Behavior

10 Ways Dogs Say I Love You Mom! Dad!

ways dogs say I love youThose of us that are long time dog paw-rents learn to listen to our four-legged children and learn, sometimes instinctively, to “hear” what they are trying to tell us.  In this article we will look at some recently shared information about the ways dogs say I Love You. This information will help us “hear” even better.

One of the things we most would like to know is “Does my fur-child really love me.”  Knowing various different ways that dogs say I Love You will go a long way toward answering that question.

In several different studies, scientists have found since humans and dogs have been so close for so long, that  dogs have developed several ways to expressing their love for humans.

Some of these signs are subtle enough that it has taken close research to discover them.  On the other hand many dog lovers have picked up on these signs, even if they were conscious of doing it.

As we get started I’d like to thank Elyse Wanshel who provided much of this information on the ways dogs say I Love You..

1. Staring directly At You.  Looking into your eyes.

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(Little Things/Maya Bornstein)

On a 60 Minutes segment, Anderson Cooper met with Brian Hare, a well-known dog expert, to discuss how dogs express love. According to Hare, when your dog looks you in the eye, he is “hugging you with his eyes.”

When a dog looks at you while the two of you are playing with one another or just cuddling, oxytocin is released. It’s the same hormone that helps new mothers bond with their babies. If you want to test this out with your dog, don’t go home and a have a staring contest with your pooch. He will sense something is off, and look away because he feels awkward.

Instead, try to naturally maintain eye contact with him during your normal routines and see how he responds. (Elyse Wanshel)

 

2. Yawning with you.

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(Little Things/Maya Bornstein)

 Yawning is contagious. But did you know this impulse isn’t limited to just humans?

Dogs, because they’ve been bred to read humans, also yawn when someone they love yawns.

A study found that when humans echo another’s yawn, it’s because they’re empathetic, like sympathy pains. It’s impossible to measure if dogs are empathetic, but it’s possible that a dog yawning the same time as a human happens because the dog has bonded with that person. 

The study also found that dogs were more likely to yawn when their owners yawned, as opposed to a stranger.    (Elyse Wanshel)

3. Leaning against you

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(Little Things/Maya Bornstein)

The song “Lean on Me” is all about offering support and dogs crave that same kind of security.

Sometimes a dog will lean on a human because he is anxious, wants you to do something, or take him somewhere. But leaning is also a symbol of affection.

Even if your dog is leaning on you out of pure nervousness, he is still doing it because he thinks of you as someone who can protect him and keep him safe. (Elyse Wanshel)

4. Cuddling after a meal.

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(Little Things/Maya Bornstein)

In his book, How Dogs Love Us, Gregory Berns, if your dog cuddles with your after eating, it’s a strong sign that they do indeed love you.

Most dogs lovers (or even people who don’t like dogs) know that pups are motivated by food. But according to Berns, once a dog eats all its food, his next action can signify what’s most important to him besideseating.

Sometimes your dog may have to do his “business” right after a meal, but watch how he reacts in the morning and at night. If he’s snuggling up with you after one of these meals, then there’s some definite puppy love on his end. (Elyse Wanshel)

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