Shared experiences and training sessions build trust, communication, and partnership. Walks and adventures give plenty of opportunity to work on skills like loose leash walking and recall. Dogs thrive on routine and schedule, so a daily walk with training mixed in help them understand how much you love and care. This one’s a no-brainer. Just touching your dog releases oxytocin in the giver and receiver, so a soothing massage, gentle grooming session, or extended petting time will tell your dog in no uncertain terms how you feel.
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Talking out loud to your dog isn’t as crazy as you might think. Dogs rely on facial expressions and body language to communicate. The better you understand how your dog feels, the better you’ll be able to empathize and bond with them. While staring down a dog in a forceful manner will spark aggression, when a dog gives you long, lingering eye contact, it’s a way of saying “I love you.” A recent study shows that oxytocin, the ‘love chemical,’ goes up in both dogs and humans when they share a kind gaze. Scientific studies prove that dogs can read human emotions through our facial expressions. When a dog loves someone, they often raise their eyebrows—the left one more than the right—so greeting your dog with raised eyebrows and a relaxed smile tells your dog how happy you are to be reunited. Did you know that a dog leaning against you is a sign of love and trust? Leaning against your dog is a great way to add a little love boost to your dog’s day. If you don’t care to let your dog in bed with you, even an afternoon snooze on the couch together will relax both you and your dog.