We love our dogs… unconditionally.
Showering them with affection isn’t a task at all.
We even love our pooches more than ourselves.
But sometimes it makes you think,
“Does my dog love me back?”
“Or are they staying just because they need something from me?”
Read on to learn:
- 27 signs that your dog loves you.
- If dogs are able to grow feelings for their fur parents.
- Which activities do you do that make your dog feel loved.
- And this is just the beginning…
Table of contents
- How do you tell if your dog actually loves you?
- 27 signs your dog loves you
- #1: They bring you their toys
- #2: They wag their tail when they see you
- #3: They like snuggling with you
- #4: They try to protect you
- #5: They walk around with you
- #6: They play with you
- #7: They sleep beside you
- #8: They don’t mind your appearance
- #9: They lick you all over
- #10: They look for you when they’re scared
- #11: They get sad when you’re away from them
- #12: They check on you regularly
- #13: After food, you’re their priority
- #14: They show you the “puppy eyes”
- #15: They sit beside you on the couch
- #16: They get excited when you exude happiness
- #17: They let you touch their babies
- #18: They frequently nibble on your things
- #19: They’re interested in your activities
- #20: They lean on you
- #21: They yawn with you
- #22:They steal your clothes
- #23: They smile at you
- #24:They lift their brows when they see you
- #25: They look at you intently
- #26 They recognize your voice
- #27: They initiate bonding time
- People also ask:
How do you tell if your dog actually loves you?
You can tell if your dog loves you if they follow you everywhere. Giving you their toys and showing signs of happiness when they see you also indicate love. Looking at you intently is also a sign that they adore you. Being comfortable when you are around is an indicator, too.
27 signs your dog loves you
#1: They bring you their toys
A pooch’s plaything is one of the most important objects to them.
They value it dearly and often bring it everywhere they go.
Some dogs might even get protective when it comes to their toys.
If people they don’t know come up to them and try to take their toy, they’d get defensive.
However, when they feel connected with someone, they share their toys.
And that person could be you.
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing.
You could just be chilling on your couch and they’d come up to you and bring you a toy.
Your pooch might even do this when you arrive home.
They love sharing things that bring them joy.
Maybe they’re thinking, “I liek dis. Toy maeks me happi. Hooman will be happi wid dis, too.”
When this happens, joyfully accept their “gift”.
Maybe even play with them for a while.
#2: They wag their tail when they see you
Another sign that your dog loves you is they get excited when you’re around.
It’s their version of letting out a little scream when you see your best friend.
After all, you’re one of the good things they have in their life.
Not just because you are an unlimited source of treats.
But also you shower them with affection and care.
And because of the connection that you’ve made with them, they’re happy when they see you.
Tail wagging is a communication language in dogs.
According to research, they do this to show excitement, happiness, and friendliness.
Especially if they wag it loosely from one side to the other.
Remember how they’d move their tail when they greet you at the door?
Doesn’t matter if you were gone for a full day or just went out to get the paper.
Your fur baby is always there looking at you and wagging their tail.
#3: They like snuggling with you
Getting warm and cozy with you is another sign that your dog loves you.
They usually don’t get up close and personal with people they don’t trust.
Cuddling is a very vulnerable position your pooch will be in.
It can open them up to attackers.
Other aggressive pets can also hurt them if they’re not on the lookout.
However, because you’ve built a relationship and trust with them, they’re not afraid.
Your fur baby can relax by your side and rest easily.
Bonding times like these can also help you improve your relationship with your pooch.
The fact that they’re open to building a better connection with you means they love you.
I mean, your fur baby could just easily walk away if they see you around, right?
#4: They try to protect you
Dogs are naturally protective animals.
Especially if they see you as someone who is part of their pack.
Members of this group are those that your pooch cares for.
This behavior can be seen in some of their relatives – the wolves.
In the wild, when they travel, they go in packs.
Because of this, they survive longer and are able to travel farther.
Resources are being shared between them.
Examples of these would be:
They’ll also be more effective in hunting prey if they work as a pack.
This same characteristic has been passed down to modern-day dogs.
Research shows that canids have similarities in their DNA.
Scientists studied 58 canines, 12 of which are wolves.
And have been around for about 33,000 years.
No wonder they still act just like how wolves do – protective and loving.
#5: They walk around with you
Oh you probably are very familiar with this one.
Would you consider your dog as a living furry magnet?
If yes, then you likely have experienced how it is to have a dog-shaped shadow.
