How do I know if my dog loves me?
It’s a (very) well known fact that our doggo’s are our best friend…and we’re pretty sure that they feel the same way too!
So as we get closer to Valentines Day, we thought we’d delve a little bit deeper into the mind of your best buddy to see how our pawsome pooches show us how much they love us!
Some of them may surprise you!
A simple one, but so powerful in the canine world – but when you think about it, would you look into the eyes of someone who makes you feel totally awkward and uncomfortable? I don’t think so! We look into the eyes of our closest friends and loved ones – those we feel totally safe around!
And it’s the same for our dogs and it’s also a great tool whilst training your dog as it can help to reinforce that loving bond between you.
Now here’s the “sciencey” part…hold on tight…
When your dog looks at you, their brain releases a hormone called oxytocin which is sometimes known as the love hormone. It’s the same hormone us mothers release when we are bonding with our new borns, ahhh!
So…if you want to build the bond with your pup, try maintaining natural eye contact with them during positive interactions such as playtime or cuddling…but don’t force it, they may feel a bit awks and look away.
Leaning Against You
Now this is something Penny does all the time, wherever I’m sitting, she’ll clamber up and totally snuggle in against me. Similar to eye contact, it’s unlikely that your dog will do this if they didn’t feel comfortable and safe around you and, in some cases, you may find your dog does this at times when they are feeling stressed or anxious – but this can also indicate that they see you as their protector.
Sleeping in Your Bedroom
Now I know that this may divide a lot of dog owners, but if you’re in the camp where you don’t allow your dog in your bed, but it still chooses to stay in your bedroom for some z’s, he really does love you.
We allow Penny on our bed for a little while whilst we settle down, but then she does eventually jump down for her own space in her bed on the floor. Granted…I do wake up during the night and she’s cuddled up against my legs…but at that point I’m usually too sleepy to move her.
Your dog staying with you at bedtime means they just want to be near you – it shows that they are loyal and don’t want to be separated from the pack.
Total Excitement When You Arrive Home
We’ve all been there…you nip to put out the rubbish for 30 seconds and when you come back you’re greeted by a whirlwind of excitement, jumping and barking – like you’ve been away for 2 weeks.
Jumping up, licking you, fetching their favourite toy and even an excited little wee…these are all signals that your doggy is thrilled to see you…and I’d bet my life that you’re probably just as excited to see them.
Stealing your smelly socks
This all comes down to smell…stinky or not, your pup is not just attached to you, they’re attached to your scent, and where better to find it than in the dirty laundry – socks, t-shirts even underwear!
Now we don’t mind them wanting to be close to us and our smell…but sometimes this becomes a different issue if your dog likes to chew…yes…finding bits of your best trainers scattered around the living room is always a nightmare, but you can prevent any mischievous chewing by making sure you have plenty of engaging toys or chewable treats for your dog to keep them occupied.
Checking up on You
Now, all dogs are different, we know this, and for your more independent pups, you may be thinking why aren’t they by my side all of the time?! Don’t despair, these solo pups have their own ways of showing how much they care.
If your dog “checks in” on you from another room, during walkies, or when you are in a new environment, they’re just checking that you’re close by.
Have you ever tried to hug your dog? You may have gotten the same reaction as I do with Penny…fierce desire to get away. But don’t let that fool you – dogs will often seek out physical affection from their favourite people.
Whether it’s a pat, a stroke, leaning in or a tickle behind the ears, these are all signs of a true bond between you and your dog.
Don’t panic, I’m not insinuating your potty training has disappeared…but dogs, and in particular younger pups and puppies, will often pee a little bit when they get excited – it’s posh name is “submissive urination”.
Believe it or not, this happy accident is actually a big compliment and it means your dog knows that you’re in charge.
He brings you his favourite toy
You may think your dog is just asking to play – although he probably is, if he brings you his favourite toy, he is essentially presenting his most prized possession to you…now that has got to be a sign of love!
We’ve saved the best till last…and no, I haven’t gone bonkers, some dogs actually learn how to “smile” by pulling their lips back to reveal a big toothy grin…the best thing to do? Give a great big smile back and some positive interactions, this will show your dog you love him too.
I think deep down we all can see the signs that our dogs love us, but still, it's nice to have it reinforced once in a while isn't it?
Let us know in the comments the cute things your dog does to let you know they love you!