Before we go into how to get your dog to like you, allow us to quickly clear your mind of guilt (if there is any somewhere) as regards asking this kind of question.
Contrary to what you might have seen in movies, bonding with a dog you just adopted might not happen instantly.
In some cases it will. But in some other cases, time and effort will determine what the relationship will be.
So, it is great that you’re asking this question. And we are sure that you and your dog will be better off for it.
Give Them Space
Now, bear in mind that whatever practices you put in place when you first bring your dog home will set the tone for your living together.
Giving your dog his own space helps him integrate smoothly into your family.
This way, he knows that, whatever happens, there is a space that is exclusively his that he can go to to recharge.
That said, be sure that the space you are creating is in a spot where he can still be a part of the family; that is, they can see and participate in the goings-on around them.
Be With Them
Yes. While it is important to give your dog his own space, it is even more important to spend time with him.
It really doesn’t matter what you have adopted your dog for. If you want to have any sort of positive relationship with your dog, you both have to know each other and that will not happen if you do not spend time with him.
And sometimes, it could just be two of you doing nothing.
Whatever the activity (or lack of activity) you choose, just be sure that you and your dog have bonding time.
Touch is also an important tool for communicating your feelings to your dog. Cuddles, belly rubs and even massages are some ways you could show your dog you love him.
In line with that, if there are other family members, they also should spend time with your dog and develop a bond.
Never be too busy for your pooch. If you are always out, make sure you devote some quality time to your dog whenever you are around. It just makes sense that a dog will not like someone they do not see.
Care For Them
In addition to being around and spending quality time, you’ll have to remember that your pup is not just your friend but your responsibility. So, it is your duty to provide their needs.
If you are yet to adopt your dog, make sure to find out all you can about a dog’s needs. And if you already have, it isn’t too late to find out.
You’ll have to be informed about what a dog should and should not eat. Whether or not their are specifics as regards your dog’s breed.
You could turn feeding time into another opportunity to bond. Sometimes, you could allow them to eat from your palm and at other times, you could just be around as they eat.
Food isn’t the only thing you’ll be providing, though. They’ll need medical attention too.
So, ask around in the dog community and get in contact with a good vet.
Your pup will need to get vaccines; know which ones and when they are supposed to get them. They’ll also need to go for regular vet visits.
Find out what to expect at every life stage of your dog so that you can prepare ahead. And of course, do get them toys to play with.
Grooming is another way to care for your dog. Baths, teeth washing, nail clipping and coat grooming are things that your dog might not like but could be turned into another opportunity to bond.
However, if you cannot do those by yourself, do not feel pressured; there is professional help for any of the groomings we mentioned. Just make sure that they get done.
Allow Them Socialize
Now, while your dog might have begun to like you and like having you around, do not ever forget that he is still a dog. So, allow him opportunities to associate with his kind.
If you have other dogs in your home, that is wonderful. However, if you do not, you could take him to the park where he is sure to meet other dogs. Or, you could even organize a play date with a friend’s dog.
That said, when toying with the idea of introducing your dog to other dogs, do make sure (as much as possible) that those dogs are clean.
And by that we mean that they do not have any transferable ailment or bug so that your pup does not come down with something.
There are a lot of things your dog will need to learn and some of them you’ll need to do the teaching yourself. He’ll need to learn to obey commands, respect boundaries and be potty trained.
However, instead of using punishments, consider using positive reinforcements.
That is, if your dog does something that he should, shower him with praises, give him belly rubs or his favorite treat. But if he doesn’t get something right, instead of raising your voice or beating him, you could just continue to encourage him to do the right things.
Now, we are not saying that there is no room to be firm. When the situation calls for it, you have to be. In fact, one of the things your dog needs to learn is to understand the word ‘NO’.
However, shouting or hitting is not being firm. You’ll just end up doing either of two things; making your dog extremely frightened or teaching them that violence solves everything.
Now, as you’ve seen from all we have written, getting your dog to like you isn’t rocket science at all. Just do what you ought to do as a parent and your dog will love you and be loyal to you even to the death.
That said, be patient. Earning someone’s affection doesn’t always happen overnight, especially if said one has been done dirty in the past. So, it might take time but it will definitely happen.