It’s easy to get along with someone you love. It’s even easier to get along when you love them and you know they love you back. This requited love becomes more important when it comes to family members.
And while dogs are very important members of most families, discerning their affections isn’t as straightforward an affair as it is in humans. With human to human affection, all we have to do is wake up and swoon. We laugh at each other’s bad jokes and tell each other we love ourselves every morning.
With dogs, however, there’s a need to get a lot more subtle than this. Below are 7 ways dogs show affection towards you even though you may not know it.
1. Using Popular Body Language Signs
Most of the obvious signs that a dog loves you can be found in their body language when they’re around you. These, however, are the only aspect most owners focus on, because, well, they’re the most popular.
Everyone knows when a dog wags its tail rapidly near you, it loves you and wants to be with you.
The same goes for a dog’s ear perking up, or excited, energetic wriggling and rolling around once you’re near.
A more subtle sign, though, that most people don’t know about, is that the predominant direction of a dog’s wagging tail also matters a lot.
According to the New York Times, a dog who wags its tail more to the right is feeling positive emotions, while one that does it more to the left possibly feels something a bit more negative.
Shower your dogs back with lots of love. You can do so by getting them a dog pool for them to roll around in.
2. Can’t Enough of You
Just like in conventional human relationships, when dogs love you, one of the ways they show you is by following you around. They want to be as close to you as possible and to them, there’s no such thing as privacy or personal space — and guess what, you most likely won’t want it any other way.
Other signs that involve close proximity include your dogs leaning on you, sleeping next to you, looking after you when you’re sick, and so on.
3. Licks Your Face
Another popular sign of a dog’s affection is face licking. It happens all the time, an excited dog vigorously licking a human’s face in the park or somewhere near you. And if not in these places, well, you must have seen it in a movie or two.
There are a few obvious ways a dog shows unequivocal love, and this is one of them. It makes sense, too, when you think about it.
Dogs wouldn’t exactly run towards just anybody and start licking their faces. Certain cues can be taken from the various ways a dog licks your face.
There’s the submissive type of licking, to show familiarity or trust. There’s also the grooming form, where a dog licks you to groom you.
And finally, there’s the absolute, genuine lick of love. There’s nothing else like that pure joy you and your dog can get from this.
4. Synchronises With Your Yawns
Tail wagging and face licking are obvious ways that dogs show affection towards you. A less obvious way is by yawning whenever you yawn. Surprising, isn’t it?
It’s almost like the kind of telepathy many believe develops between two people in love. Only this time, the phenomenon is backed by actual researchers who found that dogs get yawning urges through humans and continually respond to it as a sign of empathy.
5. Belly Rub Above all Things
Science Magazine once released a study that proved that dogs are sometimes prone by their loving nature to prefer praise than food. One of the ways dogs get this praise from us is through belly rubs.
A dog who constantly prefers belly rubs from a human, before any other thing, before treats even, is a dog who admires the human.
So next time you see your dogs laying on their backs for belly rubs even though you’re holding a pack of treats, just know it’s true love.
Yes, sometimes even the most annoying things that our dogs do can be their way of showing us how much they love us. An example of this is sniffing.
Some dogs even go the extra mile of sniffing you in the crutch. Of course, this might seem awkward on the surface, but again you have to understand, these are dogs and they have no idea what personal space is.
To them, it is simply an important, passionate greeting. They also do this to get closer to you, get a feel of your scent, and develop an even stronger bond.
This may seem quite surprising, but when your dog roughhouses with you, (that is, acts in a rough, rambunctious manner), it sometimes is a sign of affection!
Thanks to the rough and almost violent connotation, it is easy to assume that roughhousing is more equivalent to negative emotions than positive ones.
It has been found, though, that dogs tend to get rough and excited especially with those they share a high level of mutual affection with.
Either way, roughhousing is not necessarily a bad thing. You should also do your best to ensure they do this in the safest way possible.
This involves no barking, biting, or scratching.
Pete Decker is the lead editor at TheGoodyPet.com. For the past 20 years, Pete has been working professionally with dogs, and he has spent time volunteering in animal shelters across the USA and around the world. Now, Pete dedicates his time towards TheGoodyPet, a pet educational website made by pet lovers for pet lovers.