It is quite difficult to objectively say whether our dogs ‘love’ us in the same way as we love them. Since the concept of ‘love’ is very subjective, our understanding of the so-called signs of canine love is directly proportional to how we define love and how such can be manifested. There are, however, a number of signs that have somehow come to define our dog’s love for us. Learn to spot these signs and get ready to have your heart jumping with pride and joy.
Maintaining Eye Contact
Maintaining eye contact simply means one is paying attention. Well, this is in the human world. It is also the same in the dog world. However, if you cannot see the white in your dog’s eyes, it usually means that it is comfy with you and pretty much happy that you are giving it the attention. This is one of the most striking signs that dogs tell us they love us or that they appreciate what we do for them. When they stare at other dogs, they are essentially making eye contact, too. But it is usually different since most consider it to be a sign of rudeness or even aggression. This is especially true when the pupils in their eyes constrict because they have to focus or ‘lock in’ on the other dog. Your dog can also look at you the same way. So the best way to differentiate love eye contact from other kinds is to look for the whites of their eyes. If you cannot see this, then be happy as your dog is especially fond of you.
Your Voice is Music to Its Ears
One of the most basic obedience commands that all dogs should master is recall – they need to come to you when you call them by their name. So it’s not necessarily a sign of ‘love’? Well, not exactly. You have to look for other signs as well. Does your dog put on that lovely smile on its face when it comes to you? Can you see its body move jiggling sideways and a bit bouncy, too, as it approaches you? Does your dog instantly leave whatever it is doing when you call out its name even though it’s its favorite toy or treat that it is focused on? Does its tail waggle like the wiper blades on your windshield? If you see these signs whenever you call out your dog’s name to come to you, then you’ve just confirmed it: your dog loves you.
Your Dog Cannot Get Enough of Your Scent
Okay, so dogs love to sniff. It’s one of their ways to explore their surroundings and learn more about the things that they have never known in their four-legged lives. But when your dog seems to cannot get enough of your scent that it sniffs at you even though you’ve been together for many years already, it only means that your dog either loves you or longs for you. There are now clinical studies that show an owner’s scent is fully capable of activating the caudate nucleus, that part of your dog’s brain where the reward center is located. MRI studies of non-sedated, fully trained dogs show that the caudate nucleus instantly lit up when these dogs were presented with articles of clothing from their respective owners or from someone that the dog knows. We can all dispute these claims, why not? But try disputing that with an MRI machine. So the next time your dog sniffs at you, it’s not because you stink or you smell nice. It’s simply because Fido loves you.
Full Body, Right Rear-Sided Tail Wag
Tail-wagging is one of the most obvious signs that our dogs love us. Or so we thought. A dog wags its tail for different reasons. If it sees a dog that it considers trespassing in its territory, your dog can still wag its tail but in a slower and more cautious manner. If they see someone they know, they can wag their tail, too. So tail wagging isn’t necessarily a convincing sign that your dog loves you. Here’s what’s interesting. If your dog wags its tail at mid-height while also creating undulations with its body, it is usually indicative of excitement and happiness to see you. However, if it wags its tail slightly to the right or even moves its rear to the right you’re in luck. Your dog really loves you. This is the most telling sign that a dog is not only excited and happy to see you. It loves you.
Loves to Snuggle
There are really no plausible explanations why snuggling can be a sign of a dog’s love for us, but it sure provides a really nice, warm, and comfy feeling. The reason why many pet parents consider snuggling as a sign of a dog’s love is that, well, they can curl up just about anywhere especially if they have their own dog beds. Yet, they prefer to curl up beside you or right close to you. Why is that? We can only think of a few things. It can be because your dog loves your warm embrace, it loves the idea of the security that your body provides, or it simply loves you and it wants to show you how much you mean to it, too. Honestly, it doesn’t hurt to think that it is the latter. After all, who wouldn’t want to snuggle up with a loving and loyal hound?
Sleeps Next to You
This is a lot similar to your dog snuggling up to you. As pack animals, dogs love to sleep huddled together. And since you’re its pack leader, it is but natural that it will also sleep next to or beside you. It also gives them a sense of safety and comfort. It may not be ‘love’ as we know it, but given the fact that your dog can sleep in its own bed, it sure looks and feels that way.
Dogs love us just as we love them. And that’s why they are considered as our best friends.