Dogs have a unique way of telling their humans how much they love and appreciate them – but the signs are not always obvious and we can easily overlook them. While it still be some time before scientists discover the meaning of every single dog gesture, there are a few we know for sure – look out for them next time you see your loving pet.
1. Staring into your eyes
In a segment on 60 Seconds in 2014 with guest Brian Hare, dog expert, he said that dogs release oxytocin – the same hormone that helps new mothers bond with their babies – when they look into their human's eyes.
Go home and try to naturally keep eye contact with your pup - he will look right back at you.
Source: The Dogist
2. Leaning against you
Dogs feel safe when pressed against their humans. Even if he is leaning against your leg because he is nervous or or wants to go somewhere, he still sees you as a pillar of strength and love to support him.
Source: The Dodo
3. Yawning when you yawn
Yawning is contagious, and not only for humans. Dogs are bred to read humans and for that reason they imitate our yawns.
A study by Duke University in 2013 showed that when dogs yawn with their humans, they share a deep bond. They are also more likely to yawn with their owners than with a stranger.
Source: National Geographic
4. Cuddling after eating
Gregory Berns wrote in his book, How Dogs Love Us, cuddling after a meal is dogs' way of showing their love for humans. Of course food is the most important thing they need to stay alive, but after having consumed a meal they signify what else is important to them by showing affection.
5. Raising their eyebrows
In a recent study in Japan, dogs were put in front of their human, a stranger, a toy, and an item they dislike. When seeing their human, dogs tended to do a lot more brow movement than with strangers.
When the dogs saw the item they knew and liked, their left ear shifted back – and the right ear for items they disliked.
6. Watching as you leave
If your dog panics when you leave, it could just be separation anxiety. But if they act calm as they watch you leave, your dog loves and trusts you – he is confident you will return, according to Gregory Berns.
7. Being excited when you come home
This one is not a challenge to figure out. He has been missing you and is excited to be in your presence again.
They tend to wag their tails, bark, jump on you and look into your eyes. This is often the best moment of any dog lover's day.
8. Sleeping close to you
Dogs don't want to be separated from their packs… If your dog wants to sleep in your bed, even if he isn't allowed, it's a strong sign of love and loyalty, according to How Dogs Love Us.
Source: The Holidog Times
9. Giving your his favourite toy
Wanting to play with you is a sign of affection in itself, as well as a sign of loyalty – he thinks of you as the pack leader.
When a dog brings his human his favourite toy, his most special and prized possession, he wants to share his joy with the one he loves.
10. Just enjoying your love
Gregory Berns says that dogs actually know whether or not a human loves them. If he's not getting love, he won't be giving love in return!
Now go home and love your pup with all your heart, and be sure to keep your eyes open for these tell-tale signs of your best friend's love and affection.