SDOS Episode 36 – How to make your dog love you

SHDOS Episode 36 What do you want from your dog? Dom thinks he has the answer and as well as chickens and some business advice, he also shares the secrets to making your dog love you. The true test of how much your dog loves you isn’t how good he cuddles you or how many tricks he can do, it’s actually how much he wants to be with your when there are pheasants, other dogs and half eaten pizzas there to distract him. If you want to be the one thing that your dog loves more than all else then you need to watch episode 36 of the Superhero Dog Owners Show.


[0.41] Dom has chickens! [1.07] Meet the chickens, Mrs. Puddleswick, Odetta, Doreen and Sharon [2.08] What do most people want from a dog [2.50] Why does Alex sense a butt? [3.00] How a dog completes the family [4.17] What is the true test to tell if your dog loves you [5.17] Why you need to BMFI [5.54] Why Dom didn’t have a very good relationship with his dogs [6.50] Why you need to be more to your dog than just a chauffeur and a chef [8.28] Why Dom is preaching about play [9.44] Why more control means more freedom for your dog [10.25] Why playing with your dog can feel like Christmas morning [12.32] How Alex became Otis number one guy [14.43] If you are a groomer, walker or a trainer you need to book on the Grow Your Pet Business FAST! Seminar

Mentioned in this episode

Buy Dom’s book on Amazon

Click here to get the kindle or paperback version of How to Be Your Dog’s Superhero.

Click here to get the Kindle or paperback version of Dom’s new book Worry Free Walks

Click here to get the kindle or paperback version of the dog walkers business bible Walk Yourself Wealthy

Get the audio book here
Full Transcript

Dom Hodgson:  Hello me bonnie bairns, and welcome to The Super Hero Dog Owner’s Show. I’m your host, Dom Hodgson, author, adventurer, dog-trainer extraordinaire. Self-titled, too. And I’m joined by the awesome Alex the video guy.

Alex:      Hello everyone.

Dom Hodgson:  And we are here. The sun is shining, Alex.

Alex:      It’s a glorious day.

Dom Hodgson:  This weather’s truly arrived. I’ve had a busy couple of weeks.

Alex:      Yes. We both have, haven’t we.

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah, we both have, absolutely, yeah. But only one of us got chickens, Alex.

Alex:      Yeah, and it wasn’t me.

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah, so if you haven’t heard, if you don’t follow me on social media, why not? No, if you don’t follow me on social media, you might not know that we recently acquired some chickens. Yeah, we’ve got four lovely little chickens. Mrs. Puddlewick, Odetta, Doreen, and Sharon. Perfect names for chickens.

Alex:      I’ll have to try and remember all them, but I don’t think I’m gonna.

Dom Hodgson:  But they’ve settled in well, and they’ve started to lay eggs. Yeah, it’s really been really nice. It’s been a little dream of mine, Alex.

Alex:      Yeah, you have talked about it for a while, too, especially since moving house

Dom Hodgson:  Show about it. Show all the chickens. Yeah, it’s been a little, I know it’s not really anything new these days. Lots of people have chickens, don’t they? It’s not like, you have to, you know, it’s anything special. But it was special to us, you know, so.

Alex:      Yeah, of course, uh-huh.

Dom Hodgson:  We moved house last year, we got a bit of room now, bigger garden, and so, yeah, so we’ve got the chickens. Maybe a bit of b-roll over the top of this, Alex, of chickens.

Alex:      Yes, here’s some b-roll of said chickens. I’ll have to get some now.

Dom Hodgson:  That’s a promise. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Alex:      Well as a thought [inaudible 00:02:00] and stuff.

Dom Hodgson:  So enough about the chickens. Let’s get back to talking about what the good listeners are here for which is dog training.

Alex:      Indeed.

Dom Hodgson:  I’ve got a question for you Alex.

Alex:      All right.

Dom Hodgson:  What do you think people want from a dog?

Alex:      I think they want the … fun side of it, lots of fun playing with the dog. Companionship maybe. The responsibility, in a way.

Dom Hodgson:  What do they want their dogs to do?

Alex:      Do what they’re told.

Dom Hodgson:  Definitely, yah.

Alex:      Be well-behaved. Have fun. Give them cuddles on the couch and stuff. Do tricks. Those kind of things.

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah, yeah. No, I think you’re dead right. All of those things are stuff that-

Alex:      I sense a “but”

Dom Hodgson:  Ha ha ha, It’ll be you looking for your sweet spot, no doubt.

