We love our dogs as if they are members of our families – because to us they really are! We show our dogs we love them in so many ways outside of just their regular care and maintenance, by doing things like buying them special treats and toys.
But how do our dogs tell us they love us? We have a good feeling that they do, but it would be awesome to know for sure.
Sometimes it might feel like a one-sided relationship, but if your dog does these five (+4 bonus) things for you–then this means they love you right back just as much!
#1 – Playing and Roughhousing With You
While it seems to come at the most inopportune times, our dogs sometimes get playful and try to wrestle with us. This is their natural way of playing!
If you’ve ever watched your pup play with another dog, you’ll recognize he’s offering the same behavior to you. Doing a little wrestling with your pooch is certainly safe and fun, and will even give you a new game to play to keep your relationship strong!
#2 – Leaning Against You
Most dogs will seek as much physical attention from their humans as possible. Many dogs will lean, nuzzle, or cuddle when they want some extra love. They’ll often lean on someone they trust because it makes them feel safe.
When your dog leans on you while you’re relaxing on the couch, don’t take it for granted. It’s a sign of true love!
#3 – Sleeping With You
Dogs are pack animals, and in the wild wolves and other canids sleep huddled together in packs. This helps keep them warm and helps them feel safe. It’s also a way for your dog to show you he cares.
He wants to be near you, and this is his natural way of showing you he feels comfortable and sees you as family.
#4 – Cuddling with Your Belongings
A dedicated dog loves everything about their humans, even their scent! So, you might find your dog sleeping on your dirty clothes or carrying your socks around. These acts of love are usually harmless, but if your dog is a chewer, you’ll want to keep your clothes out of reach.
PRO TIP: Having something that smells like you may help with separation anxiety.
#5 – Jumping on You
While this is typically undesirable behavior, dogs jump on people because they like them. When you come home after work or from running some errands, your dog is excited and wants to rejoice at your return!
While it’s better to teach dogs another, more acceptable way to share their excitement, jumping should be seen as a display of affection.
——*UPDATE: We added 4 more based on feedback from our pet behaviorists. ENJOY!*——-
#6 – Bringing Gifts to You
Dogs who love their humans often bring their favorite toys to them. Sometimes, it’s a sign that they want to play, but other times, it’s because they want to share one of their prized possessions with you.
Your dog might also present you with their broken toys as a way to ask you to fix them. Doing this proves that they trust you and love you. To them, it’s a grand gesture!
#7 – Wagging Tails
Although tail wagging isn’t always a sign of happiness, it’s generally displayed towards dog owners as a means of affection. When a dog is wagging his tail loosely, and his body language is showing other signs of comfort and excitement, it’s safe to say he’s very happy you’re around!
#8 – Holding Eye Contact
Like humans, dogs are hesitant to hold eye contact with strangers or people they don’t trust. So, if a dog gazes longingly into your eyes, that’s a sign of love! Maintaining eye contact during training or playtime can help you and your dog form a closer bond.
When dogs and humans gaze at each other, their brains release oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone.” It’s similar to the love you feel when you pet your dog.
#9 – Following You Around
Dogs will follow their owners for a variety of reasons, including their knowledge that you’re typically the source of their food and shelter.
They are also pack animals that enjoy being with their families, and following you around is just another clue that your pup likes to stick by your side because he loves you.
So even though she might get in the way from time to time, it’s important to remember that she simply just wants your company.