A friend of mine once asked me, “Are there any sure-fire ways to get a dog to like you?”
He thought that his friend’s dog didn’t like him and was desperate for some advice.
If you’re in the same boat, I have six amazing tips for befriending any dog.
Just keep on reading.
What is the sure-fire way to be liked by any dog?
All dogs are different, so there isn’t a single sure-fire way to get a dog to like you. However, if you mix and match these 5 tips, you’ll quickly be on your way to making friends!
Dog people usually melt when they see a fluffy pooch on the street, and they can’t resist interacting with it.
They have good intentions, but they end up stressing or frightening the poor animal. Why?
Unfortunately, not all dogs are as friendly and trusting as you expect. So, in your enthusiasm to introduce yourself to your new friend, you create a terrible first impression.
From there on, it’s much harder to get a dog to like you. To avoid these mistakes, here are the five secrets you have to know to get any dog to like you.
#1 Respect the dog’s wishes
The first rule when it comes to getting dogs to like you is “Don’t make assumptions.” Just because a dog looks friendly, it’s not a guarantee that Toby wants your attention.
Some dogs are shy. Others have been through traumatic experiences and need special care. In either case, your enthusiasm is frightening because the dog doesn’t know that you mean well.
Moreover, something in you might remind the pooch of a negative encounter with other people – something in your scent or the way you look.
Keep your distance no matter how much you want to approach the dog and pet him. Wait for the dog to come to you and initiate contact.
#2 Learn the body language of dogs
Dogs don’t communicate with words, but with their bodies. So, if you want a dog to like you, you must understand this body language.
For example, a dog that yawns or licks his lips shows nervousness. Other signs of discomfort include:
- Head turned away from you
- A furrowed brow
- Looking at someone with the whites of the eyes
- Tense body
- The tail is towards the ground or between the legs
The wise thing would be to back off and leave the dog alone.
On the other hand, a wagging tail in combination with a relaxed body and wigging bottom usually shows that a dog is open to interaction and is curious to learn more about you.
Other positive body signs are:
- Relaxed tongue, lolling to one side
- Blinking eyes
- Relaxed face
- Turning over on the belly
- A play bow
In addition to observing the body cues, resist the temptation to pick up small dogs.
Think about the experience from your dog’s point of view. It’s scary to be held by strangers when you weight as much as a feather.
Need more help understanding dogs’ body language? Check out this video:
#3 Talk in a happy voice & watch your body language
Dogs don’t understand our language, but studies have proven that dogs react to the speaker’s tone of voice.
That’s why your pet might look guilty to you when you’re scolding him for his latest mischief.
So, if you want a dog to like you, watch your tone. It doesn’t matter what you’re saying as much as the way you’re saying it.
As well as talking in the right voice, you have to watch your body language. In your attempts to befriend the dog, you might scare him with the way you walk and act.
Do not loom over any unfamiliar dogs because they will run away in fear. Instead, you must squat down to their level. Then wait for the dog to approach you on his terms.
In addition to this, do not look a dog in the eye. For humans, direct eye contact is a sign of respect, but for canines, it means a challenge. Instead, watch the dog from the corner of your eyes.
#4 Follow the three-second rule
Some dogs don’t like to be petted in some situations, but they might endure your attention out of fear. To determine if any dogs want to be stroked, follow the simple three-second rule.
- Pet a dog for three seconds and stop.
- If Toby leans to you or begs for your attention, it means that the dog likes your touch and is in the mood for contact.
- You can continue what you’re doing.
However, if the dog walks away and keeps his distance, Toby is telling you that he needs more time to get comfortable with your presence.
# 5 Carry treats
Last, but not least, if you want to be liked by any dog, you should carry treats in your pockets to bribe him.
Delicious treats can make a dog warm up quickly to you and make him less afraid of your presence because Toby will associate it with food.
In addition to this, if the pooch already likes you, treats will make him look forward to your next meeting.
However, do not make a shy dog take treats from your hands. Instead, toss Toby the food and wait for his reaction.
A refusal to eat the treat is a sign that the dog is very uncomfortable and you have to back off.
The secret for a successful dog interaction is to be patient and consistent. Let Toby make the first steps and respect his boundaries and wishes.
Try to make a good first impression, and I guarantee that any dog will like you.
What do you think about these ways to get a dog to like you? How do you befriend unfamiliar dogs? Share your advice in the comments.