“Does my dog love me?” That’s a question that every owner wonders at some point in the lifespan of their beloved pet dog. While we know that humans love their pets, sometimes we can be left wondering if dogs feel the same level of love – or if they are just in it for the treats!
So, do dogs feel love? And if they do love, how do dogs show affection? And how do you know your dog loves you if you can’t communicate directly with them?
These are all questions that we’ll be tackling in the following article. Let’s learn doggo language and learn to spot the top dog signs of affection and love!
Do Dogs Have Feelings?
Dogs do have feelings, that much we know. As an owner, you can often tell from the way your dog behaves whether they are feeling great or feeling down in the dumps. Dogs are highly emotional and often highly intelligent creatures too.
It can be easy for us, as owners, to simplify the matter and assume that dogs only crave our attention for the free food and a roof over their head, but this simply isn’t the case. Yes, dogs have a need for food, warmth, and shelter, and humans provide for these, but there’s more to the relationship than this!
Dogs feel all the same emotions that humans do, both good and bad. Dogs can get scared, leading to anxiety, increased stress levels, and even depression. Dogs feel loneliness and separation anxiety if they are apart from their owners, but they also feel joy and happiness when their owners are around. Dogs have likes, dislikes, preferences, annoyances, and a huge range of other feelings and emotions that we don’t often give them credit for.
Human owners, however, need to remember that dogs aren’t people. We often expect our animals to show the same feelings we do, but dog affection, dog sadness, and dog happiness are shown in the language of dogs, not people. For this reason, it can be difficult for us to always understand this dog language, particularly when it comes to seriously complex emotions such as love.
Can Dogs Feel Love?
Do dogs love their owners? Love is an emotion that even humans can’t fully describe. Is it affection? Is it happiness? Is it belonging? Is it a mixture of all these deeper emotions and many more emotions, too?
We often can’t tell if a fellow human being loves us, let alone know if the love of a dog is there or not. But science can help, because research has in the past proven that dogs release certain chemicals (oxytocin being the primary one), which are associated with feelings of love and happiness. These chemicals are released when a dog sees its owner, and not just when their owner has a bag of treats to hand out!
So if science says yes, dogs love humans, how do I know if my dog loves me?
5 Signs Your Dog Loves You
Dogs in love with their owners are going to show it; after all, dogs are highly emotional and wear their feelings openly (how difficult is it to calm them down when you walk through the door after work?).
There are lots of signs that your dog loves you, but remember, every dog has its own character and personality. Some dogs are more emotional; others are quiet and laid back. If you’re wondering how much does my dog love me, then this is only something you’ll learn over time as you come to know and understand your pet.
With that said, here are the top 5 signs my dog loves me:
1) Your dog is excited to see you!
The most obvious sign of love and affection is that your dog is excited to see you. This is a big sign of love, as they’ve been waiting all day for you to get back home from work and explode into a flurry of exciting emotions when you finally walk through the door.
When your dog is excited to see you, you can usually tell. Your dog could jump up and down, or they could spin around in circles. Each dog is different, but all dogs definitely wag their tail if they are excited.
2) Your dog maintains eye contact!
Dogs get put off by too much eye contact. In fact, eye contact is often seen as a sign of domination, and dogs use it to impose themselves on one another. If you meet a dog in the street and start staring it down, it’s going to feel uncomfortable.
However, things are different if your dog loves you. At home, your dog will use eye contact to express its affection, its love for its owner. We call these the puppy dog eyes, and it really is a sign of love as your dog gazes (often awkwardly) at its owner.
3) Your dog wants to cuddle with you!
Dogs often jump up onto the sofa when we are watching television or try to get into bed with us for a cuddle or snuggle. This is a definite sign that your dog loves you, as they want to spend more time simply being in your close proximity.
If you are the sort of owner that embraces the cuddles, then you can even help your pet to show their affection by providing them with a bed ramp for dog. Dogs (especially smaller dogs) can injure themselves if they are constantly jumping up and down from furniture.
Give them a helping hand, and show your dog that you love them back by looking after their health!
4) Your dog brings you things!
We’ve all been there, that awkward moment when your dog brings you something unpleasant from the garden (a dead bird perhaps), where they’ve just been playing. You scream, and you shout at your dog, and they run away confused (but they come back again later, of course). But this is actually a big sign of love (true love, we’d even go as far as to say!).
Dogs bring their owners things they’ve found, that they think their owner might like. Your dog brings you gifts or presents, and they can find it hard to understand why you don’t enjoy them as much as they do.
If your dog is trained to play fetch, then they are also going to keep bringing your balls, toys, or sticks to play with. This isn’t just a sign that they want to play (which they do), but that they want to play with you because they love you.
5) Your dog constantly follows you around!
Dogs all have their own way of doing things, and some dogs show their love by constantly following their owners around the home. This is similar to eye contact, as your dog wants to be in your presence, staring at you for as long as they possibly can.
If you’re working from home, or if you’re busy in the kitchen, then this might get annoying after a while. Just remember, though, that your dog is only following you around because it’s expressing love.
Of course, it could also be that your dog is hungry, and they are following you around in the hopes of receiving a tasty treat to make them go away!
Does My Dog Love Me? Yes!
So, does my dog like me? Does my dog love me?
Yes, dogs love their owners, and we can tell through all the signs of affection that they are constantly putting out there for us to notice.
Get to know your dog, and you’ll be able to spot all the signs of love, as well as the signs that they are happy. You’ll also be able to spot signs of sadness or anxiety and build a stronger human-doggie relationship that can outlast anything that’s thrown at it.
Why not bookmark our guide to the signs of dog love, and learn to spot them in your own dog’s behavior in the years to come?