No, you’re dead right, you’re dead right, but the thing I think that almost every dog owner wants is, they want their dog to love them.

Alex:      Yes, I would agree with that.

Dom Hodgson:  You know? It kind of encompasses all those things that you said. They want companionship, they want a friend, don’t they, you know. Often the dog completes the family, doesn’t it? You know, you move in with your missus or your man, depends on your preference, and you might have a couple of kids, or not, if you’re sensible, or chickens, you know, whatever takes your fancy. And then you might think, “Oh, we’ll get a dog, you know what I mean, I’ve always wanted a dog,” you know, and obviously the responsibility – you mentioned that as well – don’t you know you’ve got this responsibility for this dog.

And it’s a big responsibility, isn’t it? You know, you want the dog to be happy, you know, you want to provide everything that dog needs, you want him to think that you’re his best friend and we want our dogs to love us, you know? But the problem, I think comes for many dog owners, is that as you quite rightly said, their dog loves them. They think their dog loves them when they’re cuddled on the couch, but the true test of whether a dog loves you or not is, you know, will he come back to you in the park when you call for him?

Alex:      Yeah.

Dom Hodgson:  When there’s a pigeon or another dog or a half eaten pasty on the floor?

Alex:      Exactly, yeah.

Dom Hodgson:  And that’s the true test, I think, of if your dog loves you. Does your dog love you enough above all else?

Alex:      Yeah.

Does that mean Otis doesn’t love me?

Dom Hodgson:  No, of course he does-

Alex:      No, to be fair, he’s getting better-

Dom Hodgson:  In his little heart.

Alex:      But obviously I just took that line from you. It might seem like the dog loves you when you sat at home and he’s looking up at you and you’re all curled up and it’s nice, but I think for a lot of people it just changes like that.

Come here, Otis. Otis!

Dom Hodgson:  It definitely does, yeah.

Alex:      Soon as they’re out. And it’s not like the dog doesn’t love them, like you say, it’s just that they’re like “ooh, what’s that thing over there?”

Dom Hodgson:  Exactly, yeah.

Alex:      That’s more important, that’s more interesting than that person shouting at me.

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah, that’s right, and if we can, we need to find a way to become more special to our dogs, to be more f***ing interesting, insert beep, to be more f***ing interesting to our dogs, so that they want to be with us all the time, you know. Or they see us as an interesting thing all the time, you know? They see us not just as chauffer who takes them to the park or a chef who provides the food for them but as a real companion that they enjoy spending time with, that they love, you know? And that they love to be with all the time, and you know I certainly didn’t have a very good relationship with my dogs until I really learned about dog training. And I don’t mean, you know, went and studied and did a degree or anything. Just learned how dogs learn and how they work and how easy dog training can be, you know?

Alex:      Yeah.

Dom Hodgson:  I didn’t really have … I love my dogs without a doubt and I’m sure that they love me as well but I think I definitely missed out on a lot really in our relationships and a lot of the problems they might have had: behaviour problems, stuff I probably could’ve solved a lot easier if I’d just known how to connect and bond with them a bit more and find out things that they liked and use those things that they liked to do the things that I wanted them to do, you know? Also known as dog training.

Alex:      Yeah, exactly.

Dom Hodgson:  Ha ha ha.

Alex:      And that’s all it is.

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah, and that’s essentially all that it is, you know. Yes, we have extreme problems at different ends of the scale, but for 80, 90% of dog owners, you know, if you can put a bit more effort into being more to your dog than just his chauffer and his cuddler and his chef and you can become his playmate, do you know what I mean? The source and the provider of the fun that he has in the park. Which again, is not that difficult to do, you know? Then you’ll be a superhero and you’ll be the thing that the dog loves. I’m very proud of when I take Sydney out now and I’m the only thing that he’s interested in, you know? And some dog trainers saying things like, “you can’t be as interesting to your dog as a squirrel or a pheasant or something, or another dog. I think that’s complete bollocks! I don’t think they’re trying hard enough, personally, you know?

Alex:      I mean, from the outsider’s perspective, having known you for a couple of years now and seen you with Sidney, I genuinely can’t recall an event where he’s buggered off and-

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah

Alex:      You haven’t been able to get him back or something like that.

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah yeah!

Alex:      I mean, for sure, stuff catches his attention and stuff when we’re out, but I mean-

Dom Hodgson:  90% of the time, you know, yeah.

Alex:      Yeah! You just call him back and he’s locked on you because you’re the thing that he wants to be around and-

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah yeah

Alex:      To interact with and spend time with.

