How Do Dogs Say “I Love You”?

For hundreds if not thousands of years, dogs have been our companions and have acquired the label of “man’s best friend” for good reason. While some people may think of a dog’s love as a need-based connection, experts say this is not the case.

Not only has it been proven that dogs love and adore us, but your dog is also aware of how much you love them! Dogs and humans have a special bond because dogs have taken over the human oxytocin bonding channel, which is usually reserved for our babies. When you stare at your dog, your oxytocin levels rise, just as they do when your pet and play with them. It brings you joy while also strengthening your bond. Dogs get the very same feeling when they look at you.

Seeing as dogs can’t talk, they have to show us that they love us in other ways. Here are the many ways in which your dog is saying I love you.

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Your Dog Is Very Excited To See You

Does your dog jump up and down, wag his tail, and appear to be unable to contain his joy and excitement when you get home, even if you have only been gone for 10 minutes. If this is the case, then it is solid proof of love.

Dogs are very fast learners, and like the famous Pavlov’s dogs, they can quickly associate sounds with actions. Your dog may quickly realize that the sound of your car door closing or the garage door opening means that you’re home, and this alone will set off their excitement and happiness as they wait for you to come inside.

Your Dog Yawns After You Yawn

Your dog Yawns After You Yawn

If you’ve ever yawned after seeing someone else yawn, you know how contagious it can be. Only a few species, including man’s best friend, exhibit this contagious yawning.

According to studies, dogs not only yawn when they observe familiar humans yawn, but they also yawn when they hear the sound of a loved one’s yawn. If your canine companion yawns in reaction to your yawns, it’s likely that they empathize with you out of love.

Your Dog Wants To Sleep In Your Bed Or Falls Asleep On You

After all that yawning, you and your dog might want to get a good night’s sleep. Because dogs are pack animals who cuddle up at night for warmth and safety, if your dog snuggles up to you, it means they consider you a member of his family. These canine embraces can even help you get a better night’s sleep.

Your Dog Is Always By Your Side

Your dog is bonded to you if they are always sitting on your lap, leaning against you, or following you from room to room.

A dog’s desire to be physically near to you is the most visible show of affection. This may appear to be clinginess, and distinguishing between healthy clinginess and insecure clinginess can be difficult, but your dog is deeply linked to you in both situations.

Your Dog Focuses On You Even In A Room Of People

Dogs like positive attention from practically everyone, but just because they may everyone doesn’t mean that they prefer them over you. Keep an eye on how your dog acts in a busy environment. If your dog remains focused on you or ignores others while waiting for you to return, you know you have a special place in his heart.

Hugging With Their Eyes

Dogs can’t hug you with their paws,  so they hug you with their eyes instead. Your dog is hugging you with his eyes when you and your dog have a long stare at each other. Both you and your dog are profoundly affected by this “hug”, with the hormone levels of oxytocin rising for both of you

Your Dog Feels Safe With You

Your ability to provide comfort and support in difficult times is highly valued by both animals and humans. You can notice your dog’s connection and bond with you if they seek your comfort during thunderstorms, car rides, vet appointments, or other frightening situations.

Your Dog Can Feel Your Moods

If you have a close bond with your dog, they may be able to sense your mood and respond with affection. If they sense you are distressed or not feeling well, many dogs will show their affection by spending even more time at your side. They might lick you or rest their head or paws on your body as a way to comfort you as well.

Your Dog Can Forgive You

Your dog’s love for you is demonstrated in their willingness to forgive you for things you do that upset them, such as raising your voice or ignoring them when you are busy. Forgiveness is your dog’s attempt to maintain the loving bond they have with you.

One of the worst feelings in the world is the guilt you feel when you accidentally step on your dog’s foot or hurt them by accident in any way. But if you quickly apologize to your dog by giving them lots of love, affection, and attention, then your dog can understand that you did not mean t cause them pain. They are then able to forgive you and keep on loving you.

How To Tell Your Dog You Love Them

So now you know how your dog says I love you, how can you say it back so they understand? The main thing here is attention. Dogs know that you love them by giving them hugs, pets, and just general affection. Even just sitting next to them is enough to show them how you feel.

If you want some bonus love points, then the best place to pet your dog is around the ears. This area of their head is filled with nerve endings, and scratches here not only feel good but also release endorphins in your dog’s brain that makes them feel calm, happy, and loved.

PuppyLists is written by J., who has owned, trained, volunteered with, and loved dogs for nearly three decades. When she isn't writing or researching, she's out adventuring with her 14 year old Lab mix.