The Gift of Furry Friends

While you can make fast friends with some dogs, others might take longer to warm up to people. Here are some tips on earning a pup’s trust, favor, and affection. Keep in mind some dogs are skittish, unsocialized, or even aggressive. At the center of this process is developing mutual respect between pups and people. Suppose you try to befriend a dog that does not belong to you; always talk to the owner before any interaction. If the owner is okay with you lavishing attention on their canine companion, it’s essential to do this the right way, and here is how.

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Signs a Dog Does Not Like You

It is a sad truth that not everyone in this world will like each other. The same goes for dogs. Even if you love dogs, they might not return the sentiment. While dogs are very social animals that seek attention, they are selective in who they crave that attention. Like people, pups are individuals with unique characteristics. And there could be something about a person a dog does not care for. 

Signs a dog dislikes you include not wagging their tail, not accepting treats from you, carefully watching your movements, and ignoring commands. They show signs of defense or aggression when you approach, they do not like you touching them, they arch their backs around you, and the classic fur stands on end. Observe a dog’s body language because it can speak volumes. The good news is that it is possible to get them to warm up to you.

Find out which dog breeds are easier to win over than others.

Building Trust 

A Young Woman Sitting on a Couch Petting her Dog

The first step in earning a dog’s favor is earning its trust. While this is already a challenging task, it is made even more difficult due to the language barrier. You are attempting to make a friend through nonverbal communication and two entirely different thought processes. This step takes persistence and patience but will pay off in the end. Remember, it is a balancing act of affection and letting the pup adjust on their terms.

To build trust, you must work with a dog. First and foremost, never force a dog to warm up to you, as this will result in the polar opposite. Not only will the dog trust you less, but this could also result in some sort of nip or bite. In the event of undesirable behavior, show the dog positive reinforcement. This does not mean giving treats to get them to repeat the behavior but responding with loving words rather than a harsh scolding. 

Avoid frightening or threatening behavior like sudden movements or outbursts as this will cause a dog more anxiety. Associate your presence with items the dog likes, such as toys or treats and provide quality Interaction with plenty of walks and play. Find out how the dog prefers to be petted and scratched or if it wants to be touched. Do not do things dogs are known to dislike, such as blowing in their face. A dog’s confidence in its surroundings can be strengthened with rules and routines. These are practical steps in building trust and laying the foundation for creating a bond.

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Developing a Bond

If a dog no longer displays signs of dislike and you feel like you have earned its trust, it’s time to start creating a bond. This stage also takes time and attention but earning a dog’s love, loyalty, and companionship is one of the most worthwhile experiences in the world. There is an organization entirely devoted to this activity! Here are some fun and effective ways to create a strong bond with your furbaby.

Need some help soothing an anxious dog? Here are some helpful hints.

Talk to Them

A recent study has suggested that dogs process language much like people do. It also indicated that dogs are happiest when the tone of voice aligns with the words spoken. You can strengthen your bond with your dog in a high-pitched, rhythmic “baby talk” tone. The more you say, the better. And since dogs enjoy hearing a person’s voice, read to them. You can skip the baby tone but keep an animated expression on your face to engage your pup. Who knows, your dog might enjoy storytime as much as a child!

Show Devotion

Showing your dog devotion strengthens your “pack” and shows it is a priority in your life. Most dogs love some sort of activity, so give them this with walks and playtime. Take what you did during the trust phase to the next level to communicate how much you value spending time with your pup. They will take notice of this, which further strengthens your bond. Another way to show affection is with touch. Pet or scratch your pooch, rub their ears, lean against them, and groom them as this physical contact speaks deeply to a dog.

Down Time

A Dog Sleeping on a Sofa

Not all bonding techniques involve being active. One of the most effective ways to bond with your canine is by being lazy! Pack animals are known to be close to each other for safety and companionship. You can recreate this by cuddling up with your dog to relax or even take a nap! Snuggle time can also be a great stress buster for you and your pup. Chances are, your dog will appreciate this downtime as much as they do eating, walking, and playing.

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The Power of Time

It takes longer to earn the love of some dogs than others. That is if you can achieve the feat. Remember, never force a dog to like you but put forth the effort to win its affection. Respect the pup’s space, and don’t get too close too fast. Give the process the time it needs and be genuine. Be present, show the dog you are there, but do not be aggressive. And perhaps the most straightforward tactic of all is just to smile. Dogs interpret a person’s emotions through facial expressions, so even if you are having a lousy day, don’t let it show as a dog might feel the negativity is being directed at them. The good news is, even if someone is having the worst of days, a dog can usually prompt the smile that could begin a lifelong friendship.