Any dog owner knows that their precious pooch is as much a member of the family as their spouse or children. It’s easy to show our dogs how much we care for them by doting on them with their favorite treats and special toys, and we all know that our dogs appreciate the gestures! But, how can a dog return the favor? How is it possible to see if they care about us as much as we love them? Frankly, without any obvious affirmation, taking care of our pets can seem like a one way relationship.
However, there is plenty of evidence that dogs are just as much in love with their owners as we are with them. Your dog isn’t going to show affection to you in a human way, but instead will do so through his own subtle doggy style. In this article, we will go through the ten ways you can tell that your dog is actually crazy about you. By breaking the code of your dog’s love language, you will have proof that your dog really does care about you, even if you can’t always tell from the outside.
Yawning in Sync With You
We all know that yawning is contagious between humans, but did you have any idea it can spread from species to species too? Dogs have been bred has companion animals for humans for thousands of years and they have an intuition for reading our faces, meaning when we yawn, they want to yawn right back!
A recent study discovered that when humans return a yawn from someone it’s because they care about the person and are showing sympathy and commiseration. It’s a little harder to measure your dog’s level of empathy, but your dog yawns back at you for the same reason of feeling a mutual bond between you and him. Try this out with your dog and a stranger and you will quickly see that your dog responds much faster to your yawns than anyone elses. If that’s not love, what is?
Dogs love to cuddle after they finish their meals, so if your dog snuggles right up to you that’s a good sign he loves you. All dog lovers know their pets find food to be a big encouragement for any good behavior, but recent research has shown that what a dog is drawn to AFTER his meal indicates what he really cares about the most.
Yes, your dog will probably be more focused on relieving himself after eating than snuggling with you, but once he’s done watch him for a few minutes and see what catches his attention first. If it’s you, you know that he’s in love with you.
Most people think that the tail is the most expressive part of a dog, but in reality it’s the facial expressions that will tell you how he’s feeling. A group of experts in Japan recently discovered that when dogs are introduced to a wide variety of objects (some they liked and some they didn’t) the dogs shifted their left ear and eyebrow back to indicate pleasure. If if was an object they didn’t care for or were wary of (like a stranger) all the actions happened in their right ears and eyebrows instead.
The conclusion of the study is that dogs are naturally more timid around something they don’t know or trust, and the proof of this reservation can all be found within their ears. Is your dog a little twitchy on the left side when he sees you? Good news, you’re one of his favorites.
Sharing His Favorite Toys With You
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. In essence, he’s trying to suck up to you by offering up his most prized possession,in hopes that you will be grateful and generous with him later.
If your dog keeps dropping his favorite tennis ball at your feet, you should feel flattered. Sharing his most precious possesion with you is a sure sign he loves you!
Protecting You From All Harm
Though you won’t be thrilled if your dog is acting aggressively towards strangers, it can be a good sign if he is vigilantly guarding the doors and windows of your home to protect it. This means that he has a strong sense of home and wants to keep it safe from anyone or anyting that may threaten it.
You can temper down this behavior with a little training, but it’s a good sign for you to see how much your dog cares about keeping you safe from any harm that comes your way.
Showing Off His Tummy To You
Many mammals, especially cats and dogs, feel especially vulnerable when their bellies are on display becuase it is a very sensitive part of their bodies, far away from protective teeth and claws. This means that your dog truly trusts you if he’s willing to surrendor and show it off to you. By asking for your attention and tummy rubs, your dog wants to make it clear that you are special to him.
Wanting To Sleep By You
Your dog isn’t secretly trying to break your ankle if he’s always sleeping in a place where you conveniently trip on him. Actually, a dog that is willing to stay right next to you no matter your activity is extremely loyal to you and simply wants to be next to you as much as possible- no matter how boring your activities may seem.
Because dogs thrive in packs, they naturally want to sleep together with other animals they care about. In the wild, this is how wolves would stay warm and safe. If your dog is acting the same way you can be sure that he thinks of you as part of his pack and that he feels completely comfortable being part of your family.
He’s Willing to Look You in The Eye
Humans use eye contact with each other to show we are listening to each other and engaged in what they are saying. In the dog world, locking eyes with someone is a sign of rudeness or even aggresssion- it can be taken as a challenge for dominance. However, dogs are willing to make eye contract with their favorite people because they like them. If your dog looks back into your eyes with a contented, relaxed look, you can be sure he is comfortable being with you.
He Thinks You Smell Good
Dogs have an acute sense of smell, and they react strongly to scents that they like. The way you smell activates the caudate nucleus, or the reward center, in your dog and makes him feel happy when you are around. Science backs up these claims, and the research done by Scientist Gregory Berns has shown that when dogs are trained to enter MRI machines without getting upset, their brains can be scanned to see how they respond when presented with the scents of different people. The dogs brains light up with activity most when the scent belongs to someone that they know, which is very similar to the way that human brains light up when they are exposed to pictures of someone they are in love with. Is your dog really in love with your scent? It sure seems that way!
They Love To Hear Your Voice
When you come home from a long day away, calling for your dog can fill you with joy when he comes running over to greet you, oftentimes with a special toy to present to you for playtime. If this action doesn’t warm your heart that your dog is in love with you, then there may not be any convincing you. Remember, it really is you that your dog loves, not just the hand that dumps out his dog food.