You love your dog and your dog seems to be happy. It’s quite easy for your pooch to comprehend your belly rubs, treats, petting and your soft praising voice as a language of love and affection. But do you know dogs also try to convey their love for you?
Thankfully, it’s not tough to notice that they care, until you know what to look for. From their nose to tail, dogs use all her body parts to convey how they feel for you. Read on to learn the ways your dog shows affection.
1. Eye Contact
It’s true that eyes are a window to the soul. This intimate act is a way for many dogs to show trust and love. So when your dog tries to grab your attention and keeps looking in your eyes, it means she loves you. Looking in your eyes releases Oxytocin, the same hormone that helps strengthen a mother’s bond with their babies. The human body does the same thing.
However, eye contact is not always affectionate. When a dog is nervous, angry, and afraid, she might make threatening eye contact. And at that time, you should never stare down with her. Instead, you can look for other opportunities to make and keep eye contact for long throughout the day. This will help your dog to build trust over time.
You might’ve noticed your dog would come up to you and nudge you with her nose. And what can be the reason for that? You might be an obstruction in her way or she just wants your attention. But when her nose nudging is accompanied by a soulful stare or ends up in more body contact, it is a sign of affection.
Now that you know dogs also show affection by nosing, you will easily be able to know when your dog is nosing you to say ‘I love you’.
3. Raised Eyebrow
Studies also back up the fact that dogs raise their eyebrows (the left, in particular) when they are reunited with their parents. On the other hand, when they meet strangers and other people, there were no such expressions observed. So next time you see your dog raising her eyebrows, know that she wants to say, “I like you, my hooman.”
The root of this kind of behaviour is quite interesting. A dog is one of the most social animals around us and uses its eyebrows as a facial expression to communicate. In addition, dogs are used to live in packs in the wild. And when they do, they use eyebrows to communicate with other members.
This one is so obvious and easy to understand sign from your dog. You would fall for this furball rolling onto her back and says “I like you” and request you for belly rubs. Dogs feel vulnerable when they are on their back but when they roll and anticipate belly rubs, it is a sign of trust and relaxation.
However, rolling behaviour doesn’t always depict the special bond between you two. Dogs roll because of happiness, pleasure, an unknown scent, or itching. But when they sound goofy, playful and happy while rolling, they are trying to tell you that they love you and trust you.
The next on our list is dogs lean on you. Your dog would come up to you and lean her full body weight against you. By this, they want to show they trust you so much. And this behaviour of dogs akin to a full-body hug.
Nevertheless, this kind of behaviour doesn’t always mean a hug. Some leans are a result of anxiety. You will be able to differentiate what your dog means when she is leaning on you. The loving and affectionate one will attribute relaxation accompanied with soft eyes, slightly open mouth and a wagging tail.
However, experts also debate over the topic because a school of experts believes that this is rather a quirky behaviour showing a sign of “alpha” dominance. But here is a tip for you. If your dog is not demanding treats, or beg for petting, or inserting herself from underfoot between you and another person in front of you, this is more likely an affectionate and protective leaning.
This is the sign you won’t encourage your dog would express. Jumping is an undesired behaviour and a habit. But the fact is when your dog jumps out of excitement and love, she just wants to tell that she cares.
Dogs tend to reach out to their human’s face. So think this way, when a dog jumps, she wants to lick your face and want to give you welcoming dog kisses. Some dogs just run towards their parents on their arrival and jump towards them and like being caught in their arms. So, yeah despite your perfect training, when your dog jumps out of excitement, don’t feel that the training is not enough. Let them jump out of love.
We, humans, expect our beloved pets to perceive human-like characteristics. That being said, we also expect our dogs to smile when they are happy. Anyway, dogs smile, but not like the way humans do. Here are the signs you must look for: a goofy grin, perked-up ears, blinking eyes, relaxed and slightly open mouth, and she looks overall relaxed. All these signals indicate that your pooch is happy and probably the happiest being with you.
You Can Mistake Their Bad Habits For Their Affectionate Behaviour And Vice Versa
Some canine behaviours are complex and you can mistake their bad habits for their loving nature. That being said, you should know whether or not to accept that behaviour. For example, a dog licking ears of other dogs and humans is concerned with dog ear cleaning, grooming, or a bad habit of feasting on ear wax because it tastes good to dogs.
At the same time, this manoeuvre also represents their caring nature for their beloved ones. Dogs can’t reach their ears by themselves to groom. So they help each other by cleaning ears. You’re a pack member to her, she loves you and would try to lick your ears to help you in grooming. In a nutshell, if your dog has a bad habit of licking ears excessively, you should simply keep your dogs’ ear clean to curb that behaviour.
Your dog loves you as much as you love her. Your dog knows when you love her from all of your affectionate actions like giving treats, belly rubs and patting them. Dogs also do the same thing. They show they love you but in different ways. All the mentioned ways are the best ones to know that your dog cares and loves you. And if your dog does something unique to grab your attention and tells you in a unique way that she likes you, you can let us and other readers know about it. Hit the comment section below. Long may the canines live!
Clara is a co-founder and the marketing head of Petlovesbest. She happens to be a mother of two golden retrievers and has done a few notable works for animal welfare. You can read more of her articles at Petlovesbest.