And by this, I mean they’re following you almost anywhere.
Doesn’t matter where you are. They’re going to be all up in your life.
Some pooches might even scratch and whine at your bathroom door because they wanna join you.
This behavior is more likely to happen if you have lap dogs.
Their breed is designed to want to be around their fur parents.
Examples of these would be:
- Shih Tzu.
- Bichon Frise.
- Yorkshire Terrier.
- King Charles Spaniel.
If your pooch is one of these dogs, then get ready to get followed around.
Privacy wouldn’t be a word that exists in your life.
#6: They play with you
Dogs love play time.
It’s probably one of the activities that they look forward to everyday.
Especially if they get to do it with people they like.
If you’re one of the people that your pooch loves, play time comes easy.
Throwing their favorite toy will turn into a game of fetch.
If you’re into it, your fur baby can also bite on a toy and play tug-of-war with you.
However, if someone they don’t trust tries to do it, they shy away.
Their body language shows it.
Turning their back on the person or not getting up to engage in any activity is a sign they don’t wanna play.
Well, don’t be sad if they don’t respond positively.
If this happens, give them the space they need.
Just like humans, dogs need to recharge their social energy battery, too.
But if they’re well-rested, then playing with them will be a breeze.
Some pooches even try to play with their fur parents during work.
Just look at these cute fur babies:
#7: They sleep beside you
Resting by your side is another sign your pooch loves you.
Just like in #3, sleeping can make your fur baby vulnerable to attackers.
And I believe the risk is even higher.
I mean, if they’re just snuggling, they’re awake and can react to immediate harm.
Sleeping on the other hand is riskier.
And it takes a higher level of trust for them to do this with you.
This behavior is also another way for dogs to protect you.
You’ll probably notice them slowly climbing up on your bed.
Or… you know, in some cases, jump up and cannonball their way to your space.
#8: They don’t mind your appearance
This, I think, is one of the measures of unconditional love.
Some people might treat you a little differently based on your appearance.
But your dog?
They don’t mind if you woke up like you were just in a boxing match with Mike Tyson.
Clothes all wrinkly from a good night’s sleep.
All these are things that your pooch wouldn’t mind looking at.
Or even smelling.
They love your scent, there’s no denying that.
After all, dogs try to learn about you mainly through your smell.
Their noses are so strong they can sniff out pheromones and will then know how you feel.
But whatever the situation is, your dog will still love you.
#9: They lick you all over
Sloppy kisses are another way your pooch shows that they love you.
I mean, it’s inevitable.
When they get near you, it’s like you turn into a creamy vanilla ice cream in their eyes.
Dr. Horowitz says that kissing started out as a food-seeking activity.
You might notice this when your pooch licks you after a workout.
It’s likely that they think you taste good.
Not in a “I wanna eat you” kind of way. It’s just that they like the salty taste of a human’s skin.
But, later on it has turned into a greeting.
Some wild dog species welcome members of their pack when they come home.
And they do this by licking.
Because of this observation, Dr. Burch concludes that it is a sign of love and affection.
It can also remind them of their childhood.
And they want you to feel the same care they felt from their moms who used to lick them.
#10: They look for you when they’re scared
If you’ve been with your pooch for a long time, it’s most likely that they consider you as their main provider.
This is especially true if you fed, bathed, and cared for them since they were small.
And even if your pooch joined your family when they’re already adults, they’ll still love you.
As long as you treat them well, too.
And because of this relationship, they look for you when they need something.
It can be asking for help from getting a toy that got stuck under the fridge.
Or maybe fending off a scary animal they saw in your home.
They look to you as someone who is a part of their pack and are therefore a source of protection.
When your dog is exhibiting fearful behaviors, you might wanna look more into that.
There could be underlying reasons that need to be addressed.
#11: They get sad when you’re away from them
As mentioned in #5, there are dogs who just can’t stay away from their fur parents.
There’s also another type of dog that is extra clingy to you.
They’re commonly known as “velcro dogs”.
Aptly named because they cling to you like velcro.
You know that material you find on your bags and shoes?
The ones that make a loud noise when you open them?
If your dog sticks to you like that material, then they’re most likely a velcro dog.
Examples of these dog breeds would be:
- Golden Retriever.
- Italian Greyhound.
- Labrador Retriever.
- Shetland Sheepdog.
These fur babies would also make good guard dogs.
Since they’d always want to be near you and are on the lookout for danger.