Dom Hodgson:  Well that’s good of you to say that! To take that a bit further as well, I guess we could say that the dogs that we adventure with, on a similar way, they want to be with us, they want to be with me and Alex and Dan when we’re out adventuring, because they see us as the providers. Do you know what I mean? And the reason for doing all this is not –  the reason I’m preaching this kind of way of interacting with your dog – is not to be a killjoy, it’s not to stop your dog from doing other things, it’s simply to make your life a little easier.

Because the problems that people come to me with are problems of reactivity, no recall, dog pulling on the lead, things like this. And almost all of those problems, part of the solution is going to be about getting the dog more interested in you so that he’s looking to you for the fun rather than the thing that’s causing him not to do a recall or pull on the lead or be reactive to the dogs, you know?

Alex:      Exactly.

Dom Hodgson:  People who read my book and people who are on my email list and certainly the people in the inner circle, they all tell me that they went through a similar kind of conversion that myself is what I did, way back on the John Rogerson course, you know-

Alex:      Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Dom Hodgson:  And it was like, “oh, okay, maybe, yeah, maybe there is a reason why the dogs aren’t very interested in being with me.” It’s because I’m not very interesting to them, you know!

Alex:      Yeah yeah

Dom Hodgson:  And it hurts a little bit at first, you know? It hurts your pride a bit and you think, “okay, right, try a bit harder now” but then you quickly see that once you can find something that gets that little connexion with your dog, you can really quickly become the thing that he wants to be with, which gives you more control, which means that if you’ve got more control, that means you can give them more freedom, you know. And then people end up doing loads more things with their dog than they would before, you know? They’ll spend longer walking them because they’re enjoying themselves more, so the dog will eat and sleep better. They might end up taking their dog on holiday, they’ll take their different walks and things, maybe they’ll take their dog to the pub and have a set of a pub meal and pint with him and stuff. All because they just have a better relationship with the dog.

Alex:      Yeah. It’s like this upward spiral of–

Dom Hodgson:  Exactly! Yeah! It starts with the collection. To me, it blows your mind when it happens, and you do get that connexion with your dog because it feels good, you know? It feels like “yeah! This dog really likes me! This dog really wants to be with me. He’s enjoying playing with me.”

And you’re a pretty cold-hearted human if you don’t get a kick out of that.

And then you want more of it. It’s like the spirit of Christmas or something, I suppose. But like you said, it’s this upward spiral; it’s like “okay, what else can I do with my dog now?”

This is where my teaching resonates with so many pet dog owners; it’s why so many dog trainer don’t’ like it, but we don’t care about them. Because I want to help people at the start, you know? And get this connexion so that’s what they get from the book and from the inner circle and stuff, and then once you’ve got that connexion then they might want to go on and learn how to do fly ball or scent work or-

Alex:      Yeah

Dom Hodgson:  Agility or obedience or trials or whatever it is, do you know what I mean? They might not. They might just want to enjoy a stress-free walk with their dogs! And that’s totally fine too!

But that’s the upward spiral, I think. That’s the journey that you can go on with your dog even if your dog is a little bit older, if he’s a little bit crankier, you know, maybe he’s never done very much training with him before. I’m not saying you can transform completely his character, but you can certainly make things a lot easier for yourself by applying some of the principles that we teach in the inner circle and the book and that kind of thing.

You got anything else to add to that Alex?

Alex:      No, just kind of echoing it again. I can only speak from experience of seeing you with Sydney and with the dogs that you adventure and stuff, and-

Dom Hodgson:  And this stuff you put into practise, I guess?

Alex:      Well, exactly! Yeah, I was going to say, like with Otis, you know, little Jack Russel that we have, like every weekend or so because he’s stays Naomi’s mum. But all it’s taken to get me to genuinely be his favourite person, I think, out of everyone, is just to do these little steps, you know?

Because it does make you feel good over time, you know? All it takes is him … I mean now, if we’re like on a walk or something and he’s on his lead, he’s pulling a bit, but then he’ll look back up at me, and I like instantly reward him or something. “Oh, yeah, I like that, yeah, keep looking at me, Mark.”

And then he just does it a few more times and you think like “Ah! He’s learned something!”

Dom Hodgson:  Ha ha ha ha ha

Alex:      “That’s amazing! It’s something as simple as that.

Now, I kind of feel as good as when I taught him to do a spin. And that felt really good, because it’s like “I’ve taught him a trick. Look!” Or a down, or something-

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah, yeah.

