People have gone so overboard in treating dogs like a human member of a family, that it has had a negative effect on canine pet psyche. It also puts caretakers in harm’s way by ignoring warning signs.
Better animal observation would give greater insight into what pets would prefer to be comforted with. Also, who they’d rather be on a walk with. Things of that nature. It’s not about allowing them to get their way.
A healthy interaction is often the product of negotiation. At the very least, recognize there’s a different opinion. & it should go without saying that communication is a two-way street. Sadly, it needs to be said due to the times we’re living in.
When from your peripheral vision you’re able to catch Rover fixating on you, don’t read into it. Forget about thinking it’s their way of finagling you into getting an earlier treat than anticipated. What they’re doing is studying your face.
Due to the survivalist instinct they’re born into, canines have been known to catch expression changes as slight as one-sixteenth of a millimeter. That’s on a whole ‘nother level of acute awareness on emotional changes.
While you could get away with a ‘fine’ when interacting with other people, even those closest to you, it’s highly unlikely you’ll fool your pooch. Mouthing that you’re ‘ok’ while having the worst day at your job is not going to hide your body language with non-verbal creatures used to seeing you day in & out.
Dogs will instinctually know the truth. Even canine pets untrained to give emotional support to mentally scarred humans will have watched you very carefully. They’ll be ready to swoop in as soon as they detect an expression of negativity in your body language.
Having the courtesy to do the same to such faithful companions is what being a good pet parent is all about.