“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
— Josh Billings
A relationship between a pooch and her favourite human can be an incredibly loyal and loving bond. Without words to express how they feel, dogs show love through actions. From staying super glued to your side to gifting you their best smelly toy, here are 5 ways your pooch says ‘I love you’.
She’ll follow you everywhere
When your dogs in love, she’ll trot after you everywhere - a four-legged shadow sticking to you like velcro. She can’t imagine not being close by!
Over time and the domestication of dogs, the bond between humans and dogs has evolved to be similar in some ways as the bond between children and their parents.
The more time your pooch spends with you, the more positive actions she’s likely to experience: pats, cuddles, food and companionship. This positive feedback reinforces all the reasons she should stay close by. It’s also her way of trying to understand you better and interpret the language of your actions. She want’s to know everything about her most special person.
She’ll hug you with her eyes
Does anything warm your heart more than a loving gaze from your pooch? A dog will show her love by staring at you with that special look; her eyes are relaxed and normal size, showing a little of the whites. Dogs look us in the eye to get a gauge on our emotional states too, which is why it feels like your pooch is sometimes peering right into your soul!
A 2015 Japanese study showed that when dogs gaze into our eyes, it causes us to release a hormone called oxytocin into our bloodstream. This is the same hormone that is released when a dog nurses her pups. In some ways, giving you that soft eyed gaze is the same way a mother stares at her own pups. Nawwwww.
She’ll check in with you on a walk
A strong, loving, doggy bond means even the most free-spirited and adventurous pooch will check in with you during a walk off the leash, especially in new environments. She might dash off ahead on the trail but she’ll stop along the way and turn back to check you’re close behind.
A dog who adores her owner is far less likely to run away, having a strong recall response and sticking close to her most loved human (that’s you!) in new environments.
She’ll go crazy when you get home
Who doesn’t love seeing that tail swirling in helicopter excitement as soon as you open the door? No matter what type of day you’ve had, you can count your pup to eagerly await your return.
Dogs, like wolves, are pack animals. When we leave home, it can cause confusion and in some cases, anxiety, for our pooch; why would we leave the group!? Walking back through the door triggers the excitement of returning to the pack. When your pooch jumps up to lick you, it’s her way of gauging your scent, finding out where you’ve been and checking in with you.
Humans can ask ‘How was your day?’...your best four-legged friend will go in for a lick instead.
She’ll gift you her favourite toy
What is your dog really saying when she plops her favourite toy at your feet? Humans express love through gift giving and so do dogs. She’s gifting you one of her greatest possessions because she see’s you as the pawfect ‘pack leader” and is driven by a primal instinct to bring a prize or other offering to her loving leader.
When we react encouragingly to the gift (as sloppy of smelly as it may be!) this reinforced the behaviour; she knows next time she greets you with a gift she’ll get some bonus attention.