Dogs are known for being loyal and devoted companions, who many feel are quite capable of feeling something akin to human "love" for their owners. You may not necessarily be able to "teach" your doggie to love you per se, but you can take steps to gain his trust and devotion, which should naturally develop into a strong emotional bond with the cutie. Some dogs with negative past experiences with humans may need a little more time, but when it comes to gaining a dog's trust, persistence, patience, and consistency pays.
One way in which you can bond with your fluff ball is by participating in a lot of interactive activities with him. If your dog links your existence with positive things that make him happy, then his love will likely be the outcome. Take extended outdoor walks around your local park with him regularly. Play a little flyball with him. In your living room at night, engage him in some lighthearted chasing games, or perhaps even a session of hide and seek involving a few yummy doggie treats. Play fetch with a ball toy. Show your dog -- every day -- that he is worth your time and effort by encouraging him to jog both his body and brain through interactive activities.
Physical touch can also be a beneficial way of building a loving connection to your pooch. Gently pat, stroke and rub your pet's back and head, whether casually as you check emails on your office computer or more meaningfully as you stare into his eyes before you leave home for work. If you have a little bit of time, go the extra mile and give him a comforting massage from the back of his ears to his head. Move your hands slowly and in a circular manner as you do so.
Grooming may also help lay the groundwork for a loving bond between you and your dog. Grooming can be a multitasking effort that not only keeps your pooch looking tidy and put together, but also relaxes him. If your dog feels relaxed, then you may feel that way, too. A simple doggie brush may just be a small thing that leads to a strong and affectionate connection for years to come.
A "rewards system" of sorts may be a helpful way to promote a loving rapport between your doggie and yourself. Call your dog's name, and when he approaches you, reward him for his effort by either presenting him with a fun toy, or perhaps even better, a tasty canine beef jerky treat. If your sweet dog connects your mere presence with something that makes him happy, the bond is already there. He may even love you already -- aww.
By Naomi Millburn
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.