What are the signs your dog loves you?

Love is one of those strange things that you recognise when you see it but can’t really put your finger on describing exactly what it is… It’s just a ‘feeling’. A feeling of belonging, of security, of the world being a better place when you are with your beloved, and of knowing in your heart by how the other treats you, looks at you and acts around you that you are loved.

How do you know?

When we ask “does my dog love me?” it is exactly the same. You just know.

You know in the way they greet you when you’ve been away (even if only to the toilet!), in the way they look at you, in the way they check in with you to make sure you are still there or to see how to behave, in the way they want to be with you and close to you.

More than that, you see it in their body language when they are around you.

Love is pretty easy to spot in most dogs because almost every part of your dog’s body language expresses how they are feeling! Their eyes are soft and gentle when they look at you, and almost seem to be in soft focus with none (or very little) of the whites of the eyes showing (and they may even close slightly in pleasure). Their forehead and eyebrows are relaxed, and their ears are either floppy or else moving forward and back also in a gentle relaxed way.

While dogs don’t (generally!) smile like we do, a dog around the person they love will have loose lips, no tension around his mouth (especially at the corners) and their mouth will most likely be closed.

When it comes to their body, they are moving fluidly and with a bit of a swing to them. Again, there is no stiffness anywhere in their back or legs, just a bit of a joyful bounce! Or maybe a lot of excited Tigger-type bouncing…! Or maybe a relaxed sprawling out, secure in your company. It depends on your dog and how they show their love.

When we are around those we love, the world seems safe and a better place, and our dogs feel the same when they are with us – and it shows in relaxed body language that radiates contentment.

Some need to be close to you, even on you… Some solicit affection. Others love from afar – just as strongly, but without the need to be touching you all the time.

And as for the tail… When a dog is with someone they love, their tail is usually at mid height and is either swinging about in rhythm with the movements of their body, or it’s being deliberately wagged from side to side (and of course some dogs wag so hard the entire dog wags too!). Even when a dog is wagging ecstatically though, the tail is still relaxed and not stiff.

Once you have really looked at the body language of a loving dog, you will always be able to recognise it. Even if the dog is bouncing around or contentedly sleeping beside you, the key words are fluid and relaxed… Relaxed eyes, relaxed ears, relaxed mouth, relaxed body, relaxed wag!

Need some help?

If you are worried that your dog doesn’t love you, talk to a behaviourist. Often it takes very little to change indifference or insecurity into love – and love is always worth working for. For most of us though, we can rely on our dogs when we want unconditional love and devotion. It is then up to us to be worthy of it.

1 thought on “What are the signs your dog loves you?”

  1. I’ve always held that, if possible, everyone should own at least one dog in their lifetime. It is an incredibly beautiful, and life changing experience. They are such amazing, sensitive, caring, and loving animals.


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