Bumble snuggled up to Charlotte on the sofa next to a cushion with her face on.

Five signs your dog loves you

The love we have for our dogs is precious and can create strong bonds that last a lifetime. Many owners wonder if their feelings are reciprocated by their four-legged friends.

Our dogs can be complicated creatures, so how can we really tell? Here are our top five ways of knowing that your dog loves you back.

A dog illustration looking softly at you

Soft eye contact

Eye contact can mean many things, but dogs are naturally quite hesitant to make eye contact. When dogs stare at each other it can be uncomfortable between them, sometimes it is viewed as a challenge.

Think about when someone stares at you, how awkward and uncomfortable you can feel, it’s the same for dogs.

So, when your pup chooses to look at you with soft relaxed eyes, they trust you. And, it could be argued, that trust is the highest form of love you can receive from your pooch.

 
An illustration of a dog wagging their tail around in a circle

Tail wagging

Your dog’s tail can display a whole range of emotions and a wag from them doesn’t always necessarily mean they are happy. 

You’ll know when your dog loves you though, because they will treat you to a full body wiggle, which starts at their shoulders and carries on through to the tip of their tail. Their tail will spin around like helicopter propellers (in circular motions). This type of tail wagging is usually reserved for people that are special to them, seen most when dogs see their owners – need we say more?

 
A light brown dog cuddled up by owners side

Cuddling (on their terms)

Your dog can choose to curl up wherever they like. So, when they cuddle into you, they are actively choosing you. 

This can vary from full body cuddles, to them leaning into you to ask for some love. 

It’s important to remember that cuddling must always be on your dog’s terms. Some dogs will find the restriction of having someone’s arms around them stressful and this can cause your dog to shy away from close contact with you.

 
A jack russell dog illustration wiggling their bum and wagging their tail

Happy greeting

Having your pup greet you at the door when you come in is up there with one of the best feelings. 

Your dog isn’t doing this just for the sake of it, they are genuinely happy to see you.

This is also the case if your dog greets you when they are already wrapped up in another activity, like playing or eating. We all know how much they like their treats, so if they choose you over that, what a privilege! 

 
Dalmation dog illustration licking owners hand

Licking you

Dog licking can be for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons your dog may lick you, will be affection. They are ultimately seeking attention from you because they want to interact with you, and licking you is a very quick way to get your attention.

— Page last updated 01/04/2022