Training partner, cuddle companion and best friend: there are many reasons why we love our dogs. But what is the best way to show it? For Valentine's Day, we will show you eight ways to express your love.
We like to kiss and hug a loved one. Sometimes chocolates also help to convey the message of love. However, you should not simply transfer these things to your dog. Some dogs feel constricted and trapped when you hug them. It is best to approach slowly and observe your dog's signals.
In contrast, dogs naturally like treats. However, you should use them mainly as motivation and in dog training. Securing your dog's love with treats alone is unhealthy in the long run - and fleeting: after all, within seconds anyone can steal your dog's loyalty by spoiling him with treats.
It's better to show your dog's love with these tips:
- Loving looks
Dogs communicate a lot through eye contact. When they look into your eyes for a long time, it's a way of saying "I love you". Conversely, you also trigger this feeling in dogs when you look lovingly into their eyes for a long time. This has even been scientifically proven.
According to the magazine "The Dog People", researchers have found that friendly looks between humans and dogs release the "love hormone" oxytocin in both. But be careful: it makes a difference whether you look your dog lovingly or angrily in the eye.
- Understanding your dog
Not sure if your affection is getting through to your dog? Then just watch his body language. Does he wag his tail, make eye contact or raise an eyebrow? Then your dog is showing you his love. Conversely, a tucked tail, wide eyes and constant licking of the lips are signs that your dog is uncomfortable.
- Use your dog voice
Do you feel strange talking to your dog? There's no reason for that: studies have shown that dogs understand the language of humans better than you think. They also found out that dogs like the high-pitched voice that many automatically fall into. The four-legged friends are particularly happy when they hear typical "dog words" like "treat", "walk" or "fine". The human voice has such a calming effect on dogs that some shelters read to stressed, shy, anxious or overexcited dogs to calm them down.
- Friendly facial expressions
Our facial expressions tell pretty quickly how we are feeling - even to dogs. Scientific studies have shown this. By greeting your dog with a friendly, relaxed expression on your face, you show him that you're not angry with him.
The herding and hunting instincts are still dormant in dogs. That's why dogs love to play and move around. Also typical for a pack: relaxing together after work. A nap together on the sofa or in the garden in summer strengthens the bond between you and your dog. Dogs love physical closeness and therefore like to cuddle up to their owners.
- Shoulder to lean on
Another sign of the need for closeness: Your dog leans against you. You can gently imitate this posture and show your dog that you like him.
- Gentle touches
Just like affectionate looks, touch releases oxytocin - in both humans and animals. A light massage, strokes and gentle brush strokes are therefore a real delight for your dog. Your dog loves gentle touches, especially on the ears, through which numerous nerves run.
- Go for a walk
Dogs love routine, so a daily walk coupled with a few training sessions is the perfect way to show your dog your love. The shared experiences build trust and a sense of togetherness - just like in a real pack.