How Can You Tell If Your Dog Loves You

 

When I was in high school I had an English teacher who insisted that dogs couldn’t feel love. He maintained that they were only nice to their humans in order to be fed. I didn’t have a dog at the time, but this idea so enraged me I didn’t know what to do.

Now that I have a dog I can say unequivocally that his statement was total crap.

It may be true that dogs become bonded to the person who feeds them, but I have no doubt that in addition to loving being fed, my dog also loves me.

Do you ever wonder how your dog says I love you to you? Here are 5 ways your dog tells you they love you.


1.They Lick You:

Many of us teach our dog to give kisses, but dogs do naturally lick us as a way to show affection and be closer to us. Licking is a sign of affection because it was the first sign of love they got from their mama when they were born. According to Dr. Karen Becker, “One reason dogs are so quick to lick is because it’s one of their earliest memories of their mother — the nurturing they received when they were at their most vulnerable, which is now inherent in their behavior”

“When a dog licks you (or anybody else), the “feel-good hormones” called endorphins rush in — for them, although you might get a similar outpouring of comfort and satisfaction, too. Their endorphin rush arrives because they love being themselves around you. They know you know they accept you, love you and defer to you, and their licking shows it.”


2. They Gaze at you

In some instances, staring at a dog is a bad idea, especially one you just met. It can be seen as confrontational and aggressive, but with your own dog, those moments of mutual gazing are loving and comforting. Recent studies have shown that mutual gazing releases oxytocin in both human and dog. This is the love hormone, the same one that is released through hugging,and when mothers breastfeed.

If your dog is gazing at you softly with relaxed body language, you can be sure this is a sign he is feeling the love


3. They Flip Out When You Get Home

There is nothing better. It doesn’t matter how long I have been gone, but when I come back home my Boo Boo greets me with a quickly-wagging tail, a doggy smile, a  jump of joy. This is love, pure and simple, and it fills me with joy every time it happens.


4. They Snuggle and Co-Sleep with You

These are more behaviors that, to me, just ooze love and affection. Some dogs are more naturally cuddly than others. My dog for one is not always wanting lots of physical affection, especially from strangers. So when he cuddles up to me on the couch whike I am working or watching tv, puts his head in my lap and falls asleep, I feel the love because I know it means he feels loving, comfortable and safe with me.

Co-sleepig is another great sign of affection. Dogs are pack animals, and I’m sure you have seen a puppy pile. In the wild, in their den, dogs sleep on top of each other, cuddled together for warmth, safety, comfort. It generated feelings of safety and love. My dog is glued to me all night, and even if he has me pushed up to the end of the bed or I am in a wildly uncomfortable positon, I wouldn’t change it for the world because I know that t means my dog feels comfortable, and safe with me. And the longer we sleep close to each other, the closer and more loving we become. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to find I am spooning with my dog, his little head tucked under my chin. If that’s not love, what is?!


5. They Lean Against You

This is another one of my favorites, the doggy lean. Leaning happens for a few reasons: they want to be cuddled; they feel afraid; they want to feel safe and secure. Either way, by leaning into you they are showing they love, trust and need you. I think of it as a doggy hug.