Love is one of the greatest gifts we can share with our dogs. Dogs are affectionate animals. Touch means a lot to them, both in their natural world and when they live with us. However, affection that hasn't been earned and is shared at the wrong time can be detrimental to a dog.
Here are a few of my thoughts on sharing affection.
Give affection - but at the right time!
Remember anytime you give affection, you reinforce the behavior preceding it. Reward stability. Share your love when your dog is in a calm-submissive state.
Share affection after a dog has...
exercised and eaten, changed an unwanted behavior into a behavior you asked for, responded to a rule or command, or entered a calm-submissive state.
Don't share affection when your dog is...
fearful, anxious, possessive, dominant, aggressive, whining, begging, barking, or breaking a household rule.
Don't forget exercise and discipline.
Prove your love by giving your dog what he or she needs: long walks; rules, boundaries, and limitations
Give your dogs as much love as you have!
Give as much love as your heart can handle and then some! But please give it at the right time.
Love cuddling with your dog? Tell us all about it in the comments.