Alex:      But even just getting him to look back is like, “yes!” And then that just spurs you on to want to do more-

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah

Alex:      Your relationship with your do improves so much!

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah. It really does. So if you want to learn how to make your dog love you, then the first bit you should start with is to buy my book.

You can buy my book at You can go there, or you can get a free chapter of the book by clicking on the link that Alex is putting below now. Or you can join my inner circle by going to and-

Oh! Actually we had a lot of feedback from people who jumped on the nose work offer last week.

Alex:      Brilliant! Yes!

Dom Hodgson:  So I’ll keep that open for another week and if anybody wants it, you can go and get the full nose work course. That’s a great place for you to start because if you can control the nose … where the nose goes, the rest of the dog will follow, you know? Obviously we’ve done scent work with Dave Davies, and I’m a big fan of scentwork. Loads of the dog trainers that we’ve had on the podcast recommend doing scentwork, you know? So that’s the perfect place for you to start as a pet dog owner. So you can go to

Alex:      Nose work offer.

Dom Hodgson:  That was it, haha.

Alex:      That’s the one! Ha ha.

Dom Hodgson:  So that’s it for the banter, Alex. We’ll finish off with a little something coming up next for the dog trainers, groomers, and walkers that are watching the podcast. Because my “grow your pet business fast” seminar is going on tour next month. June & July we’re going all over the UK: Scotland, London, Colchester, Devon, and Nottingham, I think we’re booked in for at the moment.

Alex:      Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Dom Hodgson:  We’ve got a little teaser video, haven’t we, that Alex kindly put together for us.

Alex:      We have.

Dom Hodgson:  So you can check this out now and we’ll wrap it up after that. So we’ll see you after this clip:

Alex:      Hi Busta Rhymes. Hey buddy.

Dom Hodgson:  Ha ha ha ha

Alex:      How’s it going?

Dom Hodgson:  I’m all right my friend, how are you?

Alex:      I’m good. I’m good.

Dom Hodgson:  Are you making rumble?

Alex:      Yes! I am.

Dom Hodgson:  Then why are you pissing around with me? We’ve got things to do!

We are going to get a coffee and then we’re going to Wagga Wuffins in Bury to see the lovely Jane Arden.

Give us a hug, you weirdo!

And we’re doing two talks today-

Alex:      Two?

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah, two for the price of one. It’s not two for the price of one, it’s two for the price of two.

We’re doing the ‘Grow Your Pet Business FAST!” this afternoon, and “How to be your dog’s superhero” this evening.

Hello, everybody!

Because you don’t’ want to work with everybody. And as hard as that might sound, you really don’t’ want to work with everybody. Whilst it’s easier being  a dog professional because the dog niche is growing and its growing at a vast rate, and the amount of money they’re prepared to spend is massive, it’s never been harder to get people’s attention, you know? To get people to look at you and be interested in you.

Tamsin :               I think the main thing is that I need to follow up. It’s given me a bit of a kick up the butt again to get some things that have been in the background for a while but I need to crack on with it.

Jane :                    And use some of the things that I think it’s actually just giving the confidence to go out and do those things and to make yourself think “I am good at what I do.” So yeah, it’s been good. Excellent. Recommend it.

Dom Hodgson:  So that’s a “grow your pet business fast” seminar. I’m getting quite excited about that now.

Actually, on that point, wherever we’re going for these, Nottingham, London, Colchester, Scotland-

Alex:      What was the other one?

Dom Hodgson:  Ha ha ha. I’m also taking Sidney with me to most of those venues and I’m doing the “how to be your dog’s superhero” talk as well. So you can get to see both talks in the same day as well if you want to. More details on Facebook or you can email me about that.

That’s it for today-

Alex:      Mm-hmm (affirmative), good chat!

Dom Hodgson:  Yeah, really good chat. I’m not sure what we’re going to be doing next week. Possibly an interview but, you know that’ll be a nice surprise for you when you turn up on it.

So for today it’s goodbye for me.

Alex:      It’s goodbye from him.

Dom Hodgson:  That’s it from us. If we don’t see you through the week, we’ll see you through the window! Bysie-bye!

Buy Dom’s book on Amazon

Click here to get the kindle or paperback version of How to Be Your Dog’s Superhero.

Click here to get the Kindle or paperback version of Dom’s new book Worry Free Walks

Click here to get the kindle or paperback version of the dog walkers business bible Walk Yourself Wealthy

Get the audio book here

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Dom Hodgson