If you have ever owned a dog, you understand that one of the main reasons so many people around the world choose to get one is due to their unconditional love for their owners. According to multiple studies, there are around 74.8 million people out there that would prefer a dog as their pet of choice! The reasons for this are simple.
For most, a dog isn’t just a pet. When you get one, they quickly become a part of your family. Your dog doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, what family you are from, what your background is, or where you grew up. Your dog will love you for who you are no matter what! There are stories all over the internet of emotional dogs reuniting with their owners after being lost for long periods of time. So, when you get a dog, you almost expect that you will receive this unconditional love as well!
The Number 1 Way To Tell if Your Dog Loves You
Below we are going to go over 15 ways to know your dog loves you, but the number 1 way to know your dog loves you just as much as you love them is by reading their body language.
Obviously, your dog can’t talk to you and tell you how he feels. But dogs do communicate and show their feelings through body language. There are many studies out there describing different body languages dogs will use to show love, such as the “happy dog uncontrollable tail wag”. If the tail wags to the right it is more meaningful than if it wags to the left. Other studies say that lifting their eyebrows, specifically the left one, shows signs of familiarity and love. The reason for these responses is your dogs brain releases Oxytocin, which is commonly referred to as the “love hormone”. Bottom-line is when you see that “doggy-grin,” you will know that your dog loves you!
15 Other Ways Your Dog Proves Their Love Toward You
Getting Excited When You Walk Through the Door
After a long day at the office, one of the best feelings for dog owners is walking through the door and getting loved on by your overly excited pup who has been patiently waiting to see you all day! There’s no better feeling than having your dog jump on you out of excitement when you walk through the door!
A lot of times, it doesn’t even matter if you have been gone all day or you just ran to the store for a few minutes, they are always just as excited to see you return. This is an obvious way to detect that your dog missed you while you were gone and that they are happy to have you back! However, don’t confuse this with signs of separation anxiety. You’ll know the difference depending on the condition of your home when you walk in. If your dog tore things up and made a mess, they may have separation anxiety.
Always Curls Up Beside You
Does your dog follow you around everywhere and always curl up beside you on the couch? Or maybe he/she even tries sleeping in your bed? That’s because they feel safe and secure around you and it’s their way of telling you they love and trust you.
You could be anywhere in the house and their preferred spot is leaned up against your leg or resting their head on your lap. That is a good sign that your dog loves you and they find extra comfort being around you.
Rolling Around on Their Back
Is it normal that whenever you are petting your dog, they always end up rolling over on their back and forcing you to scratch their belly? This is another way your dog will show affection. It’s indication that your dog isn’t afraid to leave themselves vulnerable around you.
This type of behavior is your dog showing you that he craves your attention. Some dogs even prefer this to a treat!
Sometimes Gets A Little Jealous
One thing you will notice if your dog loves you is that they tend to get a bit of jealousy from time to time. Sometimes dogs will get in between you and another dog you are playing with to try and win back that attention.
Some people even experience this while talking with their spouses or playing with their kids. Too much of this behavior can turn into a problem, but it is a sure sign your dog loves you deep down!
Sleeps on Your Clothes
This goes back to how your dog wants to be around you and is always curling up beside you everywhere you go. They feel safe and secure in your presence. So, if you don’t allow your dog to climb in your bed or if you are out of the house, sometimes your dog will curl up with some old clothes you have lying around.
They can pick up your scent off the clothing and get that same feeling of safety and security as they would if you were sitting there beside them. This is a sign that they love you!
Stares into Your Eyes
Most of the time, if you catch your dog staring or making eye contact with you, they are probably hoping for some type of snack or treat. Maybe they are looking for some attention or direction. But a lot of times dogs will do this because it is one way that your dog shows love. Of course, they may love you even more should you toss a sausage link or two their way!
Looks for You When Scared
A loving dog will often run to their owner anytime they are frightened or scared. An unfamiliar child running up to pet them or loud noises such as fireworks or sirens will often cause them to dart for their owner. When your dog feels safe around you and looks to you for protection, you know they love you!
Responds When You Call
Another great sign that your dog loves you is when they listen to you calling for them. They can be out playing in the yard or chewing on a bone but drop what they are doing and run right over as soon as they hear your voice.
Training also plays a big part in this behavior, so don’t be discouraged thinking your dog doesn’t love you if he doesn’t respond right away. This can take some patience and training, but eventually your dog will show you the love!
Waits for You to Get Home
This is a sign I have learned from my own experience as a dog owner. Right around the time you usually get home from work, your dog will linger around the door or window waiting for you to get there.
Some people believe that your dog doesn’t know if you have been away for one hour or ten, but studies have shown that dogs do recognize routines and environment changes. This explains why your dog will be watching out the window right around the time you get home from work. They know that it is soon time to greet you!
The Big Fat Grin
Have you ever seen dogs that look like they are smiling? There’s been a lot of debate about whether the dog is actually smiling because they are happy or if they just appear to be smiling but it doesn’t mean anything. Recent studies show that some dogs actually DO smile!
It gets even better, they learned how to do this from you. Dogs do a great job reading human emotions, and over a number of years they can learn to replicate what humans do. If they associate your smile with joy, they will begin to smile they feeling joyful.
They Mimic Your Yawn
The science on this one isn’t as clear cut as the science behind the smile we talked about above, but if your dog yawns when you do it COULD be a sign of them expressing sympathy toward you. If you want to learn more about the science behind this one, read here.
Licks Your Face and Hands
One way dogs naturally groom each other is through licking. They usually only do this with their offspring to keep them healthy and clean. If your dog starts licking your face or hands when you start petting them, this could be them saying “I love you”.
Follows You Around
Does your dog seem to follow your every move? When you get ready for work do they try to follow you into the closet? When you’re cooking, is your dog right at your heels? Or if you’ve been in different rooms for a while, do they come in and check on you to make sure you’re still ok? This is a sign of love, your dog wants to make sure you are staying safe.
This is a big one! Dogs are extremely possessive of their toys. You’ve probably even seem some dogs bury their toys in the dirt to hide them from others. If your dog brings their favorite toy to you and wants you to play with it, they’re letting you know how much they trust you and want you to have just as much fun with it as they do.
Protective of You
Although not all dogs are overly aggressive, some will go to extreme lengths to protect you. When a stranger walks into your home, most dogs will see how you’re reacting to figure out if this person is welcomed or not.
If your dog senses they are not welcomed, they will protect you by getting between you and the stranger and aggressively barking/growling. Dogs will only protect those they love, so if your dog has ever stepped between you and danger, you know they love you.
Why Paying Attention To These Signs is Important
Dogs need to be in loving relationships. They are pack animals and if they feel like they no longer have a pack they will become depressed. Take some time to read through all the signs above, play close attention to their body language (especially the tail and eyebrows), and make and educated decision on how much love your dog is expressing toward you. Even an independent dog will show signs of affection.
If they are constantly expressing love, that’s great! This means they feel safe at home and are happy with the relationship. However, if they aren’t expressing any of these signs, you can fix this by spending more time with them. After all, the number one way to get a dog to like you is to simply spend time with them.
Dogs are amazing pets and loyal as can be. If you are showing them your love and attention along with giving them positive reinforcement, then most likely your dog will provide you with that same treatment right back!
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