Love is a four-legged word, and we all know that life is a little easier with a furry friend by your side. People often think our dogs can’t communicate with us, but actually they speak to us with what they do – their body language and behaviours. If we can learn to recognise these behaviours, we can improve our relationship and build a stronger bond that lets them live the healthy, happy lives they deserve.
Bella & Duke’s Natural Canine Behaviourist, Caroline Spencer Dip.AdvCanBhv, shares her top tips for understanding your dog’s behaviour and how you can show them some love.
The signs your dog loves you come from their whole body. Dogs watch us, they look deep into our eyes and study our facial expressions. Our own dogs will look into our eyes with a soft gaze of pure adoration. If you’re looking at displays of affection from your dog, you are looking for a super-soft, gentle blinking gaze and relaxed body.
Dogs snuggle up to each other like any other family animal for warmth, comfort, and security. A cuddle shows they would rather be snuggled with you than anywhere else. A true trusting love cuddle is one where your dog sleeps soundly and remains super relaxed, whatever goes on around them. They trust you as much as love you, meaning They can deal with the comings, goings and noises of daily life.
Body language should always be taken as a whole, as opposed to isolated elements. If your dog displays a relaxed body with a lovely swish of their tail when in your company, it’s a sign that they are happy and relaxed.
Many studies have been done to explain and understand yawning in dogs and humans. Often, when we yawn, others yawn around us, and so do our dogs. This can mean they want to show their connection and empathy towards us.
Coming home from a day of work to be greeted by a happy dog can easily cure a stressful day. When you are greeted by a playful pooch it’s for a reason, they’re genuinely happy to see you and this can be a great opportunity to initiate play time, make use of their excitable energy and build a stronger bond with one another. Be sure to make the most of these times, play some games or step out for some fresh air, stretch the legs and play a game of fetch.
As well as understanding your furry friend and the ways they show us love, Caroline also shares her five key ways that you can show your love to your four legged friend.
Caroline Spencer, Natural Canine Behaviourist at Bella & Duke, added: “Living together and forming a relationship with your dog takes time. Highs and lows through puppyhood, adolescence to adulthood are natural as they learn how to fit in, and we learn what they mean by what they do. There is no rush to make the grade, any grade. Just do right by them the best you can, and enjoy one another’s company naturally.”
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