Dont just stand there!
Many owners tell me their dogs will not pay attention to them once they see another dog in public. Their dogs just totally ignore them. The owners would become totally irrelevant. Their dogs never come when called and are simply put, impossible to control.
You have to be someone that your dog really wants to be with in order for your dog to love spending time with you.
You cannot be that person if you hardly spend any quality time with your dog.
Spending quality time is about training, walking, and playing structurally with your dog. It is about quality, not just quantity. Letting the dog free roam in the house for hours looking for things to do is not what l would call quality time.
To a lot of owners, playing with their dogs means taking their dogs to play with other dogs. Play time is for the sole purpose of tiring out their dogs.
Playing with other dogs is nice and l am not saying it is wrong. However, when l say playing structurally, l am talking about playing games with your dogs whereas there are rules and purposes, such as nosework, tug, retrieve...etc. I am not talking about taking your dog to play with other dogs.
Watching your dog play with other dogs is not the same as playing with your dog structurally yourself.
Unfortunately, for a lot of dogs, that is the only kind of play they get.
Watching your dog play with other dogs will not build engagement the way structural play can. Your dog will not want to pay close attention to you and spend more time with you just because you are standing on the side watching him play.
To build engagement, you need to make an effort and take the time to play with your dog yourself. You have to be an active participant, not a spectator.
During play, you can show your dog how to engage in you; you can teach your dog that it is a lot of fun being with you; you can instil in your dog's mind you are the most exciting and amazing person to be around - spending time with you now becomes extra special, which makes you extra special.
Your dog will build a strong relationship with whoever he spends the most time with.
If he spends more time playing with other dogs than playing with you, can you blame him for thinking that playing with these dogs are more interesting than playing with you?