‘PAW-SITIVELY’ DEVOTED: SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG LOVES YOU!

Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, and for good reason. Their unconditional love and loyalty make them cherished members of our families. If you’ve ever wondered whether your dog loves you, and we expect they’ve already made their feelings quite clear, fear not! Dogs communicate their affection in various ways, and understanding the signs that show your dog loves you can deepen the bond between you and your four-legged friend.

 

dog with tail wagging

Tail Wagging

The classic tail wag is a universal sign of your dog’s happiness and excitement. If your dog’s tail wags enthusiastically upon seeing you, it’s a clear indication of their joy at your presence. Pay attention to the speed and height of the wag; a high, rapid wag usually signifies extreme happiness.

dog and owner look into each other's eyes

Gazing into Your Eyes

Eye contact is a powerful form of communication, and dogs use it to express love and trust. If your dog looks directly into your eyes with a relaxed gaze, it’s a sign that they feel a strong connection with you. This behaviour releases oxytocin, the “love hormone,” in both you and your dog, fostering a deeper emotional bond [1].

dog sleeping on woman's chest

Cuddling and Nuzzling

Dogs are pack animals, and physical closeness is their way of showing affection. If your dog snuggles up to you, rests their head on your lap, or nuzzles against you, they are expressing a desire for closeness and comfort. Embrace these moments, as they are clear indicators of your dog’s love.

When your dog feels secure and content in your presence, they exhibit relaxed body language. Look for signs such as a loose posture, a wagging tail, and a happy expression. A dog that naps or rests comfortably in your vicinity is a dog that feels safe and loved.

a happy dog looking at the camera

Excitement When You Return

Does your dog greet you with uncontainable excitement when you return home? Whether you’ve been gone for five minutes or five hours, a genuinely thrilled welcome is a sure sign of your dog’s love. Look for wagging tails, barking, and maybe even a joyful dance!

 

Following You Everywhere

Dogs often exhibit a strong desire to be near their favourite humans. If your dog follows you from room to room, it’s not just curiosity—it’s a sign of attachment. This behaviour is an expression of loyalty and a way for your dog to ensure they are close to you at all times.

dog bringing owner a stick

Bringing You Gifts

Some dogs express their affection by presenting you with “gifts”. These gifts could be their favourite toy, a sock, or even a stick! This behaviour stems from a dog’s instinct to share resources within the pack, and it’s a charming way for them to show you they care. Though sometimes the gift may not be quite what you were hoping for…

Happy Barking

Dogs have different barks for various emotions, and a happy bark is unmistakable. If your dog barks with a high-pitched, enthusiastic tone when they see you or during playtime, it’s their way of expressing joy. Responding positively to this happy communication reinforces their love for you.

small dog with tongue

Licking You with Love

One of the most distinctive ways that dogs express their love is through licking. While it might seem slobbery to us, a dog’s lick is their way of communicating affection, trust, and submission. When your dog showers you with licks, they are not only grooming you but also expressing a deep sense of attachment.

Dogs use licking as a way to bond with their pack members, and when directed at their human companions, it becomes a clear sign of love and connection. The act of licking releases endorphins in both the dog and the person, creating a positive and calming experience [2].

Your dog loves you!

Understanding the signs of your dog’s love not only strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend but also enhances the joy of pet ownership. Dogs communicate their feelings in unique and heart-warming ways, and recognising these signs allows you to reciprocate the love they so willingly give. Cherish the moments of companionship and enjoy the lifelong friendship you share with your devoted pet.

 

References

[1] Nagasawa, M., Mitsui, S., En, S., Ohtani, N., Ohta, M., Sakuma, Y., Onaka, T., Mogi, K. and Kikusui, T., 2015. Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds. Science348(6232), pp.333-336.

[2] PetMD. Why do dogs lick you? https://www.petmd.com/dog/behavior/why-do-dogs-lick-you

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