Five Things Dogs Like and Love You to Do
by : Adrienne Farricelli

What things do dogs like and love you to do? There’s no denial over the fact that we like to love on our dogs, but when we do so, we often do it our way. Let’s unlock things dogs like you to do, but this time from a canine’s standpoint. And no, surprisingly, two things we commonly do didn’t top the list.  Read more…..

It comes natural for us humans to see things our way and we often unknowingly reflect our anthropomorphic views on Rover. We therefore assume that our dogs like to be hugged and kissed because that’s what we do in our culture to demonstrate affection, but we may have really never asked ourselves if our dogs enjoy these activities as much as we do. So let’s start off with clearing a common misconception.

Do Dogs Really Like Hugs and Kisses?

Do dogs really like hugs? If we look at pictures of humans hugging dogs, we often see dog owners happily embracing their dogs but what about the dog? It’s not usual to see the dog licking its lips and looking over all uncomfortable. Patrica McConnell, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist in the famous book “The Other End of the Leash” explains that hugging is an instinctive hard-wired behavior of primates. Dogs do not hug; actually, to the contrary, putting paws on another dog’s shoulders is considered very rude in dog social etiquette. On top of that, dogs do not like being restrained. Out of 50 pictures of hugged dogs, McConnell saw none of them looking happy.

And what about kissing? In the human world, kissing is our way to offer affection, but what about dogs? We never see dogs kissing each other in the real sense of the word. Putting our faces near an unfamiliar dog is also very risky business. Dogs who have been conditioned to being kissed may tolerate them; however, once again, we’re engaging in behaviors popular among humans and not so much in dogs.

It’s important though to make one clarification: while many dogs dislike hugs and kisses, there are always exceptions to the rules. It’s possible that some dogs have been conditioned to put up with our human displays, perhaps some even enjoy them, and at the very best, some may just tolerate them. Wondering if your dog enjoys hugs and kisses? Stay tuned for our next upcoming article on how to recognize stress signals denoting uneasiness in dogs. If your dog shows any of these signs when you kiss him or hug him, it’s time to focus on things dogs really likes you to do.

So What Things Do Dogs Love You to Do?

So if dogs aren’t that fond of hugs and kisses, what would they love us to do? In order to find out, we must put ourselves in our dog’s shoes. For once, let’s put away our anthropomorphic views and do what’s in the best interest of our dogs, shall we? Here is a rule of thumb: if your dog really likes what you do, he’ll likely ask for you to do it more and more, so pay attention to what your dog is trying to tell you. Keep in mind though that not all dogs are created equal, to each his own.

Yes, Grab That Leash!

You heard this coming, didn’t you? If your dog gets all happy and excited when you grab the leash and does the happy dance, most likely he can’t wait to go outside and enjoy a stroll with you. Most likely if he could talk he would be telling you something like this: “Oh, cool! What a great idea! I’m up for it, let’s get going!” This simple activity is free, and best of all, it also keeps you healthy and in shape.

Yes,  Gimme a Sniffing Adventure!

While you’re on your walk, make it a habit of allowing him at least one or two stops to engage in his favorite activity: sniffing! Most dogs love to sniff, and best of all, this activity can be tiring. In order to prevent your dog from constantly pulling to go sniff everywhere, find a compromise and allow him to stop in a few places after obeying a simple obedience command. For instance, you can ask him for a sit and then reward him by telling him “go sniff!” Granted, he’ll be super happy you have given him this much cherished opportunity.

Yes, You Got the Right Spot!

While kissing and hugging may not be on the top list of things your dog loves you to do, petting him the right way may rank high in his hierarchy of wishes. Your dog most likely loves it when you pet him if he gives you signs of wanting you to continue. Try this experiment: pet him and then abruptly stop. What does your dog do? If he nudges your hand, leans against you or paws at you, most likely it’s his way of telling you: “keep on doing what you were doing.” Remember that all dogs are different. Some dogs may love belly rubs, others may not. Several dogs don’t like pats on the head especially from strangers, while others may prefer scratches behind the ears.

Yes, Gimme Mental Stimulation!

We often think about providing our dogs with exercise, but what about mental stimulation? Dogs crave that too! Your dog will be happy if you find him ways to keep his mind busy. Instead of feeding him using the food bowl, stuff kibble in a Kong Wobbler or toss his kibble around the home for him to recover.

Yes, We Love Routines!

Last but not least, your dog will be very thankful if you incorporate consistency and routines is his day-to-day life. Moves, abrupt schedule disruptions and too many changes will stress him out. Let him relax with a predictable schedule and clear, consistent rules.

And of course, among things dogs like you to do, we must add that dogs love when you feed them, play with them and train them if you make these activities extra fun!