3 min read


Can a Dog Tell if You Love Them?



3 min read


Can a Dog Tell if You Love Them?


The relationship between us and our doggos is beautiful and unique, and we just love them so much that it hurts our hearts. Can dogs feel this immense love we have for them? YES, they can totally feel it. When you look at them lovingly, with warmth filling you to the brim, they feel it and love us just as much! What a relief.

Not only do we have an emotional bond with our fur-children, but there’s something biological about it as well. So although you’re not the biological mother of your wonderful and loving dog, the bond between you is basically familial.

Read further to learn more! 


Signs Your Dog Knows You Love Them

Your dog shows that they know you love them by loving you right back! The love generally takes the form of body language and behavior. For example, they will stare at you and make direct eye contact. This is literally a dog's version of a hug! They will also have the obvious signs like a big smile on their adorable face, a whipping, wagging tail and a butt-wiggle. 

Has your pup ever brought you random household items and dropped them at your feet? That's them saying they love you and want you to have the world. And their big slobbery kisses are just that- endless puppy kisses. Another sign that they love you that might be misinterpreted is a soft whimper or whine. This is just another way of communicating their love to you. 

Body Language

If you're wondering if your pooch loves you, just look for:

  • Jumping Up
  • Wag Tail
  • Hugging
  • Licking

Other Signs

More signs that your dog loves you include:

  • Pressing Up Against You
  • Staring Into Your Eyes
  • Butt-Wiggling

History of the Human-Dog Bond


The bonds that we as humans have with our canine friends is a special one, perhaps because it started around 40,000 years ago. Throughout this time, evolution has worked towards shaping the relationship between us. Researchers originally believed that the domestication of dogs started about 15,000 years ago, which is when we began to farm rather than hunt and gather. However, new research has come to light that dates the start of our wonderful bond back 25,000 years before that. 

There are a couple theories on how domestication of dogs started. One theory is that wolves began following humans around and made their own efforts towards domesticating themselves. The second theory is that humans went out and caught wolf cubs and made them pets, beginning the slow process of domestication. However it actually happened, we're sure glad it did! Where would we be without our furry loved ones?

Science Behind Dogs Feeling Our Love


The bond between us and our pups goes beyond our emotions towards each other. Canine cognition specialist, Dr. Brian Hare, found that there’s a biological connection as well. He told People magazine, "Dogs and humans have a very special relationship, where dogs have actually hijacked the human oxytocin bonding pathway that is normally reserved for our babies. When you stare at your dog, both your oxytocin levels go up, the same as when you pet them and play with them." He continues his point by saying that not only do these chemical levels go up, but as this happens, our loving bond strengthens! This is why spending daily, quality time with our doggos is so important.

It’s wonderful to get the scientific confirmation that our dogs are our babies. So when your friend, who isn’t a dog person, doesn’t understand that your dog really is your fur-child, send them this blog post and say “SEE! My dog and I carry a bond that mimics a mother-child bond, down to our neuro-chemicals.” 

Training Your Dog to be Loving


Our dogs show us love and affectionate because they trust us. Trust starts with providing our pups with their basic needs - enough food and water, an appropriate amount of exercise, physical affection, and time spent together. Once these are being met, your pup trusts you with their life! 

If they're not showing you as much affection as you'd like, though, you can use incentives such as treats or belly rubs to reward them for showing you extra affection. Engaging in training on anything with your pup can also strengthen the bond between you two. 

Socialization is also very helpful in getting your pup to show you the love. This not only means giving your doggo heaps of attention from yourself, but allowing them to be exposed to other people and pups, especially at a younger age, can make them more open and loving. On the other side of that, your pup also needs alone time with you in order to bond. Make time for both alone time and socialization to really help your pupper come out of their shell. 

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By Kelsey Bullis

Published: 04/06/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

Wag! Specialist
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