Dogs are known to be incredibly affectionate creatures, often showering their owners with love and attention in various ways. While it’s easy to interpret certain behaviors as signs of love, such as tail wagging and excited barking, it can be difficult to distinguish between positive and negative expressions. However, there are a few surefire signs that your furry friend is showing affection.
The first sign of affection that dogs exhibit is prolonged eye contact. Just like humans, dogs use eye contact to communicate emotions, from trust and loyalty to fear and anxiety. If your dog maintains eye contact with you while you’re playing or cuddling, it’s a good indicator that they feel safe and secure in your presence. When dogs look at their owners, their brains release oxytocin, which is also known as the “love hormone.” This hormone is the same one that mothers’ brains release when bonding with their babies.
Another way that dogs show affection is by leaning against their owners. Just like with eye contact, leaning is a way for dogs to feel safe and secure. If your dog leans against you while you’re sitting on the couch or the floor, it means that they trust and love you. Dogs may also lean against their owners when they’re feeling scared or anxious, as they see their owners as protectors.
Sleeping in the same room as their owners is another way that dogs show affection. While some owners may not allow their dogs to sleep in their beds, if their pup still wants to be in the same room as them, it’s a good sign that they’re loyal and don’t want to be separated from their pack. Investing in a comfortable dog bed can provide a happy medium for owners who don’t want their dogs in their beds but still want them nearby.
When owners return home after being away, their dogs may exhibit a range of behaviors that show excitement and joy. Jumping up and down, licking their owner’s face and hands, bringing them a toy, and even “excited peeing” are all signs that their dog is thrilled to see them. These behaviors indicate that dogs view their owners as a source of love and comfort, and can’t wait to be near them again.
Some dogs may also exhibit a preference for their owner’s scent. They may steal shoes, socks, or even underwear from their owner’s laundry pile. While this behavior may not always be welcome, it’s a good sign that their dog loves and is attached to them. To prevent inappropriate chewing, owners can provide their dogs with plenty of engaging toys or safe chew toys.
Dogs may also check up on their owners to make sure they’re nearby, even if they’re not physically with them. This behavior is more common in independent dogs who may not always be at their owner’s side. Checking in from another room, during a walk, or in a new environment is a way for dogs to show their love and concern for their owners.
Physical contact is another way that dogs show affection. While some dogs may not enjoy being picked up and hugged tightly, pets, cuddles, and gentle hugs are all strong signals that a dog is bonded with their owner. These physical displays of affection can strengthen the relationship between owner and dog.
It’s not uncommon for dogs, especially puppies, to pee a little bit when they get excited. While this behavior may seem like a regression in potty training, it’s a sign of love and excitement. Most dogs grow out of this behavior and can hold their urine when they’re happy to see their owners.
Finally, some dogs may exhibit a “smiling” behavior by pulling back their lips to reveal a toothy grin. While not all dogs smile in this way, those that do are expressing joy and happiness.