7 Signs Your Dog Loves You As Much As You Love Them
Almost without exception, dogs seem to love their humans no matter what. While some dogs are more affectionate than others, signs your dog loves you might seem pretty obvious. From sloppy kisses to wagging tails, dogs don't hide their emotions. In fact, the love of a dog is so pure that a new survey from Michelson Found Animals revealed than 20 percent of people consider their pets their one true love. While signs of puppy love tend to be universal, different breeds of dogs show their love in different ways, Dr. Angela Hughes D.V.M. Ph.D., veterinary genetics research manager at Wisdom Health, the world's leading canine genetics company, tells Bustle.
"Breeds were created to have different behavioral traits and to serve various roles; therefore, each breed group can have innately unique ways of showing their love and affection," Dr. Hughes explains. "Breeds that were intended to work closely with their humans can often 'read' us very well and may even be able to anticipate what we want or need from them. Other breeds were meant to work more distantly from us either guarding property or livestock. For these dogs, having a little more space makes them happier, and they may show their love from a distance." So, just what are the signs your pup is in love with you? Kisses and tail wags are universal signs.
1. Tail Wagging
A wagging tail and a wiggly butt are sure signs that Fido finds you irresistible. "A dog can express many emotions through their tails, but a happy, relaxed dog will show it by a friendly tail wag often with a smile on their face," Dr. Hughes says. However, not all tail wags are a sign of love, Dr. Stanley Coren Ph.D., said on Psychology Today.
"The tail's position, specifically the height at which it is held, can be considered a sort of emotional meter. A middle height suggests the dog is relaxed. If the tail is held horizontally, the dog is attentive and alert. As the tail position moves farther up, it is a sign the dog is becoming more threatening, with a vertical tail being a clearly dominant signal: 'I'm boss around here,' or a warning, 'Back off or suffer the consequences.'"
2. Becoming Your Shadow
While having your dog underfoot on the regular can be annoying, it's actually a sign that Fido thinks you're tops. Animals are social creatures, and by following you everywhere they're letting you know they want to hang out. "As dogs were developed from the wolf, which are known for their loyalty to the pack and sociability, our dogs are the same way, and they show it by wanting to be in our space — following us around from room to room as we move about the house," Dr. Hughes says.
3. Showering You With Kisses
When a dog loves you, they share their kisses freely, whether you want them or not. "Another carry-over from their wolf ancestors who would lick their mother’s faces to indicate that they were hungry, the modern dog uses this instinct to let us know that they care about us and are not a threat," Dr. Hughes explains. "They will also do it as an act to groom you which is another way to show intimacy." What's more, dog trainer Victoria Stilwell said on Animal Planet's website that when dogs lick their humans it stimulates feelings of love in their brains. "Licking releases pleasurable endorphins which gives dogs a feeling of comfort and pleasure."
4. Being All Up In Your Business
Perhaps your dog sticks to you like glue. This is a sign that Fido feels nothing but love and wants to let you know by touching you as much as possible. "Dogs will show their affection and attention by leaning against you, curling up in your lap, or just resting a nose or paw on you. They also often like to sleep with you (if allowed) similar to how wolf packs sleep together," Dr. Hughes says.
If your dog brings you toys, it doesn't just mean Fido wants to play. According to The Dodo, when your dog brings you a toy or a ball it means they recognize you as the leader of the pack. "He may want to please you by offering a squeaky toy or well-worn frisbee ... because he thinks you'll like them as much as he does!" The Dodo noted. In addition, Dr. Hughes says dogs initiate play with their humans as a way to form a bond.
6. Yawning With You
It's no secret that yawning is contagious between humans. However, if Fido yawns with you it's a sure sign of love, according to Live Science. In one study, dogs were more likely to yawn in unison with their owners than with strangers, which signals a strong emotional bond.
7. Love Language By Breed
Different breeds of dogs show their love in different ways. According to Dr. Hughes, companion breeds love to sit on their humans' laps, guard dogs seek belly rugs and quality time with their humans, and herding dogs want a purpose.
"[They're] highly intelligent dogs that are eager to learn and express their love through their hard work. You will make them happiest by giving them a job to do. They also want to keep the pack together and will herd just about anything that moves. Many of them can also be described as 'velcro dogs' — they will stick with you wherever you go, waiting on your next command," Dr. Hughes explains.
Understanding how your dogs expresses love can help you and Fido form a strong bond with one another, which is the first step toward making your dog your one true love.