A few months back, we posted the following question on social media:
“What would you like to ask your dog, if he/she could talk?”
The most popular reply was: “Do you love me?” followed closely by “Are you happy?”
We love our companions and show it daily with belly rubs, news toys and (too) many treats.
But how can you tell if the feeling is mutual?
Well, even though dogs cannot talk, there are a lot of signs they use regularly to show love and trust towards their owner.
A dog that loves you will greet you at the door.
You know that tail thumping and that wiggly butt happily strutting towards you when you get back from work? Those are the signs your dog is excited to see you.
Most dogs learn to recognize and anticipate the time of your return. Seeing their favourite human crossing the door and finally being reunited is enough to break into a happy dance…for both dogs and owners! Let’s face it, there is nothing better than a dog greeting you after a hard day of work.
Jumping is another sign that your dog is happy to see you. Granted, it isn’t the type of behaviour most pet owners wish for, BUT it is a sign your dog wants to be in contact with you.
Note: over-the-top excitement, barking and crying, with difficulty to settle once you’re back, can be signs of separation anxiety in some dogs. It is not a demonstration of love but one of great relief to finally see you come home, after a distressed day.
Dogs bring over toys to show their fondness
Raise your paw if you could not focus on a Zoom call because your dog kept bringing you all the toys in his basket?
Well, you will be pleased to know that this is a sign your dog is trusting you, wants to please you and simply spend time with you.
Further, a dog who brings you a toy that has “exploded” for no apparent reason, shows he has trust in your ability to solve the problem and fix the toy (RIP Larry the hedgehog, there is no fixing you!).
Didn’t Joyce Brothers say: “The best proof of love is trust?"
A dog gazing at you with soft eyes is a sign of deep affection.
Staring longingly and leaning on one’s owner are both simple signs of affection that are devoid of motivation other than the pleasure of your company (as opposed to doing it in order to score a biscuit!).
For a long time, a dog leaning on its owner was perceived at a sign of dominance. Turns out they are just seeking some affection.
If your dog joins you on the couch and slumps on your lap, welcome it, they are looking for comfort and simply want to be in your company. Dogs are pack animals; it is in their nature to be in proximity with others.
Dogs gazing at their owners with relaxed eyes and without expecting something in return, are showing signs of deep affection. Studies show that this act releases Oxytocin (the love hormone) and promotes the creation of a bond between you and your pet.
So go ahead and gaze back at them, blinking slowly. You can even offer a scratch behind the ears, to show your pup they can be comfortable in your presence.
Signs of love that are dependent on dog breeds
Dr Angela Hughes, a veterinary geneticist, explains that not all breeds show their affection in the same way.
Border collies and German Shepherd for example, communicate their affection through hard work. Meanwhile, Alaskan breeds such as Samoyed, or Siberian Husky express their love through play, jumping and roughhousing.
Pomeranian, Pug, Maltese, show their affection by being with you, everywhere…and all the time!
Dogs paying no attention to you- a disguise sign of love.
I often think that my dog turning her back to me means she simply can’t deal with me right now. After all, us humans and our antics, can seem pretty crazy to our four-legged friends.
A dog happily snoozing away when in the same room as you, or turning its back to you, is another indication of trust. It shows your dog is comfortable enough not to constantly examine its surroundings for signs of danger.
Though they can’t put their love into words, dogs still show us their affection through body language.
Which signs does your dog use to show affection?
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