Humans and dogs have shared unmistakable bonds throughout history. Despite our close connections, certain dog behaviors remain a mystery. For example, why do dogs always bark at the postman or chase after the vacuum when you are cleaning house? While we may never know the answers to some of these burning questions, scientists are starting to understand the intricacies of canine communication. Researchers have uncovered 10 behaviors that are actually your dog’s way of saying “I love you.”
Eye Contact: Your dog looking you directly in your eyes is the canine equivalent of a hug. This is most likely to occur when you and your pooch are playing, cuddling, or just going about daily activities. When your dog makes prolonged eye contact with you, it releases a hormone called oxytocin. This is the same hormone that helps new mothers bond with their babies.
Yawning: We all know that yawns are contagious. The impulse even transcends the species barrier. Studies show that your dog is more likely to yawn in response to your yawn than a stranger’s. This is your dog’s way of showing empathy and that they are bonded to you.
Leaning on You: If you dog leans against you, it could mean that he is nervous and seeking comfort. It could also be a sign of affection and that he is offering his support to you. Post-meal Cuddling: Food is a powerful canine motivator and is the number one priority for most dogs. Once that basic need is satisfied, the dog’s next instinct is to seek out what is most important to him. A post-meal cuddle is a sign that you rank high on your dog’s list of priorities.
Facial Expressions: A study out of Japan showed that dog’s displayed more facial expression in response to their master than with a stranger. Most dogs in the study would raise their left eyebrow in response to seeing their master or hearing their voice.
Stays Calm When You Leave: If your dog goes berserk whenever you leave the house, it may be a sign of separation anxiety. On the other hand, if your dog remains calm, it is a sign that they trust you and believe that you will return to them. Joyful Reunions: We have all seen the heartwarming videos of the joyous reunions between military members and their dogs after a long deployment. This is love in its purest form. If your dog freaks out when you come home at night, he is telling you in no uncertain terms that he loves you and is happy to see you.
Sleeping in Your Room: If your dog insists on sleeping in your room or on your bed, he is demonstrating his love and loyalty to you. It is a sign that he considers the two of you to be part of the same pack. Sharing a Toy: Your dog’s toys are his most prized possessions. When he brings you that old tennis ball or chewed-up Frisbee, he is showing that he cares by giving you something he values. It is also an indication that he views you as his pack leader.
Shared Loved: The bond between dogs and humans is a two-way street. Your dog instinctually knows if you love him through your body language and tone of voice. You have to show your dog you love him if you want to receive love in return.