17 Proven Ways To Get A Dog To Like You

Everyone loves a canine companion who is full of love and affection.

As dog owners, we know that bonding with your pup can be one of life’s greatest joys.

But what if you are having trouble getting your new furry friend to warm up to you?

Fear not—there are several proven tips and tricks for helping dogs feel comfortable and secure when meeting people so that both parties can start building a strong relationship.

In this article, we share 17 proven ways to get a dog to like you.

Start With A Positive Attitude

grey brown dog looking happy into the camera eyes closed

A dog owners need to keep a positive attitude when interacting with their pets.

A happy and confident demeanor is essential to establish trust between the two and help make the dog more comfortable with its human companion.

By using affirmative language, providing praise or a treat when the pup does something good, and always remaining upbeat in your interactions with your dog, you can foster a healthier, more enjoyable relationship for both of you.

It may even mean fewer behavioral issues in the future – after all, dogs have an instinctive understanding of their own environment and sense the emotions of those around them.

Showing patience and kindness right from the start will create lasting results that will benefit everyone involved.

Feed Your Dog

This may seem obvious, but there is more to getting a new or unfamiliar dog to like you than just putting a bowl of kibble on the floor.

Dogs in the wild work for their food, and both puppies and adults will respect you more if they have to work for their food. Make them sit, lie down, and rollover.

Use a puzzle or a Kong to mentally stimulate them while making food a reward.

Hand-feed your dog on occasion.

This is how to gain the trust of a rescue dog, encourage good behavior, and not only will it help you build a bond by spending time together, but it will also help prevent food aggression.

Get On The Same Level

old grey dog laying in grass looking into the camera

Studies have proven that dogs respond more positively to owners who are at the same physical level as them.

If your dog is sitting, try squatting down so that you two are face-to-face or side-by-side.

You may also want to pet him at the same level by directly petting him rather than bending over him with your hand reaching down in an authoritative gesture.

Doing this will allow your pup to understand that he can trust you and feel safe with you.

Additionally, offering a treat or two while getting on the same level will help build a positive connection between the two of you.

So next time you go to greet your furry friend, make sure to step down and really get into their world; they’ll be thankful for it!

Learn What Your Dog Loves And Do More Of It

One of the key steps to having a happy and bonded relationship with your furry companion is understanding what makes them happiest.

That way, you can provide activities and situations that are beneficial for both parties.

By taking the time to know what your dog loves most, whether it be running, swimming, sniffing, playing fetch, or cuddling, you can make sure those activities are part of your daily routine together.

Doing so will not only give your pup physical and mental stimulation, but it will also foster positive feelings all around so that your dog likes and trusts you more.

You’ll also get to experience all the joys of pet ownership as an added bonus!

Give Him His Own Space

brown dog looking on the floor while laying on the floor

Your dog needs to find a quiet place where he can unwind and process his new reality.

Choose a location that is out of the way but still visible to him, such as a corner of the living room.

Make the area as comfortable and dog-proof as possible. For most dogs, a crate is the best option, but you can also use a dog bed or an exercise pen.

Throw in some blankets and chew toys. Respect his space when he’s in his “room,” and don’t let your kids or other pets climb all over him.

Allow Them To Come To You

Not all dogs require or desire constant attention.

If you have a smaller toy breed or lapdog, they may never leave your side and enjoy being petted, but this does not apply to all dogs, particularly those who have been kenneled or abused.

Don’t take it personally, and don’t try to force it.

Giving them a choice is how to get a scared dog to come to you.

Let your dog decide when he wants affection and offer treats as a reward, but don’t press them.

This is critical if you want to get a rescued older dog to like you because they may be fearful or nervous if you are constantly approaching them, no matter how good your intentions are.

You want them to feel safe, and the best way to accomplish this is to let them approach you at all times.

Be Consistent With Rules And Rewards

man train his little dog

Dogs are loyal creatures, and as such, they need consistency from their human owners in order to build trust.

If a dog owner wants their pup to like them, one of the best ways to go about this is by establishing clear rules and then consistently rewarding the dog for following said rules.

Dogs understand the concept of rewards, meaning that when they do something correctly, they will be rewarded with treats or praise.

This reinforces good behavior and will lead to better obedience. 

Furthermore, if rules are broken, then there should be consequences. Otherwise, the dog will not understand what it did wrong.

Long-term consistency with clear rules and active rewards can establish strong relationships between dogs and owners that last a lifetime.

Use Positive Reinforcement

If a dog owner wants his dog to like him and have a positive relationship with him, he should use positive reinforcement.

Training with positive reinforcement will help motivate the dog to listen and obey commands, as rewards such as treats or verbal praises will be given out when they do something correctly.

This teaches the dog that when it listens and follows its owner’s lead, good things will happen.

Praising them for this behavior instead of punishing them for making mistakes helps create an environment where the love between canines and humans can blossom through trust and understanding.

