There’s nothing quite like coming home to a dog that’s super excited to see you. Seeing a dog get excited to the extent that they can’t control themselves is something many dog owners or lovers have experienced. However, because most dogs do this, you may be questioning whether it’s them showing love or just a thing that dogs do. Read on to see some tips from experts about how to tell if your dog truly loves you.
Do Dogs Actually Understand Love?
Veterinary contributor and DMV at We Love Doodles, Dr. Sabrina Kong, explains that while it may seem a bit different from our human notion, dogs show a deep-rooted affection and bond towards their humans.
The manifestation of their love is through trust, loyalty, and how they make efforts to engage with us, share our space, and contribute to our well-being. Here are the three main signs dogs give that show how much they love their owners.
Gazing and Following
One of the biggest ways that dogs express their love is through a gentle gaze. If you have caught your pet dog looking at you and have felt a deep connection, it is safe to say that your dog loves you very much. Rover human-animal connection expert Philip Tedeschi says that dogs seek to make eye contact because it stimulates oxytocin, the love hormone.
Some dogs are often seen following their owners around throughout the day. Maybe they’re just curious about what’s happening, but mainly it’s because they love the particular human they’re following around. Dr. Kong and Dr. Reely agree and reinstate the fact that this behavior in dogs is a sign of respect and a sweet testament to the attachment they have with their humans.
Tedeschi says that nuzzling and gentle touching mimic the affection puppies get from their moms. This also helps create a sense of well-being along with feelings of attachment through the oxytocin hormone. Nuzzling can also manifest as your dog leaning up against you or on your feet, putting their entire body weight on you. Founder of Meraki Dogs and a certified dog trainer, Ashley Reely, states that a dog resting their head on their human’s lap or leaning against them shows affection and comfort.
If your dog has exhibited any of these behaviors with you, they’re signs that they’re fond of you and happy to have you as their human. So next time your dog nearly knocks you over when leaning on you or won’t get out from under your feet, know that it comes from a place of love and affection!