5 min read


Can Dogs Feel Affection?



5 min read


Can Dogs Feel Affection?


Dogs are so irresistible, with their floppy ears, soulful eyes, and wagging tails. We are hooked on the canine phenomena and the mere sight of a dog brings feelings of euphoria, as we go gaga over that cute Shih Tzu pup. What is it about these pooches that evoke such goofy feelings of love? 

The Internet has every conceivable angle about what’s going on with our mutts – making the simple task of a hug suddenly the worst thing you can do. These days you need a manual to know how much your dog really knows. They are our closest allies in the animal kingdom and man's best friend. Can they feel affection - what do you honestly think?


Signs Your Dog Is Understandng Affection

Our dogs are what we help them to be and hopefully, that’s an affectionate mutt who can’t get enough of that tummy tickle as they happily lie on their back. We rely on studies to tell us what we already know. Our dogs are like the favorite teddy bear we used to sleep with as a child.

Dogs have had a bad rap, as studies used to say pooches didn’t think much at all, but now the pups out of the bag, as its proven they are amazingly smart. Their brains are similar to ours and there is evidence they can see your good or bad aura from two paws away.

Dogs love to be touched and told just how precious they are. They can read our facial expressions to see what we are feeling and they probably can even feel empathy if we are sad. So what are the signs your dog feels affectionate?

Yawning may not have been what you were expecting to read surprise, but it’s a dead give away that your pup is feeling loved up, as they drop open their mouth and appear to smile. The more she yawns the closer she feels.

Staring was once considered rude, but now it’s a sign of confidence and sincerity. Dogs love looking into your eyes and getting the warm–fuzzies as they melt you inside. Is your pup swishing their tail to the right? That’s their feel-good wiggle as they are happy hanging out with their person. If a dog wags to the left it’s a sign of a nervous pooch.

Dogs also show their fondness for a guardian with facial expressions.  In a Japanese study reported by the “The Telegraph,” dogs raised their eyebrows when they saw their owners enter a room. They moved their left ear to strangers.

Body Language

Here are signs your dog is feeling affectionate:

  • Staring
  • Wag Tail
  • Pacing
  • Yawning
  • Licking

Other Signs

Here are more signs your dog is feeling the love:<br/>

  • Bringing You Their Toys
  • Acting Relaxed
  • Excitement When You Come Home
  • Sleeping By Your Side
  • Enjoying Your Touch

The History of Dogs Showing Affection


Long before social media became an expressive platform, wolves roamed the planet, until a new species with a superior stance brought about change. Man was a hunter and sought the same prey as wolves, causing an interruption in evolution as wolves were forced to think on their paws. The competitive spirit between a breed of gray wolf and humans saw the father of dogs driven to extinction. In the interim, man and wolf formed an alliance.

Today our endearing dogs offer companionship and service as they once did when man and wolf hunted together. At first, we thought dogs were basic, without the ability to think. Now we know they are emotive, intelligent and capable of feeling love.

Their humanistic trait of affection harks back to wolves, who express their warmth for other pack members by nibbling and licking their faces. They also groom each other and snuggle up close. If a wolf leaves the pack, they will show their happiness by howling and yelping when they return. These signs of affection were inherited by our dogs. As their modern day pack members our pups dogs feel affection by demonstrating their feelings, in similar ways to their forefathers.

The heart of mankind has been pierced with a compelling love for dogs. From Old English Sheepdogs to French Bulldogs and Welsh Corgis, we feel immensely connected to these ancient, wolf-like creatures. Many animals walk the planet, but it was the wolf that formulated a bond with us. Our dogs are reminder of this ancient, wild canine.

Studies Suggest Dogs Can Feel Affection


This is the age of information and we all want to know how things tick. The Internet has offered a unique opportunity, with a click of the mouse to find answers to probing questions.

Dogs are a source of analysis as they sense storms, feel emotions and detect cancer. Their powerful senses have sparked curiosity, as scientists study the complexity of the canine mind.

The news is we have similar brain power to dogs, and the love-hormone (oxytocin), transmitted by the brain and administered through the pituitary gland. This hormone is ignited when we look into our dog's eyes and tell them we love them. It’s a feel-good vibe that’s inherent in dogs.

A Japanese study reported by CBC Canada saw dogs being stared at and petted by their owners. This was to see to see how oxytocin influenced their feelings of amour. Levels of this mushy hormone were high in both owners and dogs throughout the process.

Surges in oxytocin cause a bonding effect between dog and pet parent as they do between mother and child. We conceive our mutts as adorable versions of E.T and feel an overwhelming need to love and protect them. This emotion is generated through to our dogs, who reciprocate with smiley faces and wagging tails.

Science has shown that years of domesticating our pooches have made them more like us!

Training Dogs To Feel Affection


When a puppy leaves the nest and comes home to its new human owner, it may feel apprehensive - even if it’s been socialized with people. This is the perfect opportunity to bond and help them become affectionate. Spending time with your new puppy is paramount, as you show them touch is a good thing.

If you want a companion that gives you doggy love and enjoys plenty of pats and kind words, bonding time is essential. That will ensure an enduring dog and owner relationship. They say a dog reflects it's owner, so if you are the discerning type, chances are your pup will grow up to be that kind of dog. On the other hand, if you are gregarious and love hugs, your pup will hopefully mirror your exuberant personality.

You have to show your pooch that they are part of your pack and it's okay to feel affection. The "Ottowa Valley Dog Whisperer," teaches people that affection should not be solely for the owner but indeed the dog itself. Dogs are often blindsided by a person’s need to cuddle and cajole, while not considering the emotional needs of their dog.

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By a Japanese Chin lover Linda Cole

Published: 03/02/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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