Furthermore, consistent practice over time encourages obedience in every situation, making it so much easier for both them and their owner!

Spend Time With Your Dog

little puppy running beside a man

If you want to create a bond and enjoy the company of your pup, spending time with them is essential.

By regularly interacting and playing with your dog, they will not only better understand your commands but also learn to trust you and feel more comfortable around you.

This can be done simply by taking your dog for daily walks or even having fun together and playing fetch or tug of war in the park.

It’s important to set aside quality time for your pet, as it will strengthen the connection you both share.

Additionally, don’t just be one-sided; allow plenty of opportunities for your pup to initiate interactive play to show that you’re interested in what he or she has to offer.

Over time, this connection will lead to a strong bond between owner and puppy – something every loving pet owner hopes for!

Be Patient

If you’re trying to win over your new pup or even if you’ve been around your four-legged friend for years, patience is always important.

Dogs can sense when they are under stress, and it can lead to issues in their behavior.

If a dog senses that their owner is patient, it will be more open to the idea of connecting and will develop a closer bond.

A ruler-of-the-house type of attitude simply won’t cut it with the canine members of the family.

Dog owners should talk calmly and confidently when training their pooch, reward good behavior whenever applicable, and above all else, remain patient.

Training takes time; however, with dedication and patience, any owner can see results in relationship-building with their faithful companion.

Start Training Early

little white puppy with a blue toy

Training a puppy is one of the most important tasks for any dog owner, as it helps foster a strong relationship between the two that will last throughout the dog’s lifetime.

Starting early in a puppy’s life is an optimal way to encourage the best behavior and result in a loyal companion.

With consistent instruction, a pup can get used to boundaries and commands quickly, rather than having to reverse bad habits that have taken years to form.

Furthermore, building trust when teaching commands like “sit” or “stay” also helps your pup enjoy being around you more often – ultimately creating positive experiences with their owner!

Taking the time to train your pup properly can make all the difference in their lifetime.

Reward Good Behavior

The key to making a dog feel secure and loved around its owner is to reward good behavior.

If a dog obeys commands and acts appropriately, it should be showered with praise, treats, and affection.

It’s important not to indulge or reward bad behaviors as it will create confusion in the dog and weaken its bond with the owner.

Furthermore, if the dog senses that it can misbehave without consequence, it’s liable to become unruly.

Positive reinforcement is the best way for both dog and owner to learn how to get along harmoniously; after all, a pet needs structure and guidance to be happy with its life.

Give Belly Rubs

brown little dog on his back getting belly rubs

When your dog displays his tummy for a belly rub, it is one of the signs that he trusts you.

This position exposes him, and he is confident you will not take advantage of the situation.

Dogs have something in their brains that responds solely through the stimulation of hair follicles, which is why most dogs find a good tummy tickle irresistible.

Take note, however, of the word most!

Because not all dogs enjoy having their stomachs rubbed, don’t push the issue because you may lose their trust.

Related: Why Do Dogs Kick Their Legs When You Scratch Them?

Don’t Yell Or Hit

It is essential for a dog owner to ensure that his pup feels safe and loved in his presence.

Yelling or hitting will only exacerbate the situation and make a dog fearful of its owner, reducing the chances of earning their trust, affection, and respect.

Being consistent with commands while speaking in a positive tone of voice reinforces that the owner is trustworthy, increases the odds of creating a strong bond between them, and will eventually lead to successful obedience training.

Furthermore, providing positive rewards such as treats, toys, and playtime in response to good behavior will reinforce what behaviors are welcomed and which ones should be avoided.

By following these steps, a dog owner can set forth the perfect environment for creating a lasting relationship with their four-legged friend.

Protect Your Dog Always

Establishing a sense of security in your pet from an early age will ensure that your dog develops an affinity towards you – rooted in trust and love. 

Taking steps like making sure your pet is microchipped in case it gets lost, not leaving them alone outdoors, ensuring regular vet visits, and interacting positively with them on a daily basis will all help create an environment that lets your canine companion feel at ease and therefore comfortable with human interaction.

Stay Calm

It can be tempting to greet a dog with excitement but resist the urge. 

When you approach a dog in an excited state, it can excite the dog and result in an unwanted greeting, such as it jumping up on you.

If a stranger with high energy approaches, it can also set off a dog’s fight or flight instinct. Maintain your cool and speak softly.

Socialize Your Dog

black and brown dog on grass

Having a dog can bring so much joy and love to any family, and with the right socialization, a canine can become an even better pet.

Socializing a pet is always important, as it helps them learn how to interact properly in different settings with different people and animals. 

If a person wants their dog to like them more and have a great, lasting relationship, they should begin by socializing their pup.

This will teach them what’s expected of them in certain situations and make it easier for their owner to train them properly.

Socializing starts with getting puppies used to things such as leash walking, being around strangers, eating separately from their owner, meeting other animals, being handled by various people, etc.

Before You Go…

Now you know the ways to get a dog to like you.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.