You know you love your dog… but does she love you? Here are ten surefire signs your dog would say “I love you” if she could speak.
Who can argue that dogs make phenomenal pals?
They are fiercely loyal, adorable, intelligent and oh-so-cuddly — we simply love them. But do they love us back? The short answer is yes. Like humans, dogs express their emotions both subtly and overtly in a variety of ways. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to decode their behaviour. Here are 10 signs of doggy affection:
1) THE CLASSIC “I’M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU”
If your dog jumps for joy when you arrive home, that’s a clear indication that she’s happy to see you. If she licks your hands and face, brings you her favourite toy or even excitedly lets out a little pee when you get home from work, it’s pretty safe to say that she loves you. In fact, her whole world revolves around you!
Wrestling, play fighting, roughhousing — whatever you call it, it’s a great way to bond with your dog and work off some energy at the same time. Dogs are also showing you their affection by wanting to engage with you in this way. In fact, it’s another great sign
of trust and comfort. Your pup may even let out a breathy laugh when she’s playing and having fun with you.
3) SEEKING PHYSICAL CONTACT
It doesn’t take a genius to conclude that dogs like attention and affection, and while they may not all love being restrictively hugged, few happy, healthy dogs would turn away a good snuggle from a trusted human friend. Gentle cuddles, leans and affectionate pawing are sure signs of a strong bond.
4) TAIL WAGGING
Tail wagging can mean several different things, but if you have a good relationship with your puppy, it’s fairly certain that her full-body tail wags are a sign of sheer delight at seeing you.
5) SLEEPING IN YOUR BEDROOM
If you let your pooch sleep on your bed, all of that nighttime snuggling feels pretty loving, right? But even if you don’t let your dog on the bed, if she still likes to sleep in your room at night, then she really loves you. Wanting to stay close to you when you sleep is a sure sign of loyalty, protection and love.
6) CARRYING YOUR SHOES AND SOCKS AROUND
Dogs who love their people can be particularly attached to their scent and may even raid the laundry basket or shoe pile for some stinky mementos! Stealing socks and shoes isn’t ideal behaviour, however, since it often leads to lots of chewing and ruined items. Better to donate something of yours to your pooch for comfort and bonding. Otherwise, keep her jaws entertained with some yummy raw bones or engaging toys.
7) GROOMING AND LICKING YOU
A doggy kiss on the face is a true sign of adoration! Dogs are social pack creatures, and grooming each other is an intimate sign of a caring bond. Some dogs will gently nose your hand or leg to ask you to interact with them, while others will lick you all over given half the chance!
8) FOLLOWING YOU AROUND
Canines are social by nature, and with a strong pack instinct, will try to stay near those they love and trust.
Scientists have discovered that dogs actually use the same muscles as humans when expressing their emotions — and that dogs do in fact smile! A doggy smile is usually reserved only for playmates and beloved family members and friends, though —
so when you see it, consider yourself lucky and loved!
10) PROLONGED EYE CONTACT
When your dog maintains eye contact with you, she’s letting you know that she loves and feels safe with you. According to Dr. Joanna Woodnutt, MRCVS, eye contact actually helps to create a deeper bond, too. “When your eyes meet, both of you will release oxytocin, AKA the ‘love hormone’, the same hormone that a mother’s brain releases when she’s bonding with her baby.” It needs to be natural, though — forcing eye contact can turn awkward quickly!
Emma Williams is a professional writer and pet parent who has written for big publishers including Animal Wellness Magazine, The Telegraph, Home Beautiful and Marriage.com. She enjoys sharing her knowledge on pet health, lifestyle topics and pet behaviour.