Have you ever wondered, “does my dog love me?” From cuddles to treats to finding them the perfect dog bed—we care so much for our dogs, but do our furry friends feel the same about us? It turns out there are some clear signs you can look for. Though our pets can’t present us with a bouquet of roses, they might just bring us their favorite toy—and that’s a sign of deep affection, even if it’s covered in drool. There are more telling behaviors that you can look out for that point to his or her unwavering love for you:
He Goes Crazy When You Come Home
You walk in the front door, and your dog is super excited to see you, from tail wagging to jumping, this is love in its purest form.
Specific Facial Expressions
A dog’s love isn’t all about jumping and wagging their tails; it’s also about their facial expressions. In one study done in Japan, dogs were presented to their human parent, a stranger, a toy, and another item they didn’t like. When seeing their human parent, the dogs immediately lifted their eyebrows. When they were introduced to a stranger, there was a significantly less facial movement in their eyebrows. Similarly, when seeing someone they were already bonded to, the dogs shifted their left ear back. If it was an item they didn’t like, they shifted their right ear back. According to this study, it would suggest that dogs are likely to be more reserved when meeting someone unfamiliar or seeing something they dislike.
They Really Look at You
In an interview on CBS, Anderson Cooper met with Brian Hare, a renowned dog expert, to discuss dogs and their love for us. According to this discussion, when your dog maintains eye contact, he is trying to”hug you with his eyes.” Why? Because when our dogs look at us, oxytocin is released, which is the same hormone that helps new mothers bond with their babies. This eye contact indeed indicates your dog’s love for you. Take the time to try to make eye contact during the day to see how your dog responds.
He Yawns When You Yawn
We are all aware that yawning is contagious, and we may have experienced this when our friend yawns during a conversation. But did you know that dogs also share this same sensation? A recent study shows that yawning is a good indicator of empathy in us. This means that because humans are empathetic, they can sense the yawn in their fellow peers. So with it being nearly impossible to measure a dog’s empathy, yawning is a good symbol of a human’s bond. In their study, dogs were more likely to yawn when their owners yawned than when a stranger yawned.
There are many “scientific” ways to confirm your dog loves you, but of course, every reaction can vary from dog to dog. The most accurate way to know if your dog loves you? Trust your gut. Whether he perks his ears when he hears your voice or cuddles up next to you any chance he gets, we’re pretty sure your dog’s heart is 100% yours.