Before we delve into the signs that you might not be showering your pup with enough affection, it’s essential to understand the difference between affection and attention. Dr Nelson defines affection as a gentle feeling of fondness or being loved/liked. You can show a dog affection by petting, kissing, stroking, hugging, or snuggling them. Attention, on the other hand, has more to do with regarding someone as interesting or important. Ways to pay attention to your dog include playing, walking, feeding, training, or talking to them. For a truly successful relationship, you need both.
It’s important to note that when you’re attempting to do either of these things, you should steer clear of certain behaviours. One biggie is aggressive play, especially with puppies. This can lead to biting behaviour and enforce negative habits, which become even more problematic as they get older. You should also make sure not to show your affection through food; this can predispose dogs to begging behaviours and medical problems related to obesity. Hugging your fog may also be a no-no, depending on your dog and how you’re doing it.