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.

10 thoughts 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.

    • I had a beautiful black lab, she was very affectionate and definitely loved me. My new retired greyhound is less so. Not really sure if she loves me, I guess she sort of likes me because I feed and walk her but other than standing next to me on occasions and leaning against my legs sometimes, she doesn’t show much affection in comparison

    • Hi Pam, we’re sorry to hear that Biscuit isn’t enjoying their kibbles at the moment. As our dry food is our main product and the tailor-made part of your dog’s diet, we’d love to find a blend that Biscuit will love – just pop our Customer team an email at hello@tails.com with your details and they can help. In the meantime, if you do need a wet food-only order you can order this direct from our Shop here: https://shop.tails.com/ 🐾

  2. Agree. I’ve been blessed to own lots of dogs in my lifetime and I never tire of seeing their unconditional love and devotion. They are our best friends and our greatest supporters. They give everything they know and have to us and in exchange they only ask for love in return. Dogs are very intelligent creatures and the greatest companions!

  3. I suffer from health issues and arlo is what keeps me going the love and support he gives me is so special he seems to know when I’m low and gives me lots of cuddles and he’s always there when I need him

  4. Our Farley has many ways of showing us that he loves us. With my husband he stays by him almost as though he wants to help or keep him safe while he is gardening. Of course the usual lovely tail wagging to say glad you are back or awake and with me he will snuggle up to my feet when I am seared, lick me and always his eyes say it all ‘ I so love you both’

  5. Dudley shows loads of affection always happy always buoyant and bouncy ,first thing in the morning he greets me then especially when I return from work he goes over & beyond with his enthusiasm to be back together he even tries his best to tell me with excited voice and body language, constantly wagging tail & body and howling he simply gets beside himself with excitement


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