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Ever wonder, “Does my dog love me?” As humans, we have unceasing opportunities to tell our dogs we love them. From tummy scratches to feeding them their favorite late night snack, it’s natural to believe our dogs always know exactly how much we care. Though it’s easy for us to display our love to our pets, how do we know they really feel the same? Fido may not be able to come home from a long day at work with a bouquet of fresh roses to say “I love you,” but there are many small movements he can make to truly declare his love. You just need to look for them.
If he performs any (or all!) of the below points, all signs point to your dog showing his or her unwavering love.
He Goes Crazy When You Come Home
We’ve all seen this before, you walk in the front door and you are eagerly greeted by your dog, tail wagging with a toy in his mouth (and probably lots of jumping too!). This is love in its truest form.
Your dog is literally displaying his excitement to see you in any way he can. However, according to the Wall Street Journal Blog, if your dog seems to do this each time someone walks into the house, he may be a bit “promiscuous” and this may not be the strongest determining factor as to whether Fido thinks you are “the one.”
According to Care2.com, a dog’s love isn’t all about tail wagging, but instead, facial expressions. In a recent study in Japan, dogs were introduced to their parent, a stranger, a dog toy, and an item they disapproved of. When seeing their parent, the dogs immediatelylifted their eyebrows (especially their left), and when they saw a stranger there was significantly less facial movement, and movement of the right brow.
Similarly, when seeing someone they knew and were bonded to, the dogs shifted their left ear back, if it was an item they disliked, they shifted their right. According to the study, this suggests the dog is likely more reserved when meeting someone new, or seeing something they dislike.
He Really Looks at You
In a recent 60-Minutes segment on CBS, Anderson Cooper met with Brian Hare, a well-known dog expert, to discuss a dog’s love. According to this segment, when your dog looks you in the eye, he is “hugging you with his eyes.”
As said by Hare, when looking at you, or you are playing with one another, oxytocin is released, a hormone that helps new mothers bond with their babies. This eye contact truly indicates your dog’s love for you.
We don’t recommend you have a staring contest with Fido the first 10 minutes you get home tonight. He will immediately sense something is different, and will likely look away. Instead, take time to try to maintain eye contact throughout the day and see how your dog responds.
He Yawns With You
We’ve all heard that yawning is contagious, and have experienced the inevitable yawn, when a friend yawns while is talking to you (Did you just yawn? Even reading about yawning can make you yawn!). But, did you know that dogs experience the same contagious sensation?
According Live Science, in a recent study it is stated that when humans yawn it is due to the fact that humans are empathetic, and sense the yawn in their peer. It’s nearly impossible to measure if dogs are empathetic, but it is likely that this yawning symbolizes a bond to their human.
In this study, dogs were more likely to yawn when their owners yawned, as opposed to a stranger. Test this out at home, but don’t be discouraged if Fido doesn’t yawn back immediately—he may not realize you’re yawning and just wonder why you’re showing him your grin.
There are plenty of “scientific” ways to confirm your dog loves you, but we believe these reactions vary from dog-to-dog.
The truest way to know if your dog loves you? You just know. Whether he perks his ears when he hears your voice, looks meek when you leave but jumps uncontrollably when you get home, or cuddles up next to you any chance he can, we’re pretty sure his heart is 100% yours.
Does your dog have any funny ways he declares his love to you? Share in the comments below!