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Hope you'll forgive the beginner nature of this question. I am not a dog person, so I have very little knowledge or experience with dogs, and most of the information on the web seems (quite reasonably) to be tailored to owners and/or enthusiasts.

I will be looking after my housemate's dog for several weeks, and I know he is concerned that the dog will get lonely. Apart from taking him on walks, are there any things I can do to help him feel cared for and attended to? Are there signs I should look out for that he's not getting enough attention?

Generally while I'm around the house I'll be reading, watching TV or working on the laptop; will doing these things in the same room as him be enough to make him feel like he has company, or do I need to be engaging him more actively?

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It depends on the dog. For a corgi the best thing you can do is run around back and forth like an idiot with it. Labrador retrievers like to retrieve stuff.

For active breeds like those two, I would definitely be concerned about activity level. As for what the dog likes to do, well, just play with it. You'll agree on a game and the rules just like kids do. You'll notice the corgi will just want to run around a lot while the lab will want to take stuff from you and have you catch it. Just find something you both like doing.

Most dogs like attention via touch, and also just like being around someone even if not actively socializing.

Basically, besides being "lonely", ask your friend how they usually spend time with the dog, what sorts of games and toys they like. In particular learn how much active time the dog needs. Bring gym shoes.

Pro tip: cool the dog down after play. Make it sit and stay a while so it doesn't immediately start tearing stuff up back in. Learned that one...

And P.S. everyone is a dog person.

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  • P.S. Nope. Some of are afraid of dogs. – chx Mar 8 '15 at 0:07

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