Ever notice how effortlessly dogs elicit the strongest bonds of love and connection from humans–without ever uttering a word? Dog’s are masters at non-verbal communication and possess unique, endearing qualities that communicate their love and respect. These skills have developed over centuries of existence as pack animals with human interaction. While their innate skills help ensure the survival of their species, they also enhance their quality of life. We can learn a great deal about how to have a successful relationship from our beloved canine companions. So let’s dig a little deeper into their top love and relationship skills.
1. Dogs are all in! There is no half-way, play-it-safe, hesitation dog love. When you are loved by a dog, you are not being played. Dogs are naturally authentic. They are all in, or they are out. You are loved, or you are avoided.
2. Dogs revel in the attention from their loved ones. They are happiest in your company and never take kindness or affection for granted. Whether it be a walk, playtime, a treat, a toy or simply touching the one they love, dogs seek out connection and create a lasting bonds of love through their appreciation.
3. Dogs ignore people, animals or behaviors they do not want or enjoy. No nagging, complaining or manipulation. Dog simply turn tail and find something more pleasurable to do. If something should hurt or seriously irritate or scare a dog, they quickly speak up in the moment and move on. No holding grudges or dwelling in the past.
3. Dogs live in the now. It’s not that dogs have no memory of the past nor anticipation of the future (if you want to test this, be late for a regular walk or a meal and you will quickly see how much dogs remember and anticipate enjoyable activities), it’s simply that dogs know that the present is where life is lived. The past is a useful teacher, but the now is where our lives experienced and where our futures are influenced. There is no point getting ahead of yourself.
4. Dogs are authentic. Dogs never pretend to be anything other than exactly who they are. No airs or false image, dogs are who they are and they are content to their core with their authentic self. Dogs’ authenticity is magnetic and compelling.
5. Dogs use positive reinforcement to teach us how they like to be loved. Our attention, affection, treats and presents are met with a wagging joyful tail, an open mouth smile and a myriad of other nonverbal behaviors that communicate appreciation and joy. Never a complaint or a grudge. No cold shoulder. Dogs simply know that positive reinforcement works far better to build strong bonds and increases the likelihood they will receive the same good behavior again in the near future.
6. Dogs build trust and are not afraid to be vulnerable. While it may take a while to build trust with some dogs, once they know you are deserving of their trust they do not hold back. They are belly-up ready for your affection and love.
7. Dogs are masters at active attention. Dogs are keenly aware of every look and sound, every scent, touch and movement. They quickly discern when something is amiss. Dogs never ignore such changes any anyone they care about. They investigate. This is easily evidenced by how a dog will come to your aid without a word, simply because he/she notices changes in your appearance or behavior or scent that indicates you are sad or distressed. Dogs are masters at kindness and caring.
8. Dog’s love to have fun and share their joy. They seldom let something keep them down. Dogs seek joy, love and comfort. They focus on the positive and communicate their needs and desires quite effectively. We love their company because they give their love and joy freely, not conditionally. They also appreciate the quite joy of simply sharing the same space at the same time. Without a word or an action, they are content to simply be in our presence. Dogs know the great value of appreciation.
9. Dogs focus on observable actions over words. Humans place undue importance on uttered words. The problem with focusing on words is not all verbal or written communication is accurate. Some statements may be false or based on emotions that change. Dogs focus on actions. Dogs are so good at observing actions and interpreting their meaning they can anticipate outcomes based upon patterns of actions with a high degree of accuracy–with or without words. In relationships we are often reminded to observe someone’s actions to see if they match their words. Dogs could not agree more.
10. Dogs love us exactly as we are right now. They do not expect us to be like anyone else. Even after a long absence, a dog is thrilled when you return and is excited to reconnect. Dogs see and experience our failings, but they quickly forgive and focus on the positive. Dogs seem to have endless faith, belief and trust in their human companions. Dogs are experts at unconditional love and joy–without judgement or hesitation. When you have the love the of a dog, you have pure, true love.
What are your favorite experiences with dogs’ love? Share your experiences and add to our list of the amazing abilities and innate skills dogs possess that help build the deepest most unbreakable bonds with those of us lucky enough to share our life and love with them.