Earning your dog’s trust is the ticket to their heart.
But how can you know if they trust you 100%?
There’s only one way to find out.
Continue reading to learn:
- 21 real signs your dog fully trusts you with their life.
- Whether your dog taking your things indicates trust or not.
- How to look at their tail to determine whether they have trust in you.
- And much much more…
Table of contents
- How do you know if your dog trusts you?
- 21 signs your dog trusts you
- #1: Sleeping beside you frequently
- #2: Following you anywhere you go
- #3: You can touch their valuable things
- #4: Holding their babies isn’t a problem
- #5: They run to you when they get hurt
- #6: You’ll be greeted lovingly when you see them
- #7: They’ll look at you with love
- #8: Your routine is something they know
- #9: You see them taking your things
- #10: They follow your vocal cues
- #11: Initiating cuddle time is pretty common
- #12: They let you kiss them
- #13: Your dog protects you
- #14: Playtime is a fun time
- #15: Your things get nibbled on
- #16: They do “dangerous” things with you
- #17: They have a relaxed body language around you
- #18: They eat from your hands
- #19: They usually don’t curl up when they sleep
- #20: Belly rubs and pets are welcome
- #21: They lean on you
How do you know if your dog trusts you?
You’ll know your dog trusts you if they look happy when they see you. A dog will wag their tail and show a big smile as a sign of joy. Trusting you will also make them follow you almost everywhere. Getting pets, rubs, and cuddles from people a dog trusts is welcome, too.
21 signs your dog trusts you
#1: Sleeping beside you frequently
Being able to relax and rest near you is a strong sign that your dog trusts you.
When they’re asleep, it’s their most vulnerable state.
Your pooch’s eyes are closed and their alertness level isn’t as high.
Compared to when they’re awake. Or even just chilling beside you.
Because of this, your fur baby is prone to attacks.
But since they trust you with their life, your pooch can sleep well.
Getting hurt is the least of their concerns.
This is especially true if you’ve built a relationship based on love and care.
For example, their training routines do not involve negative reinforcement.
Because of this, dogs are more confident in sleeping beside them.
As pack animals, dogs also prefer to sleep together for the following reasons:
- Emotional bond.
And this is why your pooch loves being with you, too.
Just be ready for when they jump up on your bed.
Or snuggling with you on the couch.
#2: Following you anywhere you go
Have you ever felt like you’ve got a furry magnet attached to you?
If your dog trusts you, then your answer is probably yes.
When canines feel bonded with their parents, they look at them as part of their pack.
You, a human, are a member of this elite furry group.
That’s why it is pretty normal for them to follow you around.
Cooking in the kitchen?
Watering your plants?
Cleaning the living room?
Doesn’t matter what you do, they’re there.
My instincts tell me that a dog is the ghostwriter for The Police’s song, “Every Breath You Take”.
The trust and bond could also be the reason why your dog follows you to the bathroom.
#3: You can touch their valuable things
Being protective is a common trait in dogs.
This happens if they’re safeguarding something important.
Examples of these things would be:
- Favorite toy.
If they don’t trust the person touching these things, they might get aggressive.
During their ancestors’ time, it was necessary to be possessive for survival.
I mean, if they didn’t protect their food, other animals might take it away.
However, this behavior shouldn’t be tolerated in a home setting.
And if you haven’t built a relationship with your pooch, they could do the following:
This behavior is called possessive aggression.
Dr. Horwitz defines this action as aggression that’s meant for humans and other pets.
Especially if you try to touch something that is valuable to them.
“Is this behavior something that can be changed?”
Most definitely. With the right training, this negative behavior can be stopped.
Training your dog to stop possessive aggression
What you can do is try approaching your pooch in a calm and gentle way.
Petting them and talking to them will help.
It teaches them that having you near them isn’t a threat.
When they are finally comfortable with you coming to them, slowly pull their bowl or toy away.
If they don’t react negatively, praise them and give them back the object you took.
Dr. Horwitz says that your goal should be to give your pooch something that they really like.
And it should be more than how they want the current object they’re enjoying.
Imagine this – if your fur baby is playing with a stick, try rewarding them with their favorite toy.
That’s if they stop with their aggression when you take the stick away.
#4: Holding their babies isn’t a problem
This is related to #3 but can be more intense since we’re talking about their offspring.
I mean, any loving parent would value their kid more than any object, right?
The same goes for most dogs.
