Some people find raising a dog extremely difficult.
This is because they do not understand the psychology of dogs. Dogs are loving, fiercely loyal, and territorial. Above all, they are animals that crave attention and love.
Affection is a necessary component of your dog’s well-being and development. They like socializing and crave companionship. This is why overt displays of affection are so important.
Showing affection helps you gain trust and respect in your dog’s eyes. You can only assert your dominance but also your love for your dog.
Why Is It Important To Show Your Dog Affection?
Before we examine all the different ways in which you can show affection, it important to address why it must be done. Dogs like affection. It is as simple as that. It is in their nature. They are innately playful and loving. They are social creatures. While cats may at times need alone time, dogs are more likely to seek out companionship and attention.
Not getting enough affection can be harmful. Some dogs develop serious separation anxiety conditions if they do not get enough love. Needless to say, dogs do not thrive under conditions where they are neglected.
Getting attention and affection are necessary components of your dog’s development. Receiving appropriate encourage enables dogs to become trained and well behaved. Even a small act of affection, a simple pat on the head, gives your dog the affirmation they need. It motivates them to try harder and be better.
Providing your dog with affection earns you their trust, respect and, ultimately, unconditional love. Knowing that you love them lets them know they can depend upon you for everything.
Ways To Show Your Dog Affection
You can show your affection in several different ways. Displaying affection helps you bond with your dog and creates trust. Here are seven easy ways you can show affection to your dog:
1. Look Into Their Eyes When Communicating
It is common to communicate with your dog. You will find yourself talking to them and making them understand what you want them to do. Language may not always get the point across. This is because dogs sense the tone and pitch rather than understand the words.
Making eye contact during communication is necessary. Aside from the characteristics of your vocals, dogs try to read expressions. The eyes are the most expressive part of our face. They are a window into our emotions.
Always look at your dog when you address them. Even if you are telling your dog off for misbehavior, maintaining eye contact is important. It shows you are attentive and not treating them like an object. Be careful not to stare at them because it is counterproductive.
2. Use A Gentle Tone Of Voice
Dogs are very smart animals. They may not understand the meaning of individual words, however, they can pick up on the meaning of what you say. They do this by examining your expressions and the tone of your voice.
This is why you should always use a gentle tone of voice when addressing your dog. It lets them know that you care about them. Remember, dogs have feelings and require the same dignity as humans. Treat them like kids. Being harsh and dismissive will only hinder their ability to learn as it will make them stressed.
3. Give Them Massages
Dogs love physical contact and respond to it with equal, if not greater, affection. An occasional pat on the head or back is always good. Especially when your dog behaves well or listens to your command.
Giving your dog a massage is going the extra mile. A massage helps to relieve your dog’s stress by making its muscles relaxed. They feel good physically.
Additionally, massaging your dog makes the bond of friendship stronger between the two of you. It is a show of affection since it displays your care for them. Gently massage them for a few minutes. This will relax their body and improve blood circulation.
Massaging is good for your dog’s fur as well, especially if you use a brush to massage them. Even better, make it an entire grooming session. Use a detangle spray along with a brush to pamper your dog. Here are the best dog detangler sprays you can get on the market.
4. Schedule Playtime With Them
Fix playtime with your dog. Make it a daily routine to play with your dog at a set time. This way your dog will know that you make time for them every day. There may be exceptions when you are too busy or tired. However, setting up a schedule is necessary. Your dog will look forward to playtime with you.
Playing with your dog is a necessary part of raising a dog. Research shows that play and exercise are integral to healthy development in dogs. It nurtures them physically and mentally.
5. Cuddle Often
Cuddle with your dog. Dogs crave physical touch. The best thing is that they reciprocate love and affection instantly. Not only is cuddling a way of showing affection, but it also enables your dog to destress.
There is evidence to suggest that attachment avoidance by owners can result in separation anxiety in dogs. Cuddling is soothing and it affirms your love for your dog.
It may be difficult for you to let your dog know that you are always there for them. Physical gestures like hugging and cuddling are good assurances instead.
6. Be Gentle
Training and raising a dog may be frustrating at times. It is important to remain calm and collected. Yelling at your dog will not achieve anything. It will only stress out your dog and make learning even more difficult.
Be gentle in your behavior. This includes, as mentioned above, your tone of voice and your expressions. Dogs are very intuitive. Do not show your frustration.
It is easy to be harsh and yell at your dog or punish them when they do not behave. But doing so can be counterproductive. Dogs respond well to gentleness. Instead of yelling at them for misbehavior, try to show your disappointment and sadness. Your dog will notice those feelings and change their ways.
7. Prioritize Your Dog’s Needs And Wants
Let your dog know through your actions that you value them. After a certain amount of time, you will become aware of their personality. You will get to know your dog’s likes and dislikes.
Prioritize their wants. Give them food, treats, and toys they like. Play the games your dog likes. If your dog likes to dance, put on some music and dance with them. Your dog will know that not only are you aware of what they like, but also willing to provide them with everything they like.
Building A Relationship
Affection is just a single aspect of your relationship with your dog. An important aspect, nonetheless. Raising a dog is not easy. It is like raising a child. All the love, effort, and affection you put in s an investment.
It is important to remain patient and remain calm. It may be challenging initially when you first begin training your dog. However, successful training is only possible if you can create a bond of trust and affection with your dog.
Dogs are instinctively loyal to those that show them love and affection. They reciprocate the care you give them by respecting and loving you. It is a worthwhile transaction. All you need to do is show your unconditional love.