Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to show your love to your furry friend. Dogs are known for their unconditional love, loyalty, and affection. But how do we know if our dogs love us back? Understanding your dog’s love language is key to strengthening your bond and communicating your love to them. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the most common ways that dogs show their love to their owners.
Dogs show their love through eye contact. When they look at you, the hormone oxytocin is released in their brain, which is known as the “happy” hormone. They will only release this hormone when they feel a strong connection to you. If your dog makes eye contact with you and the whites of their eyes are not visible, it means they are relaxed and comfortable with you.
Dogs are known to yawn when they are with their owners. A study from the University of Tokyo found that dogs are more likely to yawn in sync with their owners than with strangers. This is a sign of empathy and affection towards you.
Exposing Their Belly
When your dog rolls over and shows you their belly, it means they trust you completely. Sleeping on their back with their belly exposed is a vulnerable position, so if your dog is comfortable enough to do this around you, it’s a sign of their love and affection.
Leaning Against You
Leaning against you is a sign that your dog trusts and feels comfortable around you. If your dog leans on you, it means they feel safe, secure and are relaxed in your presence. Dogs often lean on their owners when they’re feeling scared or anxious, as they view you as their protector.
Physical Attention and Proximity
Dogs enjoy physical contact and close proximity to their owners. If your dog follows you from room to room and seeks physical contact, it’s a sign of their love and affection. Quality one-on-one time with your dog can strengthen your bond. However, excessive reliance on proximity can be a sign of separation anxiety and may require professional help.
Looking Back For You When Out Walking
When out on walks, your dog may look back at you to check that you’re nearby. This is a sign that they want to stay together as a pack and feel connected to you. Regular visual contact in new environments shows that your dog shares a strong bond with you and is less likely to run away.
Dogs reveal their emotions through their facial expressions. In a study conducted in Japan, dogs were shown their owners, strangers, toys, and items they disliked. When they saw their owners, they would lift their left eyebrows, and when they saw strangers, less facial movement occurred. Ear position is also significant, as when they saw someone they knew well, they would pull their left ear backwards. So, if you want to know your dog’s feelings towards you, watch for movement in the left or right side of their face.
Excited Welcome Home
A wagging tail and an excited welcome home are sure signs of a dog’s love. If your dog gets excited every time you come home, it means they are happy to see you and are showing their affection.
A Love For Your Shoes and Clothes
When a dog loves a human, they also love their scent. Dogs have an incredibly powerful sense of smell, just as us humans have keen eyesight. Where we might keep a photograph of someone we love, dogs often seek out a ‘souvenir’ in the form of your scent. If your dog rummages through your shoe pile or dirty laundry basket for stinky socks, take it as a compliment!
However, stealing shoes and dirty clothes isn’t always ideal – especially if your dog chews on them! To prevent inappropriate destructive behaviour, always make sure your dog has plenty of stimulation. You could hide some of our Beg n Bark treats in a rolled-up towel or snuffle mat when you leave the house for a healthy and engaging treat!
Dogs tend to sleep closest to the people they feel a strongest bond with. Sleeping nearby indicates that your dog perceives you as part of their pack and doesn’t want to be separated at night. Dog packs naturally sleep together, so this behaviour is completely normal and shows a strong bond.
He loves me!
There are many signs that your dog loves you and it is important to understand their unique love language. So, this Valentine’s Day, take the time to show your furry friend how much you love them and return their affection. Your bond will only grow stronger with each act of love. And, if you’re ever in doubt, remember that a wagging tail and an excited welcome home are sure signs that your four-legged friend is head over heels in love.