In an ideal world, every dog that enters a new family would love everyone. A relationship with a dog takes a little patience, as with any other type of relationship.
A dog and the new owner or family members not hitting things off happens more often than people realize. Knowing what tips are the most helpful for getting a dog to like you will put you on the right track, even if there are no guarantees of success.
The most important things that you will need to know, including how to get a dog to love you, get a dog to trust you, and get a dog to respect you, will help your relationship with a new dog start right.
Understanding a dog’s unique needs will help you build a bond and what techniques will help get a dog to love you.
1. Give the bonding process time
Common concerns dog owners raise include not having bonded with a new puppy or a new dog that is standoffish after a week. Although some dogs and their owners have instant bonds, time and effort are often necessary, especially with dogs with abusive backgrounds.
Are there ways to tell if your dog respects you? A relaxed demeanor and happiness are signs of a dog’s respect. If a dog walks at your side or behind you and waits for food, you can be sure that the dog is happy around you. Tolerating checking for injuries, and looking to you as a leader are also signs of a happy dog.
2. Respect the dog’s space
Some dogs have different attention requirements than others. Smaller breeds like a lot of attention and petting, while giant breeds sometimes have more reserved personalities. Dogs with a history of abuse or neglect may be slowly warming up, so you won’t want to push the dog’s limits.
The critical thing to remember with a scared dog is allowing choice. If the dog can decide whether to get dog treats or not by approaching you, you will help build confidence more quickly instead of your approaching them.
3. Stay calm at all times
Many owners inadvertently encourage hyper behavior in their dogs; this will not get your dog to love you more. The only message that you send by encouraging such dog behavior is that acting up is okay. Staying calm and refraining from giving the dog attention until it calms down, then rewarding with treats, is a better solution.
4. Give the dog a safe space
Keeping the crate in the corner of a room away from most activities helps the dog decompress. Children or visitors should understand that the dog wants to be left alone in these circumstances.
5. Be consistent in your interactions
Sometimes dogs get along better with some family members than others, and there is a logical explanation. One of the things that set family members that dogs like the most apart is consistency.
Dogs thrive on knowing their place within a family structure. These animals are eager to please when they understand peoples’ expectations. You and other household members must be consistent in their treatment, including holding the dog to “house rules.”
6. Deal with your dog on their level
Dogs may see people as threats because of a difference in size, so they may feel more comfortable if we get down to their level. Such techniques are an important part of positive reinforcement dog training methods.
Approaching abused dogs from the side without eye contact is an excellent way to help gain trust. Watch to see if your furry friend shows signs of interest before patting the sides, which is a better alternative to patting a shy dog on top of the head.
7. Understand the dog’s body language
Understanding cues that the dog sends when stressed or nervous will help prevent a lot of difficulties. A dog will have more reason to trust you if you show yourself as a protector in a time of need.
Everything from fear over a bigger dog getting too inquisitive to children being annoying are situations where you may need to see how your dog reacts. Learning what dog behavior is a precursor to acting out will prevent a lot of problems.
8. Learn from your dog’s body language
Many of us automatically assume that a dog who won’t come or refuses a leash is being stubborn. Use canine body language to find out why it won’t listen. When you are more in tune with your dog, it will relate to you more easily.
9. Give out the dog’s food yourself
Leaving your dog’s food out all day, though convenient, does little to help build the bond with your dog. Allowing the dog to associate you with their food will give the dog more reason to respect you.
Hand-feeding the dog occasionally is an excellent trust-builder. Teaching Fido the coolest dog tricks rewarded with food or using interactive games that dispense food can also help with your dog’s trust. Giving the best dog food greatly helps your dog’s overall condition too.
10. Give out treats in responsible ways
If given as a form of positive reinforcement dog training, healthy treats can help a dog develop a stronger bond with you. Making the dog follow a command before receiving the delicacy is one of the best ways to maximize impact.
11. Take part in the dog’s training
Dogs that know that there are things they can and cannot do will have more respect for the people in their lives. When dogs are allowed to do what they want with no consequences, they will not understand their place in the family.
Treats, favorite toys, and praise are all ideal for teaching a dog what you expect. Dogs will associate anyone who rewards them with those good things as givers, which helps to strengthen the bond.
12. Give the dog jobs or tasks to do
Making their families satisfied makes a dog happy. When you give a dog some daily task, it will be glad to complete it because this makes you happy.
13. Go for regular walks
All breeds require regular exercise and activity, which makes walks ideal ways to accomplish this goal. Even though many take their dogs on walks as a way to “go potty,” dogs get more from walks when the trip involves more than a bathroom break.