Your pooch’s protectiveness will show once their babies are born.
After giving birth to them, your dog will stay with their pups.
Then they start grooming them.
Basically doing things that will increase their bond with their kids.
Now, when you try and touch their babies, they might look okay with it.
Provided that they trust you.
Just like getting aggressive over a chew toy, dogs will be extra protective with their pups.
Low growls and snarls are what you’ll receive if you touch their babies if they don’t trust you.
“Why would I wanna touch their pups anyway?”
Well, sometimes, new moms still don’t know what to do.
There will be times that they’ll roll over their pups causing them injuries.
If you don’t intervene because of their aggression, their babies can get hurt.
#5: They run to you when they get hurt
Ever called your mom after bruising your knee?
You’re not alone – I did too.
And your pooch feels this way when they hurt themselves.
There are several reasons why your fur baby gets hurt:
- An object fell on them.
- Fighting with other pets.
- Bitten/stung by an insect.
- They injured themselves while they were out playing.
And when these things happen, they’ll try to look for comfort.
Who do they run to?
The person they trust the most – you.
That is if you’ve built a good relationship with them.
When there is a strong bond between you and your pooch, they’ll look to you as the main provider.
They know they won’t go hungry when you’re around.
And getting hurt is also something that you can treat.
They don’t know that you got money for the vet. But they do understand that they need you if they’re badly injured.
#6: You’ll be greeted lovingly when you see them
When your dog sees someone they trust, they overflow with joy.
Just like how you’d react when the waiter brings your food.
Or when you see an accidental curly in your regular fry order.
Your presence just makes them delighted and it shows.
A dog will not be able to contain their excitement when they meet you.
Especially after a very long day of you being gone.
Whether you’re at work or had a day filled with chores.
Here are some of the things your fur baby might do when they greet you:
- Jump on you.
- Wag their tail.
- Show you a big smile.
- Barking or whining at you.
- Give you hundreds of kisses (licks).
Your pooch might even bring you their toy because of the trust and excitement they feel.
Welcome this love with open arms.
Pet them back and do things that might encourage them to do it more.
After all, we fur parents want to be a recipient of this love. Who doesn’t?
#7: They’ll look at you with love
Soft puppy eyes and loving stares – pretty common for dogs who trust you.
And as a fur parent yourself, your hands become an automatic treat dispenser.
Honestly, I think dogs have magic in their eyes.
Like a mind control ray or something.
Kidding aside, I’m sure you know what I mean.
And dogs only do this to people they trust.
I mean, would you personally ask a favor from someone you don’t know?
“Where did this behavior come from?”
Well, it’s kinda our fault.
Research shows that dogs can learn from humans.
And dogs have learned to do the puppy eyes from us.
This is due to their domestication and interaction with our species.
Your pooch’s ancestors saw that we use our facial muscles when communicating.
Whether they talk to other people or to dogs, they notice that their eyebrows move.
Over time, they developed the ability to do this, too.
If you really look at a dog’s puppy eyes, you’ll notice that their brows point upwards diagonally.
It’s like a human’s when we express emotions.
Our biggest weakness was also caused by us. *sigh*.
You might also want to read: Why Does My Dog Stand In Front Of Me? (And Stare/Bark)
#8: Your routine is something they know
Dogs are creatures of routine.
Have you ever had an emergency and forgotten to feed them?
Do you remember how frantic they got because they didn’t eat on time?
Yep, dogs take note of the time of the day and what activity they usually do with you.
If it’s playtime, they’ll initiate it.
Resting time? You’ll just see them curl up in their corner.
Or even chill and recover beside you.
Without fail, they remember their routine.
And when they have built a bond with you, they try to learn yours, too.
This is a huge sign that your dog trusts you.
Ever noticed that your dog already knows you’re going out if you take your keys?
That’s them memorizing your routine.
They wouldn’t do this for just anyone else.
Not for someone they don’t love and trust.
#9: You see them taking your things
Have you ever had to run a marathon with your dog?
No, not the one that you scheduled to do.
The one that you had to do because your pooch ran away with an important item you have.
It might be your slipper, keys, or even wallet. Ohhh… just pray that your pooch doesn’t tear your $$$ apart.
“Yeah, I’ve experienced these. But, why?”
Well, the main reason why they do this is because of your scent.
We, humans, leave our scent trails anywhere.
It doesn’t matter what they do – change clothes, hide in trees, maybe even wear perfume.
