You may have heard of IQ and EQ, but have you ever heard of a DQ - Doggy Quotient? If you haven't read on.
As fellow animal lovers, we know you have a special place in your heart for dogs. Call them a person's best friend, furry family member or fur kid, we humans often shower our dogs with the same (if not more) level of affection than we extend to our own human kith & kin. While it's great that many amoungst us consider dogs as family and want to demonstrate our affection, do we really know the best way to show them our love?
Here's the ultimate guide on how to show your dog some love - the Loyal.D DQ list:
1. HELLO TO EAR RUBS, BYE BYE TO HUGS
Human babies love hugs and kisses, perhaps so does your boy friend. Your fur friend, rrrrrrr, not all so much. As dog trainers and animal behaviorists reinforce, most dogs do not like hugs. They may indulge you and bear it, but it's equivalent of your stinky grand uncle coming and sitting on your head ... or something equally unwelcome. If your dog turns its head away, yawns or tries to squirm out of your warm and fuzzy hug, get the message and stop.
This holds true specially when parents are teaching their kids on how to interact with household pets - dogs, cats and other domesticated animals are not stuffed toys so children should be taught the right way to interact and show affection. Teach your child on how to read a dog's body language and you will equip them to grow up as sensitive individuals with a high DQ!
Your dog will welcome a nice bum rub, scratch behind the ears or lovely tummy rub much more than that human hug and will love you even more for understanding that!
2. EXERCISE & PLAY YOUR WAY INTO THEIR HEARTS
Most dogs spend a lot of time indoors waiting for us so they can get out to play. What can be better to spend time together than heading outdoors for a long walk with you. Exercise and play time with your fur friend is something your dog longs and loves for and both your hearts and health will thank you for it!
3. DROOL WORTHY, HEALTHY TREATS PLEASE
Have you ever met a dog that did not understand 'sit' and 'beg' with puppy eyes, especially when you have treats in your hand? Dogs love a good treat like any of us but for a dog to work for the treat is the ultimate challenge and test for their nose. Use those treats as training tools - good for practicing recall when off leash, to play Hide n' Seek (and engage a pup or older dog) or for understanding your communication. Remember though 'some dogs rarely show self control when highly food motivated, so it is your responsibility to maintain a healthy balance and select treats that are all natural, provide health benefits and stay away from the nasties.
4. BEST LISTENING EARS IN TOWN
You heard it right - your dog understands your tone of voice and in all likelihood, understands basic words so speak to them - they anyway have the best listening ears going around! Use your voice in the right way and it's a sound they will truly love and respond to. Listening with your heart is something we could all do more of.
5. POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT AND A DOG HARNESS
Living in urban cities, we have to follow society rules and use a leash when stepping out with our canine companions. Pulling around the neck always adds stress as the pressure is around a sensitive part of the dog's body - which is why we at Loyal.D are big believers of using a harness. A harness is excellent for training young pups or even walking older dogs as the pressure to follow you moves away from the stress point around the neck to the back. A harness, combined with positive reinforcement training tools is the kindest way to make your dog understand what they need to 'fit in' within your community with their comfort and safety in mind.
6. LEAN IN
Not exactly the way Sheryl Sandberg meant in her book, but letting your dog come and lean by you is a way of accepting and reciprocating affection between you and your dog. Enjoy their company the way they like to also enjoy yours!