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Any dog lover will tell you the same thing: having a pup in your life is one of the most precious gifts imaginable! After all, dogs earned the nickname “man’s best friend” for a reason, as they are the most undemanding, selfless relationship you’ll ever know.
For food, belly rubs and lots of love, dogs will give you kisses, health benefits, and a heap of unconditional love. Even better, dogs have developed a knack for telling their humans “I love you,” even if they can’t actually say it in words. The average dog owner can sense when the special canine in their life is trying to communicate their affection, but there may be even more clues most of us don’t pick up on! In fact, dogs have all sorts of secret signals to share their love with their very favorite people.
Scroll through below to learn a few of the most adorable ways that dogs show their love.
#1: They aren’t called “puppy-dog eyes” for nothing! If your pooch stares soulfully into your eyes any chance he gets (especially while getting an ear rub or other attention), it means he loves you a whole heap! According to PetHelpful, dogs and humans are some of the only mammals that make eye contact this way, and it’s a huge sign of trust and adoration from your dog.
#2: Leaning On You : Dogs love cuddling just as much as people do, if not more! If your dog is a “leaner,” meaning he sits next to you and rests his weight against you, it’s likely that he’s just saying he would like more hugs and kisses, please! According to VetStreet, “This is affection-seeking behavior, plain and simple.”
#3: Going Wherever You Go Tayra Lucero for LittleThings Is your dog a tag-along? It might be slightly annoying behavior, especially when you just want some peace on the toilet. However, there’s a sweet reason behind it. Dogs are pack animals at heart, and this vet says that their instinct is to do everything with their family. If your pup tails you to the toilet, it’s just a slightly clingy way of saying, “You are my best friend, let’s do everything together.”
#4: Snoozing In Your Room Tayra Lucero for LittleThings When you head to work in the morning and leave your dog home alone, your heart aches, but don’t worry too much. There’s a good chance that your canine lovebug will crawl onto your side of the bed and snuggle in for a snooze. You might prefer less pooch-hair on your pillows, but according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s just your dog’s way of keeping you close whenever you’re away from home.
#5: Bringing You Presents Tayra Lucero for LittleThings Lots of dogs show that they care by bringing their most beloved, slobbery toy to present to their favorite people. It’s especially common in retrievers, who, true to their name, love fetching things. It’s also a behavior seen across dog breeds. Expert Jennifer Hammond notes, “These behaviors demonstrate a distinct desire on the part of our pets to share affection and happiness.”
#6: Sensing When You’re Sad Tayra Lucero for LittleThings Humans and dogs have been living together now for a whopping 15,000 years — that’s a pretty successful partnership! It’s not surprising that dogs have learned to tell when we’re unhappy or not feeling well based on our body language, and on how we smell. They show us they love us and that we’re their pack by trying to comfort us and empathize with our sadness.
#7: Licking Your Face Or Feet Tayra Lucero for LittleThings Dogs love to give their very favorite humans tongue baths (whether we want it or not!) and there are few good reasons for this. According to House My Dog, licking your feet repeatedly might soothe doggy stress because it’s a submissive behavior that reinforces that you are the responsible pack leader. Sometimes, especially with dogs and kiddos, it’s also a sign of maternal love — your dog thinks they’re her puppies too!
#8: Seeking Your Approval Tayra Lucero for LittleThings Does your dog seem to bask in your attention and love getting told how wonderful she is? This is a surefire sign of puppy love, because it means that your opinion matters the most to your pooch! In fact, some studies have even shown that dogs would rather get a compliment from their favorite person than a treat!
#9: Freaking Out When You Get Home Tayra Lucero for LittleThings Your dog acts like he was never, ever, ever going to see you again every time you walk through the front door — even if you just ran out to get milk! According to Gizmodo, that’s because dogs feel happiness and friendship the exact same way that humans do, but don’t have the language to simply say “I missed you and I am so happy now — let’s go for a walk!” Instead, they run all around the house and nuzzle you for joy to say that they love seeing you and spending time with you.
#10: Cuddling After A Meal Tayra Lucero for LittleThings Dogs are at their most territorial and defensive during mealtime, because they have an instinct that someone might try to steal their food.
That’s why it’s a huge sign of trust for your dog to choose you as a post-meal snuggling companion — it’s their way of saying that you are the person that they feel most relaxed with! How does your dog say “I love you”?
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