Whether tall and lanky or small and pudgy, dogs have a nearly endless supply of love to give, especially when it comes to their owners and friends (no matter what species). Dogs are eager to love their human companions (sometimes so much that they can’t bear to be apart), and they show it in lots of different ways.
In fact, you may be surprised by all the ways your fur baby shows their affection—it’s in the smallest of details! Some may be more obvious, from tail wags to the best welcome wagon on four paws, but others you may have never considered.
There are dozens (if not hundreds) of ways to recognize a happy pup; we don’t have the time to go over them all. However, these eight telltale signs your dog loves you are some of our favorites, and they’re guaranteed to make you smile, laugh, and better recognize your own pup’s love language.
1. Your dog follows you everywhere
Whether you find it cute or annoying to have a four-legged shadow following you around the house, you can at least enjoy knowing that your dog’s close proximity is a sign of their love. Dogs are pack animals, so they instinctually enjoy hanging out with the people and pups they’re closest to. That includes you!
The Kennel Club UK notes that when a dog follows you around, it’s because they trust and love you. They stick with you because you make them feel safe, so you must be doing something right.
2. Eye contact
Just think about how awkward, or even aggressive, it can feel to meet someone’s stare. It’s the same for dogs, according to Blue Cross For Pets. Sometimes, two dogs who make eye contact will use it as a way to determine dominance. The alpha dog will continue to stare until the submissive pup averts their gaze.
Alternatively, dogs who willingly make eye contact with a relaxed, even squinting gaze are looking at you with an aura of love. How sweet!
3. Your dog lies with their back to you
When facing away from you, whether sitting or lying down, your dog is showing an immense amount of trust. This is a vulnerable position, as an animal’s backside is their least-guarded area. Whether your dog is sleeping or awake, no matter their position, you can know there’s a reason he’s so relaxed in your presence.
4. Wags and wiggles
We all know that a wagging tail can be a sign of a happy pup, but you can be especially sure of this if your dog’s whole body has a wiggle to it. Blue Cross For Pets explains that a circular tail wag is the ultimate sign of happiness—it’s reserved only for extra exciting people and occasions. You absolutely fit into that category!
5. Your dog leans on you
Ah, yes, the lean. Whether expected or not, it’s always so sweet to feel the weight of your dog as he slowly leans more and more against you. It’s usually the start of a great snuggle sesh, but did you know it’s also your dog’s way of asking for affection?
Dr. Patty Khuly, VMD, told VetStreet, “Dogs love to cuddle. And if the person you want to cuddle with is always sitting and standing, then cuddling takes the form of leaning on her or sitting on her shoes as she taps away at the keyboard.”
6. Your pup likes to sleep next to you
If your dog chooses to sleep in your bed or snuggled up on your chest, you should feel honored. VCA Hospital notes that dogs only do this with their pack—the ones they trust with their safety, even their lives.
Even if they don’t come in for a snuggle, it’s a great sign when your dog takes a nap in close proximity to you. Animals let their guard down when they sleep, so you can be sure your pup trusts you if he decides to snooze near you.
7. They bring you presents
You may not think much of a dog toy, but it’s one of your pup’s prized possessions. When they present one to you at playtime, or just because, it’s not for any old reason, says VCA Hospitals. They’re sharing something that makes them happy in an attempt to help you feel happy and included too. Good dog!
8. Greeting you at the door
Don’t you love when your pup meets you at the door when you come home? The wiggles, the tail wags, and all the scratches—turns out, your dog loves it too!
Even if your four-legged friend runs to the door every time they hear a noise, there’s no way every little sound gets such an excited reaction from your dog. Just think of all the happy snuggles you get when you come home. There’s no way your dog doesn’t love you.
Show your live in return
From little things like eye contact to larger gestures like giving gifts, there are so many ways your dog can show their love. Don’t forget to return the favor by bonding with your fur baby, too, whether you try out some obedience training or take on a new hike together. Even a good snuggle will help strengthen your bond. After all, if your pup is showing you all this love, it’s only fair you make sure he knows you love him too!
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