Showing affection to your dogs

This may sound like a silly topic of conversation, but dogs generally don’t like to be shown affection in the way that humans do. Most dogs don’t like to be hugged and kissed; they feel anxious and unable to run away.

Hugs and kisses are a major cause of facial bites, especially in children, since they show affection to dogs in the same way that they are taught to show affection to each other. Dogs do not naturally understand this, or even enjoy it.  Hugs and face-to-face contact can be very threatening to a dog.

Firstly I think it’s key to know your dog. If it’s not your dog, it’s not a good idea to approach them until you have had the all-clear from the owner. Parents, teach this from a young age.

Here are a few danger signs to look for, most of these indicate uneasiness in the dog:

·         Showing a half moon of white in his eye

·         Licking lips or yawning

·         Turning or walking away

·         Hiding behind a person or object

·         Ears back & rapid panting

·         Tail low or between the legs

Signs of a happy dog:

·         A happy dog pants and wags his tail loosely, he may wag all over

·         Relaxed expression

·         Bow position (kind of bum-in-the-air) tail wagging

·         Tail thumping on the floor

·         Lying with one paw tucked under

Showing affection without causing stress:

Touch Your Dog

  • 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.
  • Invite your dog to sit with you while you’re 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.
  • Pet your dog and then stop. If he tries to get you continue then you will know he likes it.

Reward Your Dog

  • Look for things your dog does right and give him a treat or praise, petting or play. Never hit or yell at your dog.
  • Give your dog treats , spoil them with a “pet box” subscribe now www.mypetbox.co.za
  • I was at a dog show a little while ago, the facilitator made a very valid point, she said, you may think your dog does tricks because she loves you, but in reality she does tricks because you give her treats! 
  • Most dogs love toys, give them something durable for while they lie with you.