walk your dog several times a day. Not only will they be getting in that much-needed exercise and bathroom breaks, but they’ll also enjoy spending time with their favorite human… that’s you!
Nowadays, it’s getting harder to walk my senior dog, Maya. She’s 13 years-old, and with her arthritis, she’s not the agile, energetic pup she was once upon a time. Though I’ve shortened the lengths of her walks to take into account her mobility issues, I know she looks forward to our outdoor excursions with just as much zeal as always. Without a doubt in my mind, I know that she loves our walks together each and every day.
#2. Increased communication through proper training
When you think about training your dog, consider how vital obedience school is in regard to communication. Essentially, it’s a way to get two different species to “speak” the same language. So, while you may think you’re training your dog, you’re actually learning to communicate with them. And, as they say in couple’s therapy, communication is the key to a solid relationship. How do you make your dog love you even more? By learning a new language, one for the sole purpose of interacting with them. Now, isn’t that the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard?
Aside from instilling a method of communication that allows you to understand each other better, training can also reduce aggressive behavior. Several active breeds, such as hunters and retrievers, need to feel engaged, more challenged. When you’re wired to chase, retrieve or find something, that ingrained need can turn into obsessive behaviors. Therefore, a consistent training program also reduces such “negative” behaviors like digging, chewing, and barking. Additionally, it’s also a fantastic way of spending quality time with your pooch.
#3. Positive reinforcement for positive behavior
Be it a child or pet, positive reinforcement is a way to nourish a healthy bond. Like humans, dogs are sensitive, and they’re capable of picking up on negative vibes. Once they sense negative energy, they may feel depressed, scared or lash out. So, if you need to, take a bit of time to center yourself and calm down before interacting with your canine. Remember, you want them to feel positive, caring energy. To trust you, they require a sense of acceptance. Thus, if you’re using reinforcement methods for training, make sure to employ only positive ones.
#4. Give your pup a job
No, we’re not implying your pet needs to go to work to earn their food. Rather, consider the type of breed you have and their history of skills. While some furry pals are herders, others are hunters. Coupled with the need to please their “master,” and you’ve got yourself a worker who’s itching to get to work!
Although you may not have a flock of sheep in the backyard that needs herding, you may have a newspaper or slippers that can be fetched. Really, only your imagination limits you as there are tons of tricks you can teach your pup that will call on their inborn instincts. What’s more, it gives them the chance to feel appreciated and needed (even more than they do now!). If you’re still not sure how to engage your dog, check out our post on ways to entertain your dog.
#5. Whip out the yummy treats
In some cultures, people show their love with food. Whether it’s cooking up a storm for the ones you love or feasting on your mom’s famous lasagna, it’s easy to see how food can transcend barriers and display love and acceptance. A super simple way to make your dog love you is by giving them healthy food and yummy treats, within reason of course! Your Italian mama may be offended if you don’t finish your second (or third) plate of pasta, but do remember to adhere to your dog’s nutritional guidelines. There are tons of all-natural dog treat recipes online, so if you’re an avid cook, this is an excellent way to gain your pup’s respect in the kitchen!
#6. Let your pup snuggle up in (your) bed
For the most part, pet parents prefer it when their canine companions sleep on their own beds. Aside from a face full of fur and horrendous doggy morning breath, there’s just a long list of reasons why you shouldn’t share your King-sized bed with your King-sized Leonberger. However, when you let your pet into your bedroom, and perhaps even your bed, they feel privileged. When refused entry into their parent’s room, you can just imagine how neglected they must feel. So, if you want your pooch to love you, consider placing their bed next to yours. If you’re not into the idea, there’s no need to physically share your bed. Keep in mind, however, that if you let them into your “private chambers,” they’ll likely let you into their hearts.
As the pet parent of a 120-lb Labrador retriever/Rottweiler mix, there’s no way I’m letting her share our bed. Trust me, it’s not because we don’t want to let her… she’s just too big! Nonetheless, her colossal doggie bed is right beside ours, and when we go to sleep, so does she. Without a doubt, she knows she’s part of the family. So, when it’s lights out, it’s bedtime for all, furry or not!
#7. Bring Fido along on vacations
It doesn’t feel so great when you’re left out of an activity, does it? Well, the same goes for our pets. Sure, it’s not much fun to clean the doggie slobber off the rear window or the pee mishaps in the back seat. While it’ll certainly require some planning ahead, you can ensure your trip is as pet-friendly and as stress-free as possible with a bit of research and a whole lot of extra wet wipes. Try to include your furry best in several activities, including vacations. There are actually tons of awesome dog-friendly vacations nowadays, and many locations and amenities cater to large families as well. Often, I bring Maya along on family trips camping or fishing. Honestly, I can’t imagine going without her!
If you bring Fido along for the trip, do remember a few essential details: never leave your pet alone in the car for long periods of time, but if you do need to step away for a few minutes, make sure to crack your window. However, when the weather is very hot, your dog should never be left behind in the car, ever.
#8. Take care of your furry companion
How do you make your dog love you even more than they do right now? In the end, it’s by showing them how much you care for them. This includes veterinary visits, proper treatment, healthy food and other daily needs, along with quality time together. When you take care of your furry best, you instill a sense of trust, peace, and love. Does this sound a bit cheesy to you? Well, in my experience, it’s true.
I’ve had a lot of dogs in my life, and without a doubt, they know you care when you SHOW them you care. Look, this is a relationship, a two-way street if you will. So, when you display love and affection, they sense it, appreciate it, and reciprocate. Truly, it’s as easy as that!