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    What Makes Dogs Happy?

    Everyone knows that dogs aren’t exactly known for being particularly smart. It’s not really fair to judge them by this standard, though, because even the dumbest animal needs love and affection from its human family. And although it may seem impossible to imagine, there actually are things humans can do to make dogs happy. How does this happen? The answer is simple: We’re just so darned nice!

    Most people know that we should treat our pets kindly, but not everyone realizes the extent to which these creatures crave attention and affection. A study conducted at Cornell University found that puppies will cry more when left alone than if another puppy approaches them.

    In fact, puppies who were separated from their mother cried four times longer than those who weren’t, indicating that they needed her presence. This shows us that dogs are very similar to infants, in that both species require constant interaction from adults for survival.

    In addition to this basic requirement of adult supervision and attention, there are also plenty of other reasons why dogs are often happier around certain people. For example, studies show that dogs prefer to be near positive role models such as parents, teachers and coaches. If you provide a caring environment for animals, they’ll thrive.

    But why would these creatures feel better around specific individuals? One theory suggests that dogs view us as parental figures since we usually take care of them and teach them tricks. Another possibility is that dogs perceive humans as leaders, given that we possess knowledge and skills that they simply lack.

    Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that dogs are social creatures who need to interact with members of their own species. When they get too lonely, they become unhappy. So, now you understand how important it is for dogs to feel loved and cared for, but what happens when they feel neglected? Read on to find out.

    How Much Love Do You Need to Give Your Dog?

    Dogs are like children in some ways, but unlike children they don’t have the luxury of expressing themselves through play or creativity. Humans can choose their careers, while dogs have to be content with their lot.

    Love Is All They Want

    If you’ve ever watched an old movie where a child asks his father what he wants him to do, then you probably assumed that dogs ask us the same thing every day. While dogs certainly want something (food, water, exercise), they don’t necessarily expect us to give it to them.

    Just look at your own relationship with a friend or spouse. Do you think they expect you to read all their thoughts aloud? Of course not. Even though they may whine to you, bark at you, jump up at you or roll over on command, they still respect your boundaries and boundaries only.

    It’s easy to forget about your dog’s feelings because most pups tend to sleep a lot and keep quiet unless they’re excited or frightened. However, most dogs actually communicate with barks, yelps and whimpers. These sounds come from deep within their bodies and help them convey emotions to us. Some breeds, especially German shepherds, are known for speaking up clearly and loudly. If you don’t speak their language, however, they can’t tell you what’s on their minds.

    Just like humans, dogs don’t always express their desires immediately. Instead, they hold back until they feel comfortable enough to talk to you openly. So, before you realize it, you might find yourself giving your dog treats while sitting next to him without realizing it. Don’t worry, the next time you notice your dog making eye contact with you and wagging his tail, he’ll thank you for your kindness.

    Your canine companion doesn’t need expensive toys or designer clothes to be happy. Dogs can enjoy scratching the carpet or digging in the dirt with a stick, chasing balls or running around inside a kiddie pool. As long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation, they’ll stay healthy and remain calm.

    Although your dog’s favorite activity might not be one you’d approve of, most dogs will try new things once they discover they’re fun. Try putting a ball in a laundry basket or hiding a few tennis balls under couch cushions. Then watch as your pup explores everything in his path.

    Now that you know that dogs like to spend time with us, it’s probably a good idea to learn how to spoil your best buddy. Keep reading to find out more.

    Some Other Things That Make Dogs Happy

    You already know that dogs need food, shelter and fresh air, but did you know that you can feed them ice cream, too? Yes, ice cream. Nowadays, many people believe that feeding their pet frozen desserts is cruel, but it’s not nearly as bad as you may think.

    Although it takes more time and energy to prepare ice cream than it does to heat up canned food, you can easily buy special cones made specifically for dogs. You could even freeze small portions of chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal raisin bars for dessert instead!

    One of the easiest ways to make your pet happy is by taking him outside. Studies have shown that dogs who spend more time outdoors are less likely to exhibit aggressive behavior toward other dogs or people. On top of this, playing outside helps release endorphins into your pet’s brain, which improves his mood.

    Another way you can make your pet happy is by brushing his fur. Not only does this remove loose hair and debris, but it also stimulates nerve endings located in your dog’s skin. After you finish grooming him, run your hands along his entire body. This motion feels pleasant and can relax him quickly.

    When you go to bed at night, don’t leave your dog home alone. Before leaving, put some of his favorite treats in your pocket or purse. Snacking throughout the evening keeps your pet occupied and satisfied.

    If you live in an apartment, you can’t let your dog roam free during the day. Most apartments prohibit pets, so your furry little guy must either sit quietly in a corner or nap in front of the television set. To avoid boredom, bring him outside after dinner each night. Take a walk together, play catch with the Frisbee or fetch the paper.

    Dogs are like children in some ways, but unlike children they don’t have the luxury of expressing themselves through play or creativity. Humans can choose their careers, while dogs have to be content with their lot.

    As discussed previously, dogs need to feel safe and secure around humans. Otherwise, they won’t be able to form healthy relationships. Like humans, dogs sometimes experience anxiety-related problems due to fear or insecurity. When they encounter situations that trigger negative memories, dogs start to act aggressively or defensively.

    To combat this problem, you can create a special place just for your canine companion where he feels protected and at ease. It could be a crate or cage, depending on your dog’s size. Once he gets used to the area, keep it locked whenever you’re away. Also, never punish your dog when he displays fearful behaviors. Instead, reassure him that everything is okay and that you’ll return soon.

    Whenever possible, limit your dog’s exposure to loud noises, sudden movements and strangers. If you live in an urban area, train your dog to detect suspicious characters or objects. If you live in a rural setting, consider getting a trained guard dog. Both options offer peace of mind and allow you to focus on spending quality time together.

    Of course, no matter what you do to please your pet, he’ll continue to behave badly if you ignore his pleas. When your dog begs for food, ignores training sessions or has trouble controlling himself, you shouldn’t yell, hit or otherwise discipline him. He needs your guidance and support rather than punishment.

    Your dog isn’t going to magically transform into a genius overnight. Despite what movies and TV shows may claim, your pet doesn’t deserve to receive advanced education in order to feel happy. If you’ve tried everything else and nothing seems to work, perhaps you should seek professional assistance. There are numerous organizations dedicated to helping owners solve their problems with behavioral issues. From therapy to medication, you have several treatment options available.

    Bottom Line

    As you learned earlier, dogs are social creatures. Without the ability to connect with others, dogs wouldn’t survive for long. Luckily, there are lots of ways to ensure that your canine pal remains happy and healthy throughout his life.

    The first step in solving a behavioral problem is identifying the cause. Often, the underlying issue involves separation anxiety. If your dog experiences frequent bouts of distress when you’re gone, see a vet to determine whether he suffers from separation anxiety disorder.

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