How Do Dogs Show Their Love?

How Do Dogs Show Their Love?

We know our dogs love us. Here’s proof!


We know we love our dogs and enjoy showing them love in the form of hugs, snuggles, kisses and words of affection and we assume our dogs love us back. Since they can’t tell us with words, the only way they can express their love and unwavering affection is with their actions and showing us their love.

Here are top ten ways a dog shows his love. Have you seen any of these behaviors in your pup?

1. He runs to greet you when you come home


Why does my dog run to greet me? You know how this goes. You come home after a long day at work and your dog is super excited to see you! Wagging tails, jumping, barking. My little one likes to nibble on my fingers when she gets excited about seeing me finally come home. It’s adorable! Most days I have to drop everything on the floor because they can’t wait for me to get inside and love on them. If your dog isn’t super excited like mine, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. A simple wagging tail and happy face is enough evidence that he loves you.

2. Bringing you his favorite toy


When a dog brings you his favorite toy it not only means he wants to play with you, but that he sees you as his pack leader and he is bringing you a gift or offering. Dogs have a pack mentality and every member of the pack has his place in the hierarchy of the team. Seeing you as the pack leader is a sign of affection and respect, and in human terms, showing you his love.

3. Cuddling with you after a meal


As the pack leader, you are responsible for bringing food home for the pack. The best way to show appreciation and love is to cuddle up next to you after his meal. It demonstrates his strong ties to you.

4. Leaning on you

Remembering again that dogs are social animals and have a pack mentality. They are more comfortable in groups and your family is an extension of their pack. They feel safety and security by being surrounded by the pack. By leaning up against you he is showing his love for you by bonding and holding you close. So the next time your dog comes up and leans on you, sits on your feet and makes himself comfortable, you can rest assured that he is loving you.

5. Lifting and wiggling eyebrows

The most common sign that a dog is happy is his wagging tail. But the next time you have a happy pup approach you keep an eye on his facial expressions! Just like humans, so much can be seen on a dog’s face. If he is happy to see you, he tends to lift his left eyebrow upwards. When met with someone they’ve never seen before, you might notice that his left ear moves back slightly. When presented with an object he doesn’t like (in my case it’s the toothbrush) he’ll move his right ear back. Just taking notice of these small changes in his expressions will help you understand your pet better.

6. He nuzzles you with his head

When a dog rubs his forehead on you, it’s a friendly, social thing called “bunting” and it is a very loving gesture. The next time you are laying on the couch in front of the TV with your pup, try encouraging him to nuzzle with you by gently rubbing his back and offering your cheek to his cheek. Soon he will be nuzzling and rubbing his forehead on you to show you how much he loves you.

7. Licking!


Why does my dog lick me so much? To endure the licking, you either have to be a dog person or just muscle through it! If you have dogs, you most likely have experienced some kind of licking. There are a few different types of licking but the one that I’m referring to is what your pup does when you are loving on him. Let’s say you are sitting together and stroking his back and he starts giving you some of those long lingering licks. It may not be the most hygienic thing, but it is one of the most loving ways a dog can show you his undying affection!

8.Staring directly into your eyes.

As dogs came out of the wild and became domesticated, they began to mimic human behavior and one of these are gazing into its owner’s eyes. Studies have shown that as you and your pup gaze into each other’s eyes, a hormone by the name of oxytocin is released. As your dog mimics this behavior, he is rewarded with loving words or caring glances and strokes on the head and his levels of oxytocin increased giving him that warm, loving feeling. Of course he wants more of it because it not only shows love and affection but the dedication and feeling of protection he gets from you is what he desires.

9. Yawning when you yawn

Although our dogs are domesticated, they still have primal instincts in them like being a part of a pack and they see you as their pack leader. Of course they want your approval and to please you so they will mimic a lot of things you do in order to gain their approval. Not that they need to yawn on purpose to make their pack leader happy, but have you ever seen someone yawn and not feel compelled to do likewise? In fact, just the fact that I’m writing about yawning is making me instinctively yawn, so don’t you think your dog will respond as well? Did you yawn just now? The word yawn alone makes me want to yawn. There’s something keenly adorable about your dog yawning when he sees you do it, and that’s definitely a sign he loves you!

