Dogs are generally very loyal animals, but that doesn’t mean they equally love every person in their owner’s life. Your dog may have an obvious favorite in the family, and it could be you!
If you want to make sure your dog loves you as much as possible, there are seven simple things you can do to make him, or her feel especially loved. And don’t worry—if your dog already has an obvious favorite in the family, this won’t ruin things! Your dog still appreciates your attention and affection!
1) Give Them Toys and Cuddles
Playing with your dog and providing plenty of cuddles are two things that are guaranteed to make them love you. When you give your dog attention, you show them that they’re worth spending time with, making them happy and reinforcing their idea that you’re a good companion. Toys can be used for both playing and training, so invest in various types—some specifically for play and others for discipline. Training will help build trust between you and your furry friend and keep their minds active. Just remember, not all toys are safe for dogs to eat!
2) Use Petting Time Correctly
Many people (myself included) have been conditioned to think that our dog only likes petting when we’re using it as a reward for good behavior. So, most of us end up feeling like crap because we feel like our dog only loves us if we’re giving him a treat. But that isn’t always true.
It turns out your pup loves petting! Petting is an instinctual way of communicating and showing affection among animals. For example, many dogs love massages and respond positively if you spend some time grooming them or simply patting their side with a hand or even your foot. This is also known as ear scritches, and my labrador adores it!
3) Feed Them Healthy Treats
Treats are a way of life when you have a dog, but that doesn’t mean they all have to be unhealthy. Healthy treats for dogs can be made at home or purchased from grocery stores and specialty stores. Some favorites include carrots, cucumbers, apples, and yogurt-covered mini-bone biscuits.
Be sure to check your treat for any ingredient that could harm your pet, as some artificial ingredients can cause allergic reactions or upset stomachs. You can also use low-calorie foods such as applesauce instead of the cheese in meat or liver treats; if your dog is overweight, you will want to stick with these healthier alternatives until he’s lost weight.
4) Play with Them Daily
Playtime is an integral part of your dog’s daily routine. Whether you take them for a quick walk around your neighborhood or a jog in a local park, playtime helps strengthen your bond and gives you time to bond with one another.
It’s also an opportunity for you to exercise, so make sure you always leave enough time in your schedule to spend time playing with your pup before work or heading home from work. And if you can’t play with them at that moment, share plenty of photos and videos on social media—this will keep their love for you strong and make them happy! Being happy is fantastic for dogs because it creates endorphins, which create happiness inside dogs, too! This is what being happy is all about!
5) Let Them Sleep on Your Bed
Did you know that a dog’s primary way of communicating with its owners is through eye contact? Anytime it sees a human, it will try to catch its gaze. This isn’t that unusual for animals – we tend to think they are always yapping at us, but most of what they say is unspoken. It’s how they act instead.
Humans recognize eye contact as a sign of respect and affection; dogs want your attention! So if you want your dog to love you more than anything else in life (and who doesn’t?), start acting like their leader by respecting them enough to sleep on your bed, eat in front of them (rather than first), and give them commands without looking away from something else.
6) Teach Them Tricks
All dogs like getting their owner’s attention and most will do just about anything for some praise. If you want your dog to love you, teach them a few simple tricks—they’ll be more excited about spending time with you. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that can show you how, or check out books at your local library. Most important: be sure to praise and reward them when they succeed.
They might not love it at first—just as any child would get frustrated while learning something new—but they’ll learn quickly enough if you stick with it. And in time, they’ll have mastered several skills, which means more playtime and more opportunities for them to earn your attention and affection.
7) Keep Track of Their Moods
Don’t go out without knowing whether your dog is in a good mood or not. After a walk, they may be tired and need some time alone. Your dog might be ready for some attention if they were sleeping when you left.
However, if your dog is actively barking and snarling at you when you return, it may be best not to approach them until their anger has subsided.
Understanding how your dog thinks can help foster better bonding with them! Keeping track of their moods will make all of those times together that much more fun!
8) Use Their Name
Name repetition is a surefire way to build a dog’s connection with you. As we’ve discussed before, dogs form more muscular attachments when they hear their name, so using your dog’s name often (at least once in every sentence) will get them in tune with you.
