I sat listening intently. "I want him to love me the most" he said. I was at a new client visit and what the male guardian was saying was that he wanted his dog to love him more than his wife. This was not the first time I'd heard this from a new guardian. "She doesn't love me at all," one woman said; resulting from her dogs avoidance of her and desire to be with her husband.
When asked :how can I get them to love me more?" this is what I tell them.
Dogs choose their people; you cannot make a dog love you or want to be with you. Much like people, they either want to be with you or they do not. Of course it is much easier to help sway a dog's mind in this department. Time, time spent with a dog factors in hugely on who they like to spend time with. It is not gifts, toys, treats or a new soft bed; it is quality time spent with your dog.
You can say that you spend time with your dog or that you want to but are you really? Words are just that, words. Actions speak volumes. Don't even get me started on words vs. actions.
Being a great leader can sway a dog's devotion as well. Kind and patience guidance works wonders. I often ask the sorrowful guardian "do you spend time with your dog?" The answer is clear by the look on their face. "Do you walk, train, feed and groom your dog?" Once again their face tells the story.
Dogs are easy, give and you shall receive. It is all about bonding and connecting. The minute that a dog enters your life you start the process of building your relationship. If one party gives more of themselves than the other then the lessor will be the one who misses out on something amazing. Dogs give their all; they deserve one, two or more guardians to reciprocate.
Are you doing your part?