There is a large body of scientific evidence to support that dogs do indeed love their people.
- Looks You in the Eye. Eye contact in humans usually shows we are engaged and paying attention to what each other is saying. Eye contact in the dog world can mean a sign of caution and even aggression. (Between dogs it can be seen as a dominance challenge.) However, because dogs like their favorite human, they are willing to make eye contract. If your dog looks into your eyes with a calm and contented look, rest assured, they are comfortable with you. According to Brian Hare, a well-known dog expert, when your dog looks you in the eye, he is “hugging you with his eyes.”
- Leaning On You. Your precious fur baby can’t leave your side. Often pushing and leaning against you. This isn’t necessarily a sign of neediness, but rather they are trying to tell you “I love you!” in dog language. Dr. Frank McMillan, author of Unlocking the Animal Mind: How Your Pet’s Feelings Hold the Key to His Health and Happiness, says that a dog’s attempt to be physically close to you can be an indication of their affection for you. Although it can appear to be clinginess or even separation anxiety, it is your dog expressing their strong bond with you.
- Showing off their belly. Many mammals, especially cats and dogs, feel especially vulnerable when on their backs and exposing their bellies. The belly is a very sensitive part of their bodies as opposed to protective parts like teeth and claws. Showing it off to you for tummy rubs means that your dog really does trust you.
- Sharing their favorite toy. Bring you an awesome toy isn’t just your dogs way of telling you he wants to play with you, it actually means that he thinks of you as his pack leader. When your dog thinks of you as the pack leader, they’ll bring you one of their favorite toys. They are attempting to kiss up to you by offering up their precious prize. This gesture is not totally altruistic. By doing this, they hope you will be generous with them later. Never-the-less when a tennis ball is dropped at your feet, you should feel honored. Sharing is caring and this means they care about you.
- Freaking out after you have been gone. You’ve come home from a long day at work and you are bum-rushed by your canine companion. As they tend do all of the above mentioned, we know the act of “freaking out” after you’ve been gone means that your dog truly looks up to you and loves you. This is love unconditional and is love in its truest form.
What way does your dog tell you “I Love You”?