10.He loves sleeping with you

The final and best one yet! I love that my dogs sleep with me and my husband. It’s a loving, nurturing act to sleep together in the same bed. Even though they steal the blankets, lay on the sheets making it difficult to roll over, and sleep in between my legs making it impossible to get comfortable sometimes — I still love that my dogs sleep with me and I know they feel the same. We do have dog beds for them, but those are for lounging on in the living room. lol

The act of sleeping in your bed goes beyond the loving aspect and back to their primal instincts. In the wild, dogs are at their most vulnerable when they are sleeping. So they naturally want to protect themselves and be sheltered by the pack so they sleep together to have the safety in numbers. As the pack leader, you will protect them from danger while they are at their most vulnerable and that is the most endearing thing they could ever surrender to you.

So we’ve talked about ten ways your dog can say he loves you, and this is why you do so much to return the favor to the furry love of your life.

Thanks for reading! We’d love for you to leave us a comment and let us know how we are doing! Since we were talking about sleeping and yawning, please visit our post about reviewing Premium Dog Beds here

10 thoughts on “How Do Dogs Show Their Love?”

  • I remember our sheltie dog coming into the lounge when we sat down and she would sit on your feet, leaning against you. Every now and again you’d feel her shuffle when she wanted some attention. She always got what she wanted, bless her..
    Fetching her favourite ball, placing her head on your knees and letting go of the ball along with a wide eyed look and wagging tail was her favourite trick to get us motivated to play ball games.
    I’m shocked to read dogs copy our yawns, I thought Bonnie was the only dog that did this – ha! They’re so funny & full of fun.
    What sort of dog breed do you have?

    • Hey Simon! I have 3 dogs, one beagle, one chihuahua, and one chihuahua/dachshund mix. They all have such different personalities and we love them all so very much. Yes, the yawning thing was a surprise and my dogs still do some strange things that I haven’t figured out yet but I will. Thanks for your lovely comment and please come back and see us soon! Take care

  • Aww…I love dogs. My dog ran around the house when I returned home recently. We had to put him down a few days later, but it was a wonderful memory. (He was 17 years old, so he lived a good, long life.) I enjoyed this post and seeing the cute pictures of dogs as I am currently grieving the loss of my own.

    • Oh I’m so sorry Melinda for the loss of your pup! I have 3 dogs now and one of them is 13 and although still acts like a puppy she moves around very slowly and has health issues. Thank you so much for commenting, we love our dogs like family and it’s good to recognize the signs that they love us back. Take care and come back and see us again soon.

  • I have two toy poodles and I’ve never had dogs previously. When I first got them, they did the yawning thing often. I thought they were just stretching their jaw. They do it when they are excited to go outside or when I get home. I love learning about dogs and how they operate because they really opened my heart and made both my husband and I better people. Thanks for your post. I enjoyed every world. (p.s. some of your images are missing.)

    • Thanks Jackie! My dogs are my loves since my kids grew up and moved out and I love writing about this topic. I recently switched domain names and moved my old blog to this new one and this particular post went wonky with the images so I need to fix that. Thanks for letting me know, I appreciate you visiting and commenting! Have a great day!

  • Dogs are just special. They wear their hearts on their sleeves, not at all afraid of expressing themselves. My family’s dog passed away a few weeks ago, but it was always clear to how much she loved us.

    I remember we left her at a shelter for a week when she was still a puppy while we went on a trip, when we got back she ran bouncing all the way across the lot and tried to dig under the fence to get to us.

    The only thing on this list she wouldn’t do was cuddle. She’d squirm and try to get free, hated feeling confined. She’d prance away with her tail wagging, though!

    It’s a great list. Keep spreading the love!

    • Awww! Thanks Harry, and I’m sorry to hear about your family pup. It’s so sad when they have to leave us but nice to know how much they love and adore us. From your post it’s clear the feeling was definitely mutual. I too have a fur baby that doesn’t like cuddling. My husband will trap her into cuddling but she is just bursting to break free! Some dogs are like that. Thanks for commenting on my post. I hope one day a new pup will find its way into your life. Have a great one!

  • Hello. Such a sweet post. I gave my kids a puppy when they were younger and even though I gave him to both of my kids he really took a liking to my son the most. He showed all of these signs to all of us but he stuck to my son like glue. I love how affectionate dogs are. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    • Aww, thanks so much for commenting. I just love dogs and when you understand and can read their body language, you can see that it goes both ways. I think all kids should have dogs so they can learn to care for and love something very special.

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