Top ways your dog shows you love

Dog lying on a sofa and woman's hand scratching its belly

Have you ever wondered if your dog really loves you?

Well, this is an easy one, of course they do!

From subtle body language to over-the-top displays of affection, your dog showers you with love in many different ways.

We asked Diane, our in-house behaviourist for the top 10 signs your dog loves you with all their heart:

  1. They get excited when they see you. Their body language will range from soft eye contact, a good old tail wag to a full-on body wiggle – these are a sure sign they love and trust you.
  2. They lick you and give you doggie kisses. Puppies will try to lick your face as this is something they do to their mother’s face as an instinctual way of telling them they are hungry. Even when they grow out of this, some dogs still maintain the licking instinct. They also lick to groom each other which is a signal of a solid bond, so you can definitely take doggy kisses as a sign of love from your dog.
  3. They follow you. This can be associated with separation anxiety or attention seeking; however, most dogs will follow you just because they want to be with you. Dogs are companion animals and like to stay with their family. Their family unit is the most important thing in their life, and they’ll constantly be looking for approval, companionship, and love from them.
  4. They lean into you. Whether you’re lying on the sofa or sitting on the floor, dogs like to have physical contact with you and will come in for a cuddle or lay next to you gently touching you. When this happens, make sure to take a few minutes to sit down and pet them, showing them you love them as well!
  5. They bring you their favourite toy to play with you. If your dog really, really loves you, they will often trust you with their most prized possession – their favourite toy! It’s their way of sharing their belongings with you, demonstrating their affection as well as enjoying a good tug of war game.
  6. They want to sleep near you. In the wild, wolves in packs sleep together curled up for security and warmth and our dogs often curl up with each other too. Since you are your pup’s best friend and family, it’s no surprise they might want to sleep near you.
  7. They try to “herd” you. Sometimes dogs will try to herd you if they think you are wandering off on your own. It’s a way of them keeping you safe and out of danger. Herding behaviour is often seen in breeds that were originally developed to control livestock, such as border collies.
  8. They will sense your sadness. Dogs have an amazing ability to sense if you are sad or struggling and will often respond by snuggling up to you, resting their head on you, or just staying close to you during these times. They care that you are happy just as much as you care they are happy.
  9. Jumping up at you. Whilst most people teach their dogs not to jump up, it’s actually their way of showing just how much they have missed you. Wolves will often display similar signs when pack members come back from a hunt, jumping at their faces and licking at them to welcome them home.
  10. They get excited when they hear your name. We know dogs learn their own names, but they can also learn yours. They might show signs of excitement if they hear your name spoken – yet another way they show how much they love you.

The bottom line? Our dogs love us unconditionally—they just sometimes express it in weird and wonderful ways.

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