If there’s one thing dogs do naturally, it’s loving their owners just like they love food. But all that love and affection doesn’t always come to light as soon as you bring them home; it actually takes time and effort. So, if your dog doesn’t like you, don’t worry – it’s not the end of the world yet, you can still gain your furry friend’s affection!
Naturally, the road to a loving relationship will require a lot of patience on your part, and you’re definitely in for a ride. Each dog has its own personality, so each might react differently than you expect. To make things a bit easier, here’s a how-to guide on how to make your dog love you.
6 Tips to Make Your Dog Love You
1. Create a Homey Environment
Dogs are no different from people. Just like a normal person, these furballs need some time to adjust to new people and environments. One thing you can do to help them in this first step is to make sure they have a nice and comfortable area of their own – complete with a bed, blankets, and chew toys.
Having their own space for the first few days will help them create their safe zone, especially when they’re still adjusting to the whole setup. This will help your dog understand that they have this zone for themselves and can go back whenever they want to.
On the other hand, as this furball’s owner, you have to respect that your puppy might still feel anxious around you and won’t be as playful as you’d like. Let them be when they don’t seem playful, and just let them rest in their area; after all, it’s their zone.
You don’t have to worry about not getting the love you believe you deserve because your dog will eventually love playing with you more than they love chewing the toys you bought for them. Just be patient and wait for this stage. Remember, you’re building trust here!
2. Set a Schedule for Healthy Meals
Food must always be included in the equation, and setting up a schedule helps both of you adjust to the whole setup. It’s not going to be hard for your dog to love you even more if you feed them on time and feed them right.
It’s also good to start this when they’re young so they’re much easier to train. Make sure to use a bowl and be consistent with the container, so that they know that is the bowl they’ll eat in. Train them to eat on time and be firm with it.
Apart from just creating a healthy meal schedule for your dog, you should also feed them right. The best way to do this would be to consult a veterinary nutritionist to help you plan out meals or even just know what the right food for your pet is. Don’t even think about feeding them dog food all the time!
Talking with your pets’ nutritionist gives you an idea of which human foods are good for them, what foods to combine in a meal, and how much they should be fed with. Knowing what food to feed them is essential in ensuring that your dog will grow up to be a healthy dog.
Don’t worry, human food isn’t hard to make for your dog. In fact, there are tons of quick and easy recipes that you can follow and cook at home yourself. After all, natural sources of food are so much better than the ones made in the factory, right? Who knows, your dog might love this more than they love the ones that come in plastic bags.
3. Know What They Love Doing
Now that they’re comfortable in their own space and have a full stomach, it’s your time to be affectionate with them. This is the step where you need to find out what your dog loves doing.
By that we mean playing more frequently with your dog, petting them more often, and giving them treats every now and then. There are a lot of ways you can discover what excites and makes your dog happy. As mentioned earlier, you can play with them using different toys or even play fetch with them and see if they respond well.
You can also give them a good petting, like scratching their tummies or behind their ears – they might love that. But remember that when you’re dealing with new dogs, you have to let them know that you’re going to touch them or else you’ll be bitten.
To do this, you have to call them by their name or make an appropriate sound that they can easily associate with touching. If you already have their attention, let them smell you until you see them wagging their tails – that’s the go signal.
And of course, giving them treats is one of the best ways to show them you love them. Treats are one of the best things in a dog’s world and letting them have a good share of it will fill their fur hearts with joy. Of course, these treats don’t just come for free – something we’ll expound in the next part.
4. Train Using Positive Reinforcement
In a dog’s world, a treat is the best form of reward. You’ve now reached the point where your dog is comfortable and ready for training. Whether it’s just urinating in the right spot or following your commands, using positive reinforcement will keep them repeating good behavior.
Positive reinforcement is a method that implies giving dogs rewards when they follow instructions or are being good pets. Compared to punishing or scolding your dog whenever they don’t follow you, this is a better way, because food is an absolutely great motivator.
Other than positive reinforcement, you can also combine this with a clicker. Clickers are great instruments that capture a dog’s attention easily. Associating clickers with commands and rewarding a well-executed command with treats are successful means of training your dog.
Remember, scolding your dog or punishing them is never a good idea because your dog will just go back to being cold with you. To some extent, your dog might even become aggressive and won’t be friends with you anymore.
5. Take Them on Walks and Adventures
Your home isn’t just the only place your dog loves. Taking them out for walks will help them see and discover a lot of things. It’s also a great way to bond with your dog and a good way for you to do some exercising.
This is also your dog’s chance to socialize with other furballs, especially in parks. Letting them loose in parks will allow them to have fun and play with other dogs. They get to see how other dogs act and how other owners train their dogs. They might even meet their best friend!
Don’t worry, a loving dog will always listen to their owners and come back when they need to. Just make sure you let them loose in a park, where the environment is calm and great for them. Look up dog parks or walk on streets where there are plenty of other dog owners walking their dogs.
You can also take them on adventures like fishing trips or camping, so they see a bigger world outside your home. It’s good for a dog to discover something interesting every day because it piques their interest and keeps them alert. Your dog might just be shocked to see different animals they don’t normally see.
Doing this step after you’ve trained them ensures that nothing goes wrong when you let them loose. Trust your dog and trust your training skills, because every dog looks forward to walks and adventures.
6. Always Check up on Them
The final step to making sure they love you is that you always check up on how they’re doing, if they’re comfortable at home, or if they’re healthy. Treating your dog just like a human can be the best way to seal your love for each other.
As an owner, you have to be alert whenever your dog shows symptoms or is acting weird. Paying attention lets your dog know that you care about them and you want them to stay healthy. Dogs are quite prone to illnesses, which is why it makes perfect sense to check up on them frequently.
You can also pamper and groom them, keeping their coats flea– and irritation-free. Giving them the best treatments every now and then will keep them healthy against unexpected viruses. Visiting the vet will also keep you updated on how healthy they are.
All the steps mentioned here can definitely be challenging, but again, your furball’s heart isn’t made of stone. You’ll feel the love once they start getting comfortable in their new environment, their stomach is full, and they’re having the time of their life in your new home. Just be patient and give them all the love in the world. It won’t be long before they start showing they love you, too.