Don’t forget that names are particular words to dogs—so try not to use them as a regular part of speech, like filler or an adjective. Get Buster his ball! It Would be more effective than Buster running around like crazy when he sees his ball! Using his name naturally and regularly is the best way to help him get into a routine of responding immediately when he hears it.
9) Reward Good Behavior
Rewarding good behavior will make your dog want to act that way more often. Rewards can take many forms, and you don’t need to buy anything special. A pat on the head, a scratch behind his ears, or belly rubs will do wonders.
When dogs start acting in a manner you like, praise them lavishly and give them treats if they are food-motivated—this makes training much more accessible! But, if your dog is not food-motivated, try playing with him or letting him outside.
10) Praise Their Actions/Actions They Do Well
When your dog does something you want them to do, it’s best to praise that behavior. By praising their actions/actions they do well, you are positively associated with your approval and what they did. For example: if I tell my dog, I love how you picked up that stick while she is holding it in her mouth, she will probably hold onto it longer because she sees me as someone who will give her attention for holding onto it.
Making a positive association with your approval of what they did (holding onto a stick) increases their desire to do those actions again because they know they will receive more attention from you! Praising your dog is also helpful when training them.
11) Speak in a High Pitch Voice
Dogs are more likely to pay attention when speaking in a high-pitched voice instead of a deep or low one. One reason is that they’re more sensitive to specific frequencies. Another possible reason: Higher voices sound younger, making your dog believe he’s with his equal—who can thus be bossed around without qualms.
In either case, speak like Pinnochio when giving commands; chances are your puppy will obey happily. If not, don’t worry; dogs don’t care about being loved all that much anyway and would rather chase sticks.
12) Give Them Tummy Rubs
Petting your dog’s belly is a sure-fire way to get them riled up and ready for playtime. Be sure to scratch them from head to tail, pressing firmly with your nails. They love being scratched on their ears and behind their necks, too! Though some dogs might be hesitant at first, once they realize how much they enjoy tummy rubs, they’ll come back for more in no time. Soon enough, you’ll have a happy pup that follows you around everywhere!
13) Never Yell at your dog
Dogs don’t understand a human’s tone of voice, so they won’t know that you’re scolding them out of love. Yelling will make your dog very confused, and they’ll eventually stop listening to you when you talk in a normal tone of voice. If your dog is doing something wrong, it can be challenging to hold back yelling.
Before reacting negatively, though, take a moment and figure out why your pup did what he did—it may be that he thinks what he’s doing is right or that he was having fun. Learn how to show your dog love and patience instead of yelling at him.
14) Exercise with them regularly.
Pets are social creatures, so it’s a good idea to get them involved in some form of activity that requires companionship. And while they aren’t people, dogs do experience loneliness, too—so it may seem like a no-brainer to consider getting a dog if you spend long days at work or travel often.
To instantly make your dog love you more than anything else in their lives, grab your tennis ball and get them out for a quick run around your block. Playtime can be a great way for pets to release stress and for you two to bond. If regular outings aren’t possible, consider hiring someone who can come by and play with him regularly during your absence.
15) Always be aware of your body language when in the presence of your dog
When you’re about to give your dog a treat, get him all excited by getting down on his level and holding it above his head. This will make him feel more dominant, and he will be less likely to move in for a bite. After giving him some treats, try again but with your handheld closer to his face so that he has to look up at you.
This is another way of showing dominance. Don’t be surprised if, after a few days or weeks of doing this, your dog begins licking you as a sign of affection! Be generous with praise: When training your dog, start by praising him as much as possible whenever he succeeds at something.
16) Keep them fed and hydrated
Dogs are more likely to be pleased with you if they’re well-fed and hydrated. Unlike humans, dogs can’t tell you if they’re hungry or thirsty, so you must pay attention. After every meal and when they wake up in the morning, offer them a fresh bowl of water—and don’t forget to change it out during hot weather! If your dog is very active, they may need another trip outside after a few hours. (And remember: making sure your dog has regular vet checkups is essential for their overall health.)
17) Show Them Affection
Dogs are some of the most affectionate animals on earth. They crave human contact, attention, and love. If you haven’t given your dog any attention today, they’ll let you know it. Show them affection by petting them, snuggling with them, or taking them for a walk. Take time out each day to give your dog as much love as they can handle—it’s good for both of you! Just be sure not to show your dog too much affection at once; it might overwhelm them or cause jealousy amongst other pets in your household.