#12: They check on you regularly
In connection to #11, dogs who love you will always keep you out of danger.
Because of this, they might be checking how you’re doing.
Especially when you’re out of their sight.
They’d probably walk and try to find you and check if you’re doing okay.
Your pooch might also be interested in what you’re doing.
This might happen more if you’re working on something that makes loud noises.
- Moving furniture.
- Light carpentry work.
- Cleaning pots and pans.
It might tick them off and will get them worried.
But this fear is stemming from their love of you.
They just want you to be safe from whatever possible danger they just saw or heard.
#13: After food, you’re their priority
Dogs usually live in the “now” and would be excited if there’s food present.
But after getting their fill of tasty treats, they’ll suddenly get their focus on you.
This happens mostly if you have built a relationship with your dog.
If a fur baby is being fed by someone they don’t have a connection with, they’d walk away after the meal.
Or maybe stay but they won’t act as excited as they would be when they’re with you.
A dog’s emotions will show through their actions.
If they still want to cuddle and play with you after they eat – that’s unconditional love.
That means they’re not just there because you provide them food.
Your pooch connects with you because they love you.
#14: They show you the “puppy eyes”
All fur parents are familiar with this.
The spell that makes you pull out treats even if they’re already a little over their snack budget.
Oh, who are we kidding. Our pooches are our weaknesses.
And the fragility only triples when we see their puppy eyes.
According to NatGeo, this behavior is a result of evolution.
Because of their domestication, pooches have learned how humans communicate.
They saw that we frequently use our brows.
And dogs copied this behavior to improve their communication with our species.
Isn’t that awesome?
And quite frankly extremely cute?
They also do this only to people they want to “talk” to.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that they love the people they do the puppy eyes to.
But, those that are close to them will see it more.
I mean, the treats keep coming… why wouldn’t they do it?
#15: They sit beside you on the couch
This is another manifestation of a dog’s love.
Sitting beside you can be a sign of affection and love.
This is just like snuggling and sleeping with you.
They want to be as near as possible to you.
Your pooch could also be attracted to your warmth.
Especially during the cold season. You’ll likely notice your pooch sitting beside you on the couch.
You’re probably their favorite and most loved source of warmth.
But you can help them out by buying them cute sweaters.
If you notice them getting too chilly, you can purchase one from Amazon. A good example is the Jecikelon Pet Dog Clothes Knitwear Dog Sweater.
Not only will they warm even without you, your pooch will also look cute sitting beside you.
#16: They get excited when you exude happiness
Pooches who have strong bonds with their parents will copy their emotions.
When you feel down, they do too.
If you are overjoyed, then you’ll likely feel positive.
You see, dogs have the ability to copy their hoomans emotions.
They have the skills to sniff out hormones.
These chemicals are usually released by our bodies when we feel certain emotions.
And when our pooch detects these hormones, they’d feel the same way, too.
There’s one research that shows dogs copying the cortisol levels of their fur parents.
This hormone is released when someone is stressed.
And if we feel this when our pooches are present, they get negative emotions, too.
And the same goes for happy hormones.
#17: They let you touch their babies
It’s known that pooches are very protective of those they deem important.
And of course, their babies are one of them.
I mean, mothers are always defensive when it comes to their children.
When they give birth, pooches will stay with their kids.
And they’ll start bonding with them and groom them.
Usually, dogs wouldn’t mind if people touch their kids… under one condition.
They fully trust you.
If they don’t, dogs will have the tendency to be aggressive.
Canines who are new moms might bite those that try to get touchy feely with their kids.
Even if they don’t mean any harm to them.
On the other hand, if you hold their baby, they’ll gladly let you.
Your dog will most likely see it as a bonding moment between you and their kids.
#18: They frequently nibble on your things
When dogs are emotionally attached to someone, they like everything about them.
Their presence, voice, even smell will be something that brings them joy.
That’s why when your dog loves you, they’ll play with your clothes.
And this wouldn’t just happen to your clothes.
Other items they’ll nibble on might include:
- Your spot on the couch.
Kind of a weird way of showing they love you, but that’s just how they are.
I think it’s closely the same as when human babies cry and miss one of their parents, their clothes calm them down.
Just the smell will pacify them and make them think that their mother or father is there.
Check out next: Dogs And Socks: 33 Burning Questions Answered + 5 Tips
#19: They’re interested in your activities
This behavior is similar to what humans experience and show.
It’s pretty normal for us to be curious about what our friends are doing.