It’s all useless because a dog’s nose is just phenomenal.
They have an excellent sense of smell.
And they outdo a human’s nose any time of the day.
You might be able to smell freshly baked croissants when you walk past your local bakery.
But your pooch can smell these from miles away. It’s another story if canines should eat croissants though.
But back to your dog’s superpower…
I’m not kidding. According to VCA, dogs’ noses are 10,000 times better than ours.
And research shows that there are dog breeds that are even more amazing in finding smells.
Dogs using scent to scan their environment
It’s no surprise that canines use scent to mainly explore and learn about the world.
When they meet other dogs, they smell their genital area.
This is so they can know their scent. And from this, they’ll be able to get a ton of information.
From a dog’s mood to their health – all these are things your pooch can sniff out.
And when your dog trusts you, they try to memorize your smell.
That’s why they try to grab things that belong to you.
It’s just your scent that they love. Imagine smelling the person you care and trust the most – isn’t that exciting?
You might also be interested in: 13 Weird Reasons Why Your Dog Chews On Blankets + 3 Tips
#10: They follow your vocal cues
Would you listen and go to someone who calls your name?
Maybe you’d turn around and see who they are.
If you didn’t know them, you’d hesitate, right?
But if it’s a close friend or a beloved family member, you go to them.
No questions asked.
It’s the same way with your dogs.
When they trust someone, they easily listen and follow their voice.
And that’s you. Especially if you’ve trained them to obey certain vocal cues such as:
- “Drop it.”
- “Roll over.”
They’d even go to you if you call out their name.
And your pooch doesn’t do it lazily.
They run towards you with big smiles, wagging their tail, and maybe even a wonky run.
You feel like home to them. I mean, they trust you with their life.
Why wouldn’t they go to you if you called them? O.K, except for maybe when they’re distracted.
Or follow your instructions if you tell them some? The only exception is if you haven’t trained them.
#11: Initiating cuddle time is pretty common
Chilling on your couch alone?
Nah… in a few minutes your pooch will jump and cuddle beside you.
Or if they can’t do it, just lie down near your feet.
Maybe they’re trying to get warm?
Probably. But this isn’t the only reason why they do this.
Mainly, it’s because they trust you.
Your fur baby wouldn’t get near anyone if they didn’t trust them.
They might even avoid those they see as a threat.
This behavior is pretty common when your dog is outside.
Here are a few things your pooch does when they meet a person they don’t trust:
- Walk away.
- Do the whale eye
Basically they just look uncomfortable.
#12: They let you kiss them
Showing love through kisses is something every fur parent has experienced.
Dogs do this when they’re happy and if they trust the person they see.
And likewise, we give back the kisses, too.
Maybe even offer them when they’re chilling alone.
Or if they have done something good – kinda like a gift for good behavior.
And your pooch does love receiving kisses.
But that’s only because you are the one giving them.
There are other dogs who become aggressive when people they don’t know approach them.
Let alone kiss them.
They might bark at the person. Or maybe even run away from them.
So if they let you give them kisses, know that it’s a huge privilege.
And you’ll likely get sloppy licks back.
#13: Your dog protects you
You, as their main provider, are one of the most important people in their life.
And because of this, they have the tendency to guard you.
Canines have been known to do this with those they see as part of their family.
And when you are treated as someone who is part of their pack, you get all the benefits.
This is more evident when you have a guard dog in your home such as:
- Cane Corso.
- Giant Schnauzer.
- German Shepherd.
- Australian Shepherd.
- Rhodesian Ridgeback.
- Catahoula Leopard Dog.
Dogs also have keen senses and will notice any danger coming to you.
It could be an aggressive dog trying to hurt you.
Or maybe something fell and made a loud sound.
Basically anything that poses a threat to your safety, they’d go to you and keep you away.
#14: Playtime is a fun time
Have you noticed that doing activities with your pooch just comes naturally?
You don’t have to kinda force them into it.
It’s because they love doing it.
Well, maybe at times walking can become hard if your pooch is having tantrums.
But generally speaking, your dog enjoys playing with you because they trust you.
You can throw sticks and they’ll bring these back.
A tug of war can be a fun activity for them.
But when these games are initiated by people they don’t trust, they’ll look at it differently.
Fetch can feel like the stick is being thrown at them – it might scare them.
Tug of wars can be perceived as aggressive behavior and competition.
Such a huge difference, right?
“How do I know that my pooch is being playful?”
