If your dog seems bored, lazy or just plain down in the dumps, he might need a little motivation to let his personality shine. When dogs aren't getting what they need, they can become a little introverted, so the simplest way to get yours to show more personality is to be an attentive owner. When you're an attentive owner and you give your little guy what he wants and needs, he'll reward you by responding, playing and showing you everything he's made of.
Appeal to his senses, especially his highly attuned sense of smell. Practically every dog enjoys a good treat here and there, so incorporate them into your routine -- use them as rewards for doing tricks, for showing discipline while playing and walking and for obeying commands. You can even hide treats in certain toys -- the perfect motivation to play with them.
Experiment with new toys. If your dog doesn't respond to hard rubber toys, try engaging him with some soft plush toys. Every animal has his own preferences, so play around with different types of toys and see what gets him to perk up.
Take on an active role playing with your dog, not a passive one. For example, not all dogs like to play fetch, so you may have to get up off the couch to play with your pooch. Try games like tug-of-war, or even simple activities like jogging or chasing each other around the yard. Get down on your hands and knees and wrestle with him a little, or dangle a toy over his head to get his attention. Make playtime interactive for both of you -- it'll get his personality to come right out.
Read his body language to gauge what he responds to, and react appropriately. An obvious example is the telltale tail wag -- if that tail even hints at wiggling, your little guy is intrigued, and you should keep trying whatever it is that you're doing. Limp tail? That's his way of telling you that he's not interested.
Give your dog plenty of regular exercise. A dog who lays around the house all day or spends too much time confined to a crate is going to get lethargic and listless, but a dog who feels engaged and gets physical and mental exercise is going to have more personality on a day-to-day basis.
Items You Will Need
- Dog treats
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.