How To Truly Be Your Dog's Best Friend

  1. Let him sniff. Most of us would not be out every day rain or shine taking a walk. You are doing this for your dog’s sake anyway, and there is no way you could ever walk fast enough to give any dog but a Teacup Chihuahua aerobic exercise. His goal is not to get around the block in record time; it’s to sniff, to get a chance to look around and see and smell the world around him. Let him sniff.

  2. Get down on the floor with your dog on a regular basis. We are giants to dogs, even the largest of them. Unless you are very short and have an Irish Wolfhound, you look like a giant to your dog. Get down on her level and just be with her. Let her lean in to you or roll over for a belly rub. Play tug.

  3. Give them choices. If it is treat time, offer two different ones. Hold one in each hand and let him choose.

  4. Think about your life together from your dog’s point of view. We choose when our dogs eat, sleep, eliminate, play, go for a walk, and get to go out in the yard. Every animal needs some choices in their lives in order to be mentally healthy.

We are connected to our dogs in ways similar to our connections to other human beings. In all our human relationships, there must be give and take for it to be healthy. Our relationships with our dogs need the same care. If you find ways to meet your dog’s needs for sniffing, chewing, playing, and just plain connecting with you on their own terms, both of you will reap the benefits.

Joanne OmetzComment