Here are a few signs that your fur baby is trying to engage in a fun activity with you:
- Doing the play bow – bums up and head down.
- Tapping the ground with both of their front legs.
- Their actions look joyful, free, and pleasurable.
#15: Your things get nibbled on
This is closely related to #9.
Dogs nibble on our things because they are attracted to their scent.
Which mainly smells like you.
This is why you’ll see your fur baby trying to nibble your shoe.
They might not have the concept of “destroying” things.
All they’re after is the scent on your things.
If they get holes in the process…
Well, let’s just call it “marks of love and trust.”
#16: They do “dangerous” things with you
Have you ever seen those videos of people hanging on a cliff edge?
But here’s the twist: with their partners holding their hands?
My stomach turns when I watch one.
I mean, imagine the amount of trust they have for the other person.
Do you have people in your life you’d do those crazy dangerous things with?
Well, your dog does.
Whenever you take your pooches out to do extraordinary things and they don’t panic, it’s a sign of trust.
“What are examples of these activities?”
One would be riding a motorcycle.
Just look at this pooch:
I’m amazed at the balance this dog has.
And the trust they have for their dad is just as huge as their courage.
Another activity would be trail hiking.
It can be scary for dogs to go out in unknown territory.
Especially those that are not adventurous in nature.
However, if your pooch trusts you, going out to do these things wouldn’t be an issue.
They might even crave it.
You’re like their parachute – someone they can rely on.
#17: They have a relaxed body language around you
Scared dogs are always on the lookout.
They’re tense and will be on edge most of the time.
A small movement can tick them off. And maybe even cause them to run as fast as they can.
Some dogs might even tremble in fear. Oh, those poor babies.
However, these things only happen when they’re with someone they don’t trust.
You probably won’t ever see these in your pooch.
When you’ve built a very loving relationship with them, they tend to be relaxed around you.
Here are a few signs that show your pooch is relaxed:
- Blinking their eyes.
- They sleep in your room.
- Having a soft facial expression.
Even the wag of their tail can be an indicator of their emotions.
According to research, if a dog leans their tail wag to the right, it can indicate that they’re happy.
This study was done on 30 dogs – 15 males and 15 females.
They were all mixed breeds and aged between 1-6 years old.
After being shown the following stimuli:
- A cat.
- The dog’s fur parents.
- A dominant dog they don’t know.
It was found that there is a difference in the leaning of their tails’ wags.
#18: They eat from your hands
Most of the time your pooch eats from their bowl.
They’re used to doing this and are very comfortable with it.
There might even be instances when your pooch would run to the kitchen at the sound of their bowl.
This is a pretty common behavior in dogs.
However, a true sign of trust is when your pooch eats out of your own hands.
It’s a sign that they are comfortable with getting up close and personal with you.
And they know that you won’t hurt them even if they are vulnerable.
“Vulnerable, you say?”
Yes. When dogs eat, they are very open to attacks from behind.
And their alertness level could be lowered.
#19: They usually don’t curl up when they sleep
Sleeping in a curled-up position is a common position for dogs.
It’s similar to “nesting” that canines in the wild do to protect themselves.
And this happens after a dog circles around their sleeping area before lying down.
According to VCA, this behavior is a survival skill.
And has been passed down to domesticated modern dogs.
Back in the wild, dogs have always to be on the lookout for attackers.
So whenever they sleep, they curl up to protect their limbs and important organs. Canines also do this to warm their limbs during cold weather.
They also circle around their area to have a final check for predators.
However, when dogs become comfortable with you, they sometimes sleep in weird positions.
Ones that make them look like acrobats.
#20: Belly rubs and pets are welcome
This is another act of love that we show to our pooches.
But, if rubs and pets come from people they don’t trust, it will be greeted with aggression.
Deep snarling and showing of teeth are some of the most common reactions dogs have.
Especially if they are being rubbed by an unknown person.
But if they get it from you? They’d gladly roll over and show you their belly.
Check out next: 13 Surprising Reasons Why Dogs Like Their Ears Rubbed
#21: They lean on you
This may just be a simple gesture but it can mean a lot.
When your pooch gently falls and leans on you, it can mean that they trust you.
And they’re trying to show you affection.
This is what happens when you raise them with care – they reciprocate it to you.
As long as you don’t get crushed, no problem, right?
Oh, who are we kidding… even gigantic dogs’ leans and cuddles are welcome all the time.