Three Ways You Can Be Your Dog’s Valentine

Humans and dogs share a special bond. It’s easy to see our dogs’ appreciation for us in their wagging tails, wiggling backsides, and relaxed faces. Just by existing in the world, you are probably your dogs hero. That said, there are some things we can do that will make our dogs appreciate us even more.

Be Respectful of Their Wishes

They cant tell us what they want in words, but our dogs are always talking to us. Read our post about learning to speak Dog-lish for more information about canine body language, and then put it into action! When youre petting your dog, notice what theyre communicating. Look for the spots that make them wiggle with joy, and also for the ones that cause them stress. Stick to physical affection that both you and your pup enjoy! When your dog is showing signs of fear, dont force them further into that situation. Respect that they have wants and needs, and do your best to accommodate them (while still providing structure and safety, of course!), and your dog will be forever grateful.

Teach Them Something New

Dogs love to learn! When the learning involves treats and fun, its even better. Pick a new trick, or a behavior that youve been meaning to work on, and commit yourself to working on it with your dog in a way thats fun for you both. The internet has plenty of ideas for fun tricks dogs can learn if your creativity isnt cutting it. Just make sure youre keeping training sessions fun and positive for you and your dog.

Be Clear and Consistent

As we settle into life with our dogs, its easy to let some of the rules we set up at the beginning slide a bit. This is understandable! And hey, Fido only jumps on some guests, not all of them, right? No big deal. But it is a big deal, or it can be. If circumstances change and Fido jumps on someone who really doesnt like it, or worse, someone he can hurt with his exuberance, youll be upset, and the urge to yell and punish may crop up. This isnt fair to your pup, who didnt realize that the no-jumping rule was still important. Consistency will make your dog feel safe, and will keep you sane!

Remember to focus on what you want your dog to do, rather than what you dont want. Communicate clearly using cues your dog already knows, and work on the ones they still need practice with. Your outstanding canine citizen will thank you for it.

Feeling the Love

For those who might roll their eyes at this Hallmark Holiday,” its nice to remember that Valentines Day can be for loved ones of every species. Even if our dogs’ devotion is unconditional, that doesn’t mean we can’t do more to strengthen the bond. Happy Valentines Day, everyone!

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