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Looking for signs your dog likes you and loves you? Look no more! Here are 7 surefire signs that you hold a special place in the heart of your beloved pet!
02/14/2023 | Sniff & Bark
February, the month of love, is upon us. What better way to celebrate than to count the many ways our dogs show us affection?
In exchange for all the food, poop, and canine shenanigans, sharing our lives with our pets rewards us in many immeasurable and intangible ways.
Here are 7 ways our dogs show us love…
Whether you own a large, athletic dog or a fluffy toy breed that fits perfectly on your lap, it’s a fact: dogs love cuddling with their favorite hoomans.
It’s not just us that’s saying that either. According to science, cuddling and interacting with pets leads to higher levels of the love hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin is responsible for those warm feelings of love and happiness we feel when we’re cuddling and bonding with our furry family members.
In addition, cuddling is also good for relieving stress and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
A study cited by John Hopkins Medicine reported that 84% of patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced fewer troubling symptoms when they were paired with service dogs. Forty percent even reduced their medications!
How’s that for four-legged therapy?
2. Exposing Their Bellies
Exposing their bellies may seem like one of the weirdest signs your dog likes you and loves you but in the animal kingdom, it’s a sign of submission. If your dog rolls over and exposes its belly to you while relaxing, take it as a compliment!
While it’s lying down on its back, your dog is vulnerable and cannot protect itself so it’s an indication of complete and utter trust We don’t know why dogs like having their bellies rubbed so much but it’s pretty clear that they enjoy it.
3. Classic Licking
Licking is like kissing for dogs. If your dog licks you, it’s one of the endearing ways dogs show affection. This is a natural behavior that they learn early on as puppies. Their mothers licked them as a sign of affection and for grooming so it isn’t surprising that dogs continue the behavior into adulthood.
Aside from feelings of fondness, dogs also lick us to get our attention or simply because they like our sometimes salty taste!
When we’ve been gone all day and return home, dogs give us the warmest welcomes — sometimes by jumping on us. In their excitement to spend time with us and reach us, they start jumping all over the place with frantic energy.
Return the affection with pets and praises. Unless you have a huge and heavy dog, it’s generally harmless. However, if it bothers you and causes problems, there are ways to prevent your dog from jumping on people.
5. Tail Wagging
Our dogs’ tails are one of the most expressive parts of their bodies. They hide their tail between their legs if they’re anxious or afraid. When they’re following a scent, their tails move quickly from side to side as a sign of intense focus.
But when they’re happy to see us? Their tails move smoothly, in sweeping and relaxed motions. The faster their tail wags, the more excited they are to be with us.
As owners, we learn to tell the difference between our furry friends’ different tail wags over time. Most often, it’s a sign that a dog is happy to be around you!
6. Maintaining Eye Contact With You
Maintaining eye contact with another person is a sign of intimacy and trust. The same is true for dogs. If you notice your dog looking at you for no apparent reason, it’s probably because they feel attached to you and enjoy spending time with you.
When you look into each other’s eyes, both of your brains release the feel-good chemical oxytocin.
Make sure you only practice this with dogs that you’re familiar with though. The same action can be perceived as a threat if the dog isn’t one you know well.
7. Crotch Sniffing
As embarrassing as this is (especially if you’re out in public), your dog is sniffing your crotch because it’s trying to get to know your scent. This is your canine’s way of saying, “hello.” When a dog smells you, it’s simply greeting you the way it does with other dogs it feels friendly with.
So, despite the fact that it’s weird and super awkward, take no offense because it’s normal, harmless dog behavior.
Whether it’s through sniffing, cuddling, asking for belly rubs, or something else — dogs are always showing us love one way or another. This Valentine’s Day why not show your fur baby you love it back by treating it with its favorite dog food or perhaps by gifting some of our Valentine-themed goodies?
Frequently Asked Questions
How do dogs show love to their owners?
Dogs show they love you in numerous ways. They’ll cuddle up against you, expose their bellies, lick you, jump on you, wag their tails, look you in the eye, and even sniff your crotch!
Depending on your dog’s personality, some dogs may perform all these behaviors or only a few of them. Whichever way your dog prefers to show you love, do things together to strengthen your bond. Even among dogs, building and deepening a relationship with them can take time.
How do you tell if a dog loves you?
There’s a lot of body language that you can use to see how your dog feels toward you. Generally, a wagging tail, licking, and cuddling with you are the most common signs of affection and attachment. If your dog seems excited to see you and prefers to be close to you, those are usually sure signs that love is in the air!
How do dogs choose their favorite person?
It can sometimes be tough to work out how dogs’ minds work so there’s no one answer to this. But most people agree that dogs form the strongest attachments to people with whom they’ve shared good interactions over a long period. Positive relationships that started during puppyhood and continued into their adult lives are particularly powerful for dogs.
Can dogs sense you love them?
Doctor and author Brian Hare has dedicated his life’s work to learning about canine cognition and he reassures us that the feeling is mutual: “Yes, your dog knows how much you love him! Dogs and humans have a very special relationship, where dogs have hijacked the human oxytocin bonding pathway normally reserved for our babies.”