Each and every day dog owners everywhere lavish love onto their pets. They talk to their dogs and tell their dogs how much they love them. They pet, cuddle, and scratch their pups behind the ears to show affection. Some people even sleep with their dogs in order to keep them close by. Dogs understand that this is how humans show their love and respond with uninhibited joy.
Dogs are experts at reading body language, picking up on social cues, and interpreting moods. They are capable of returning love and providing comfort when it’s needed. They make excellent companions and seem happiest when they are with their humans.
Despite all the warm fuzzies that dogs and humans share, dogs don’t speak English and can’t understand the complexities of our verbal language. Yet despite the language barrier, dogs clearly understand that they are loved. This mutual loving relationship is also beneficial to the mental health of humans.
Phil Tedeschi,Clinical Professor and Executive Director of the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver in Colorado, is an expert on the human and dog relationship. According to him, there are ways we can we can tell our dogs we love them in a language that they understand.
In his 20 plus years at the Institute, Tedeschi learned interesting things about the way canines communicate with people and each other. "We study the human-animal interaction in almost every capacity all over the world," said Tedeschi. "I realized early on in my career I was interested in how people and animals interacted with one another."
You’ll most likely already recognize that you and your dog share a dog – human love language. However, if you want to know if you’re giving it your best, according to Tedeschi, the five best ways to show love to your dog are:
1. Play with your dog uninterrupted.
Dogs play with each other to express happiness and affection. You can show your dog the same by engaging in interactive play time and focusing only on the dog.
2. Pet and pat your dog frequently
The moment dogs enter the world; they are caressed and cared for by their mothers. They are also in physical contact with their siblings until they are weaned and sent to their new homes. From puppy-hood to maturity, they enjoy physical contact and seek out people to give it to.
3. Use body language
Dogs express themselves using their body language. They use their tails, body postures, expressions, eyes, and ears to communicate with other dogs and humans. By gazing affectionately at your dog, smiling, and using hand gestures, your dog can read your body language and understand that you’re sending loving vibes.
4. Talk to your dog.
Dogs also communicate using verbalizations. Go ahead and talk to your dog in a loving tone and they will understand you are showing affection just as a firm tone shows dislike.
5. Respect your dog and their dislikes
All dogs have things they like and dislike and some training and boundaries are necessary in order for them to be great family members, for example not allowing resource guarding. But there are some things that bother certain dogs that they should not have to endure. Watch your dog’s signals and avoid activities that cause them anxiety. Some examples include not forcing your dog to play dress up, endure loud crowds, play with unruly children, or force them to do things that cause fear.
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