do you ever wonder how your dog shows you they care?
It’s easy for humans to show affection for their dogs. A belly rub, treat, or snuggle session on the couch says “I love you” to our pets. But do you ever wonder how your dog shows you they care?
Thankfully, dogs do communicate clearly, as long as you know what to look for. From nose to tail, dogs use their bodies to convey how they feel. Read on to learn the ways that dogs show affection.
Does your dog ever come up and nudge you with their nose? This can be a sign of affection, a way for your dog to say “Hey, I like you!” Of course, nose-nudging is also a way for dogs to seek attention, or to let you know you’re in their way. You’ll know your dog is expressing affection if the nose-nudge is accompanied by a soulful stare, or leads to more full-body contact.
Eye contact is an intimate act. For many dogs, it’s a display of trust and affection. If your dog maintains eye contact with you on the reg, they’re showing a high degree of attachment. When your dog looks at you, their brain releases oxytocin, which is the same hormone that helps new mothers bond with their babies. Your brain does the same thing.
Note: affectionate eye contact is different from threatening eye contact. We don’t recommend having a stare-down with an unknown or nervous dog. Instead, look for opportunities to make and hold eye contact with your dog throughout the day. Think of it as building trust over time.
Kissing is a universal sign of affection, even among dogs! Big, sloppy dog tongues can be a little gross depending on the situation. But by licking you, your dog is saying “I like you sooo much!”
Licking can also be a way to signal lower social status. When your dog licks you, she may be letting you know that she respects your authority (and that she loves you, of course).