Letting the dog sniff out interesting scents or splash through a few puddles will make the walk a lot more enjoyable. Enjoyable walks provide another good thing that the dog will associate with you from then on.
14. Let the dog sleep in your bedroom
Although there are reasons for and against allowing a dog on the owner’s bed, it is natural for dogs to want to sleep near their owners and families. One of the things that sleeping close to an owner does for a dog is to increase its sense of security.
Allowing a dog to share your bedroom also offers benefits for you. A dog’s presence can help relieve stress and depression that contribute to insomnia . A dog room would be perfect if you don’t want to share your personal space.
15. Allow the dog to go on trips with you
An increasing number of hotels and other vacation accommodations allow dogs, so your pet doesn’t have to stay at home when you travel. International travel with dogs is more accessible now because of Pet Passports.
16. Enjoy fun activities together
Many restaurants with outdoor seating, pubs, and other locations are dog-friendly. If you plan to go to the right places, you may be able to take advantage of get-togethers for dog lovers.
Taking your dog to outdoor locations like parks or beaches provides your dog with a lot of fun. Interacting with new people is also a great way to socialize a dog.
17. Take charge of your dog’s health
Even though the vet is likely not your dog’s favorite person to visit, regular visits are essential to your dog’s good health. You are your dog’s best defender against disease.
Healthy dogs are happier overall. When your dog stays in good health, every activity is more enjoyable.
18. Keep your dog’s temperature level comfortable
Dogs are sensitive to temperature extremes on both sides. If your dog has a short, thin coat, it might be more likely to do poorly in cold weather, and if it has a heavy, thick coat, hot weather might be more of a problem.
Keeping your dog indoors during extreme temperatures can help keep your dog more comfortable. Products for extra warming or cooling are also helpful.
19. Ensure that your dog is free of fleas
Besides itching and the potential for infected skin from flea bites, dogs may also be more prone to allergies, tapeworms, and anemia because of flea bites. Use the best flea and tick treatment for dogs as needed. When your dog is pest-free, it is easier for your pet to be involved with everything.
20. Take part in grooming early on
DIY dog grooming is an excellent way for dogs to develop better bonds with their people. Providing treats as a reward for good behavior during grooming helps further strengthen the bond.
Grooming keeps a dog healthy. Well-groomed dogs are more comfortable overall, and daily grooming gives you a chance to check your dog for issues requiring attention. Canines in the wild groom each other as a sign of respect, making grooming positive for dogs.
21. Give some belly rubs
When dogs allow belly rubs, this is a sign of respect and trust. The belly is one of a dog’s most vulnerable areas, so showing the belly means that the dog knows you don’t intend to harm it. However, watch your dog’s body language for signs that they may not enjoy this activity.
22. Spend some time playing
Most dogs enjoy playtime, and getting enough opportunities to play helps solve a lot of behavior problems. Hide and seek, fetching balls or frisbees, or playing tug games are all exciting choices to consider.
Playing with a dog releases endorphins that contribute to the pet’s happiness. A dog that has been slowly warming up to you might respond better if you play with it. Provide the best dog toys for maximum fun.
23. Find out where the dog likes being petted the most
All dogs have spots where they enjoy extra pats or scratches, such as at the base of the tailor behind the ears. If a dog has typically been nervous, allowing you to pat or stroke it shows trust.
24. Avoid harsh punishments
Hitting or physically punishing a dog destroys any trust that exists . Also, raising your voice can frighten a dog and make it feel less secure.
However, even if you avoid harsh punishments, your dog needs discipline when it misbehaves. Positive reinforcement techniques are the best for encouraging your dog to behave.
25. Let your dog do what it loves most
Each breed came about for a different purpose, and activities related to that purpose provide the best stimulation. For example, allowing terriers to dig or hounds to track can help keep dogs happy.
26. Comfort your dog when frightened
If done correctly, comforting your dog when scared will not encourage bad behavior. Reassuring your dog that it’s safe and will help.
27. Be there for your dog
Because dogs are social, they don’t do well if left alone for long periods. Making sure someone in the family can be with your dog much of the time when you are out will help the dog.
How do you get a dog to like you?
You get a dog to like you through activities that help you earn the dog’s trust and respect.
How do you bond with a dog?
Bonding with a dog occurs when you earn trust and respect through activities such as grooming, play, and otherwise spending time with your pet.
Why does my dog not like me?
Dogs that do not like you may require some more adjustment time or have a history of abuse that may need to help them work through.