By Joan Orr and Teresa Lewin
Valentine’s Day is coming up and we all know that dogs need love too. Not just on one day, but every day!
Dogs love us unconditionally, but they don’t always love the things we do to them. Most dogs don’t like hugs and kisses, especially not from kids and especially not from kids they don’t know. To show your dog that you love him, learn to give him the things that he really does like and teach your kids to do the same.
Here are some suggestions for Valentine’s Day about how to love your dog in a way that the dog will appreciate.
Pet Your Dog on His Terms
- Invite your dog to come to you for attention. If your dog turns away or moves away, respect his wishes and leave him alone. Many dogs like to be near you, but not necessarily to be touched.
- Scratch your dog on the side of the neck or on his chest.
- Avoid hugs and kisses. People enjoy this, but most dogs don’t like hugs and kisses. They might tolerate it, but few actually enjoy it.
- Invite your dog to sit with you while your read or watch TV. Let him lean on you or put his head on your lap on his terms.
- Some dogs enjoy a scratch behind the ears. Most dogs don’t enjoy hands coming down on the top of their heads.
- Show your kids how to pet your dog for a few seconds and then stop. If he tries to get them continue then you will know he likes it. If he moves away or doesn’t ask for more, you’ll know he’s done.