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How Do Dogs Know You Love Them?

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As a dog owner, you will love your dog more than anything! But how do they know if you love them? Find out how to tell your dog you love them in their language with our guide, here! 

If you have a dog, then you know how easy it is to fall in love with them. One look into those puppy dog eyes and you will be hooked! You probably give your dog lots of love and affection, rubbing their belly, or giving them cuddles and kisses. There are lots of ways that you show them how much you care.

Whether it is treating them to a little food off your plate (we’ve all done it), giving them a new toy to play with, or finally letting them up to cuddle with you on the couch. There are so many ways that you can tell your dog that you love them! So, how do you know if they understand? 

How do dogs know you love them

While you may be doing everything you can to show your dog how much you care, it can sometimes not be understood by your dog, and so you will have to speak your dog’s love language. This means doing things for your dog that will let them know how much they really mean to you in a way that they understand.

With our guide, we will show you how to do this, and show you how to tell your dog that you love them! So, how do dogs know you love them? 

How do dogs know you love them?

More often than not, your dog will already know how much you love them. Dr. Brian Hare has dedicated his life to studying the evolution of cognition, and has studied the relationships between humans and dogs for decades. Hare explains that your dog does know how much you love them, as dogs have taken over the human oxytocin bonding pathway that we normally have for our babies. 

This means that when you stare lovingly at your dog, or play with them and pet them, both yours and the dog’s oxytocin levels go up. This then ensures that your bond is stronger, and you have a closer connection. 

This also happens when we hug our dogs, we enjoy it and we feel happier. Dogs are not big fans of hugs like we are, but this happens for them when they stare at us. When your dog stares at you seemingly for no reason, they are trying to show how much they care for you with their eyes. 

To let your dog know that you love them, you would have to speak their doggy love language. This means communicating with them, and acting in a way that they understand as loving, appreciative and caring. 

Dogs have evolved from wolves and wild dogs, and so they have different instincts, behaviors and ways of showing affection, importance and respect. This is why you will need to know how to show your dog how much they mean to you, in a way that is understood by them. So, how do you tell your dog you love him?

How do I tell my dog I love him?

Dogs interpret and communicate by body language and behavior. This is why some activities are more important to them than others, as they have learned these behaviors from being in a pack. As dogs first lived in packs, they have evolved with and inherited a few instincts and behaviors that they still have today. 

These are hunting, exercising and physical touch or exploring. While you may think that your dog no longer has these instincts, they actually do. Instead, hunting is what your dog is doing when it chases a ball, or tears apart a squeaky or fluffy toy. When you exercise your dog, they are hunting, scavenging and foraging…exploring the world around them. 

As part of a pack, wolves would use noses, paws and mouths to exhibit physical touch behaviors, and these actions have been passed down through generations, even after becoming domesticated. So, you will need to exhibit and encourage these behaviors yourself, so that your dog understands your love, and loves you in return as part of the pack. 

To show your dog you love them, make sure that you let them explore on walks, treat them with respect, and keep them exercised and stimulated. In addition, they love it when you talk in your baby voice. Dogs actually respond better to this, and will enjoy the high pitched tone. They also love to hear words that they understand, such as walk, treat, or food, and will respond with a wagging tail, eye contact and other signs of affection. 

Body language is so important, so, show how much you love your dog with positive body movements. Dogs also lean against you to show that they love and trust you, reciprocate this to them, and they will understand that you love them too. 

In a pack, dogs would play together, and then rest together, which is why your dog wants to sleep with you. After a long day, try having a nap together, so that your dog feels that loving, familiar connection with you.

Finally, one of the best ways you can show your dog how much you care is by grooming them, gently massaging them or petting them. They understand your soft touch, and will feel soothed by a little tender loving care. 

How do dogs show affection to humans?

How do dogs know you love them1

A dog shows how they feel about you with longing and loving eye contact. Return the favor by communicating back to them, and maintaining eye contact. Just make sure you are not staring at them, as this could be seen as aggressive to your dog. 

Dogs will also lick you on the hands or feet to show how much they care, and will follow you around everywhere as they see you as the leader, and trust you entirely. 

Do dogs fall in love? 

It is unsure whether dogs are capable of falling in love. Whilst dogs can feel love, it is not in a romantic love kind of way. Most dogs instead form a deep, loving and powerful bond with their owners, and other dogs that will last a lifetime…which, I suppose is kind of like falling in love.  

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.