10 Unexpected Ways Dogs Say “I Love You”

We all know that our dogs love us, right? That’s an assumed truth of life.

But as the grizzled old newspaper editors used to tell young reporters, “If your mother says she loves you, check it out!”

So, how do we really know our dogs love us? How can we prove it? Here are 10 small but sure signs of canine affection, courtesy of littlethings.com:

Staring into your eyes. This is the equivalent of a hug, according to dog experts. When a dog locks eyes with you, the hormone oxytocin is released. That’s the same hormone that bonds mothers and their babies.

Leaning on you. This is a symbol of the dog’s belief that you are safe, and that he can trust you.

Raising his eyebrows. A dog’s facial expressions can reveal much more than its tail. Your pooch lifts his eyebrows when he sees you. He doesn’t do that when he meets a stranger.

Staying calm when you leave. A mentally healthy dog shows very little reaction when her owner departs. That’s because the dog trusts you will return. A dog that goes crazy when his human leaves may have a case of separation anxiety.

Going nuts when you return. On the flipside, your dog’s crazy exuberance when you return is a very distinctively canine way of showing love and affection – so get used to the jumping and sloppy kisses.

Sleeping in your room (or bed). Your pup wants to sleep in your room or bed because he views the family as a pack and he wants to be right in the middle of it – even if you do snore somethin’ fierce.

Yawning when you do. Humans respond to a yawn with a yawn out of empathy. Research indicates this is true of dogs, too. Interestingly, research shows dogs are more likely to yawn when owner yawns than when a stranger yawns.

Cuddling after they eat. Food is a dog’s priority. After eating they often engage in their second most important activity, which is often bonding with pack members. That’s you.

Bringing you a favorite toy. This might mean Fido wants to play. But it often is also an offering to you as pack leader.

Mirroring your love. Dog trainers say canines can actually sense whether they are loved. If they get that feeling, they return the affection in spades.

I was already a hardcore dog guy – our family has an amazing German Shepherd – but this list makes me love dogs even more, and wonder why anyone would own a cat!

Related: Why Dog Owners Feel Such A Strong Connection To Their Pets

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