Veterinarian and owner of Boyd’s Pet Resorts, Dr. John Boyd, has released a spin on the bestselling “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” to help people live their best “love” lives with their other best friend. Following is a glimpse of the tips and topics discussed in “Your Dog’s Love Language”:
Words of Affirmation: Your pooch perks up when you say, “Good girl!” While dogs may not actually understand the words you’re saying, s/he understands your tone. Words of affirmation (I love you. You’re so smart. Such a good dog!) can strongly effect your dog. Likewise, harsh words and tones can have a profound negative impact. Use your words for good, not harm.
Acts of Service: Bathing your dog, cleaning his kennel and feeding are acts of service. These acts confirm you are the alpha (pack leader/main caretaker), which puts your dog at ease because s/he trusts your companionship and understands s/he doesn’t have to assume that role.
Receiving Gifts: Buying toys or treats shows affection. Some dogs love this more than others. For best results, offer goodies when you’ve got his undivided attention and he’s not misbehaving.
Quality Time: Spending time with your dog shows love in a way nothing else does. When you’re gone, your pup CAN’T WAIT for you to get home! Laptime counts as QT, but better still are long walks, romps at the park with a ball or Frisbee, or one-on-one playtime at home. The latter doesn’t have to last long, but it’s best if you can tune out the rest of the world and simply be attentive and present with your dog for however long you have.
Physical Touch: Most dogs love a belly rub, a scratch behind the ears, a simple loving touch. Keep in mind though, some dogs can become anxious or defensive if approached too quickly, while others may actually become uncomfortable and stressed if you gaze directly into their eyes. Pay attention to body language, and learn the cues so your message of love can be received loud and clear!
How Dogs Express Affection to You
Dogs love their people and love to show it. Five ways your dog might speak to you in his or her love language:
1. Tail wagging.
2. Soft whining, whimpering or barking – Their version of words of affirmation!
3. Licking – Some people love this, others don’t. Licking is a way of grooming and is an instinctive act of service for dogs.
4. Bringing you things.
5. Sticking close – Simply being there, enjoying your company. Dogs have this one mastered. Yep, man’s best friend!
Learn more about “Your Dog’s Love Languages,” about the author, and Boyd’s Pet Resorts at drboyds.com.