And other things that are of interest in their lives.
Well, provided that they’re comfortable in sharing.
Dogs are the same.
Whenever you go out or do something that sounds or looks new to them, they get curious.
And partly the reason they get interested is because they have a bond with you.
I mean, would they really care if they don’t love and trust the person?
They might even run away if they hear something scary.
But if you were the one doing an activity it’s a different story.
Sounds, lights, and other slightly threatening objects become interesting.
An example of this would be when dogs try to play with water when their hooman is tending their plants.
#20: They lean on you
Leaning is another physical display of a dog’s love for you.
It conveys a calm and relaxing environment that your dog could be feeling.
Although, there are other reasons why your dog leans on you:
- They’re scared.
- Needing warmth.
- Your dog is hiding something.
#21: They yawn with you
“Yawning? How is this a sign of love?”
That’s the exact same question that got into my mind when I learned about this.
Dogs who are affectionate towards their hoomans yawn when they do, too.
Cool, right? I thought so, too. And there’s even research that backs this claim.
It can also be a sign that your pooch is comfortable with you.
Emotional connections like this can only stem from a solid relationship.
And if you take good care of your pooch, they’ll likely have a good bond with you.
Try it out – fake a yawn, and see if your fur baby yawns after you.
#22:They steal your clothes
This is similar to #18.
What they like in your clothes is your scent.
Look – it doesn’t matter what the smell of your shirt is…
It could be in the laundry basket for 2 days and they’d still want to be around them.
They might see it as an opportunity to play with you.
What do you do when you see your pooch take your clothes?
You’ll most likely run after them, right?
This crazy circling around the house is something that your pooch might see as play time.
As long as they aren’t destructive to your stuff, there’s nothing to worry about.
Further reading: 11 Reasons Why Your Dog Takes Your Clothes When You Leave
#23: They smile at you
Smiling is another way your dog communicates that they love you.
According to PetMD, this behavior is something that they picked up from us.
And they associate it with good things.
- Petting them.
- Giving them treats.
- Reacting positively.
Dogs then replicate it and show it to hoomans that they love.
#24:They lift their brows when they see you
Another behavior that dogs learned from us is lifting their eyebrows.
They copied it from the expressions we show when we communicate.
Either when talking to other humans or when we speak to dogs.
Lifting their eyebrows may indicate that they’re trying to tell you something.
Or, they’re just trying to get your attention. Because when they do this, their eyes appear bigger.
#25: They look at you intently
Have you seen dogs who do the “whale eye”?
It’s one of those looks that might seem like a dog is side-eyeing someone.
That’s a sign of fear. And that they feel threatened.
However, if your dog looks at you with soft eyes and full of intent, then it can indicate affection.
They are giving you their full attention.
According to the AKC, this act also releases love hormones a.k.a. oxytocin.
#26 They recognize your voice
According to the AKC, dogs have an amazing sense of hearing.
They hear sounds and frequencies that humans normally can’t.
This is the reason why your pooch might get excited even if their other parent is still far away.
It could be that they heard the sound of their car.
Or the ingling of their keys.
Maybe even the sound of their voice.
And this hearing skill will also apply to you.
When you’ve bonded with your pooch, they’ll easily recognize your voice in a crowd.
Even if there’s noise all throughout, they’ll be able to come to you if you call them.
Provided that they were well-trained to recognize their name.
#27: They initiate bonding time
Affectionate dogs will want to play and do activities with you.
This could range from play time to household chores.
And if they’re ready to have fun with you, they usually do the following:
- Canines will tap the ground with both front legs.
- Exaggerated actions such as loud growling and snarling.
- They do the play bow – dogs lower their head but their bums are up.
If they frequently do this, then it means your dog loves you.
They like spending time with you.
And also creating a more healthy relationship with their fur parents.
People also ask:
Does my dog love me or just want food?
Your dog loves you, they don’t just want food.
It may seem like dogs can manipulate humans into giving them food.
By looking cute and trying to obey all our commands.
However, if your dog still stays and plays with you even after eating, then that’s a sign that they love you.
Do dogs feel love when you pet them?
Dogs feel love when you pet them.
Physical touch is one way for pooches to build relationships with their fur parents.
Also, oxytocin is released between you and your baby when you pet them. This is the happiness or love hormone.
Do dogs fall in love with their owners?
Dogs can fall in love with their owners.
Or at the very least show signs that they love them.
Frequent positive interactions can increase the bond between you and your pooch.
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