Dogs have interacted with humans for thousands of years and in that time, people have learned that dogs have a special way of communicating with them that are unique to dogs. In recent years, there are an increasing number of studies examining the way dogs think and how they communicate and interact with humans.
These studies are revealing fascinating things. Like how dogs pick up micro-signals from humans and how they they help their friends.
They are also revealing ways that the bond between dogs and humans has created many ways in which dogs express how much they love their family.
1. When a dog stares at you, it means they love you.
When being interviewed by Anderson Cooper, Brian Hare, a well-known dog expert, said that when your dog looks you in the eye, he is “hugging you with his eyes”.
Such loving looks release oxytocin, the same hormone that helps mothers bond with their babies. This doesn’t mean you should purposely stare into your dogs eyes (that’s unnerving to anyone), just let it come naturally during play and your regular routine.
2. Bringing you a toy means more than just wanting to play. They want to share something they value with you.
Because sharing is caring!
3. When a dog wants to sleep with you rather than alone, it means you are family to him.
Usually, if a dog panics when you leave it’s separation anxiety, something heartbreaking for dog owners, who often read it as meaning their dog loves you. Of course he does, but this form of anxiety can lead to destructive behaviour in the home.
If a dog is quiet and calm when you leave, it doesn’t mean he loves you any less. In fact, it’s very positive. Gregory Berns explains that it means your dog trusts you will come back.
6. Dogs use their eyes and their body language to tell you if they trust you and tell you what they are feeling.
Dogs have subtle facial signals if they like something. A study in Japan revealed that when dogs saw their humans, they lifted their eyebrows (especially the left one), but if they saw a stranger, they didn’t tend to react at all, or if they did, they just arched their right eyebrow. The study found dogs did the same subtle signally with toys they liked or didn’t like, shifting their left ear back if they liked the toy, and shifting the right ear if they didn’t like the toy.
7. If your dog is cuddly after a meal it’s not just because you fed them, it’s because you are their best friend.
Gregory Berns writes in his book How Dogs Love Us that if your dog wants to cuddle you after eating, it’s a strong sign he loves you.
8. A dog leaning or pressing against you is their version of a hug or a “hello”.
Ever notice how yawning is contagious between people? Well, it can happen between dogs and people too. A study found that when dogs mimic people’s yawns it is because the dog is bonded with that person. This usually happens in a relaxed situation. It should be noted that dogs yawning could also mean they’re anxious or upset, if they are in a stressful situation.
10. If dog sits on your feet, they’re being protective of you.
If a dog sits on your foot it’s a little bit like he’s marking you. Jennifer Brent, from the non-profit animal welfare advocacy group Found Animals told Woman’s Day, “It’s not just that he wants to be close to you, he’s saying, ‘This is mine; now it smells like me, don’t go near it.’ He does this for three main reasons: to feel secure about his place in your life, to warn other dogs that you are spoken for and because he wants to protect you.”
11. Your dog will want to comfort you when you are upset.
Dogs are sensitive to our moods. A study revealed dogs truly do respond to human tears and will respond to human tears and will naturally try and reassure you if you are distressed. They may get close to you, put a paw on you or try to nuzzle you when you are upset.
Are there signs your dogs makes that tell you that they love you?
Share these interesting insights into dog language with your friends!