11 Ways Your Dog Says “I Love You”

year ago

People have been reading emotions in their dogs for ages. Wagging tails tell us that our dogs are open for interaction, and their persuasive looks mean that they want attention or some treats. The way dogs develop human-like emotions and behavior has always been a subject of scientific research. Studies have shown that dogs have all the same brain structures that produce emotions in humans, and there are a number of ways in which our dogs show us their love.

Here at Bright Side we have studied the ways in which dogs demonstrate their love and affection and we can’t wait to share this info with you!

1. Gazing into your eyes.

One of the ways in which dogs say “I love you” is staring directly into your eyes. Scientists have found out that by gazing into our eyes dogs develop strong emotional bonds with humans, just like people do when looking into each other’s eyes. This human-like mode of communication was probably acquired by dogs during domestication, increasing the oxytocin (the social hormone) level in both dogs and their owners.

2. Bringing you their toys.

If your dog brings you its favorite toy, you can be sure that the love your pet has for you is strong and unconditional. Dogs are very possessive about their toys, bones, and other chews and they would normally protect them from others. So, if your dog proudly offers you its toy or bone and even pushes it forward encouraging you to take it, it means your pet trusts you, loves you, and feels safe when you are near.

3. Yawning when you yawn.

Recent studies have shown that, just like humans, dogs yawn contagiously, and those dogs who have a strong bond with their owners yawn together with them. Since contagious yawning in humans is closely connected to empathy, some researchers think this might be the case with dogs too. While scientists try to explain this phenomenon, you can do a simple test to check if your dog truly loves you — just yawn and see what happens!

4. Sleeping with you.

If your dog sleeps in your bed it’s a sign of your pet being loyal to you. Researchers have proven that sleeping with a dog in one’s bed or somewhere in the room can be comforting for some people and improves sleeping efficiency for others. “To have a purring cat or a well-behaved dog nearby may be very relaxing and conducive to sleep,” says Dr. Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist.

5. Wagging their tails.

A wagging tail is a special language dogs use to speak to us. If your dog wags its tail, it can mean a whole lot of things and there are many ways to interpret these signs. In any case, by wagging its tail your dog tells you that it is open for interaction with you and emotionally engaged in everything that’s going on around.

6. Raising eyebrows and showing tongues.

Scientists have discovered that dogs produce many more facial movements when humans are looking at them. These movements include raising eyebrows to make their eyes look bigger (to seem even cuter to humans) and showing their tongue.

7. Cuddling with you.

While there is controversy over whether dogs like being hugged or not, scientists believe that they do love cuddles. By cuddling dogs strengthen their bond with humans and show their affection. Being physically closer to their owner is also a way in which dogs make themselves feel comfortable and secure.

8. Leaning on you.

Dogs are social pack animals by nature and they seek closeness with their pack members, including us humans. If your dog loves you and trusts you, it will lean on you whenever it looks for physical and emotional support. In other words, dogs lean on us because they see in us those who can protect and comfort them.

9. Letting you touch its head.

Another sign that proves your dog’s love and loyalty is when it lets you touch its head, closes its eyes, and enjoys the process. Generally, dogs don’t like being patted on the head and some of them may even perceive it as a threat. So if your dog lets you do this, you are a special one to them.

10. Calmly watching you leave.

If your dog feels calm when you leave and waits for you patiently all day, it means that your pet trusts you and it knows for sure that you will come back. But if your dog feels anxious when you leave, if it barks or chews and scratches things, there are ways to make separation less stressful for your pet.

11. Going crazy when you come back!

Does your dog freak out when it sees you come back after a long day at work? This is one of the most vivid signs of love and affection. Experiments have shown that the reunion with their beloved human has an extremely positive effect on dogs, increasing their level of oxytocin, the social hormone, and lowering the level of cortisol, the stress hormone. So, seeing their owner finally come back makes the dog feel happy and safe.

In this article we have told you about the most common ways in which dogs demonstrate their love, but dogs, like humans, are very different. Take a closer look at your pet’s behavior and maybe you will spot the unique way that your dog says “I love you!”

Which of the points surprised you the most? Do you have pets? Do they show you their love in any special way? Feel free to share your experience in the comments!

Please note: This article was updated in May 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


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