Perhaps a dog cannot materially say “I love you”, but it is not a problem: science has shown that our dogs love us, and they show us their affection in many ways. So let’s see nine signs to answer the question: does the dog love me?
Why does Fido rely on us, even physically? And why does he always want us to caress his tummy? They are signs of the love of dogs for us owners. From their wanting to stay as close as possible to us, to wanting to get under the covers, to visual expressions, to crazy parties when we go home, there are many demonstrations by dogs, to communicate love and affection. There is no need for many words when we can understand each other so easily.
The search for physical contact
He wants to be with us under the covers
Whether we are for or against the dogs on the bed, it doesn’t matter, if our dog wants to sleep with us, it shows that he loves us. The same is true if when we are away he goes to sleep in our place.
It leans on us
If our dog never leaves us, and sometimes leans on us physically, it is not necessarily a sign of need or separation anxiety. No, it simply means “I love you!” in his language. According to Dr. Frank McMillan, a dog’s affection can be indicated by his desire to be physically close to us. Even though it appears to be sticky, it is actually proving to have a strong connection with us.
We smile and smile in turn
An Emory University neuroscientist in the United States, Dr. Gregory Berns, loved his dog so much that he tried to understand with his work team what the dogs felt towards us. In one study he claims that dogs have high empathy, and even not only do they sense what we think, but they feel what we feel. Dogs – he says – have emotional intelligence.
So if we notice that Fido is saddened when we are sad, and agitated when we are agitated, it means that our dog is truly empathizing with us.
Pancini full of love
Dogs love food. There is no need for a scientist to understand this. But, according to Dr. Berns, when the dog loves us he shows it by looking for cuddles after eating.
When we are face to face
I yawn, you yawn … it’s contagious!
Well yes, even for dogs the yawn is contagious. In a study at the University of Lund (Sweden), Dr. Elainie Madsen showed with her colleagues that our emotional closeness to the dog causes Fido to yawn when we yawn.
He looks us in the eye
The next time your furry friend supports our gaze, keep in mind that he is embracing us with his eyes. He’s not trying to hypnotize us, no. Fido is trying to communicate all the affection he feels for us. I can finally say that the dog loves me!
In fact, Japanese scientists have noticed that after a 30-minute staring session between owners and their dogs, the dogs showed higher levels of oxytocin, i.e. the pampering hormone, which flows through their affectionate bodies.
If you leave me, it’s not worth… or maybe yes?
He loves to see us go
“My dog doesn’t care when I go! Isn’t it true that the dog loves me? “. If this has ever happened to us, we may think that our dog is happy because we go away. Not so: if our furry dog seems totally uninterested in the fact that we go away – maybe when we go to work – it is because he loves us but, fortunately, he does not suffer from separation anxiety (which is very common among dogs).
So many parties on our return
On the other hand, if when we return home the dog is super excited to see us back, it is another sign of love, and that we missed him.
Another cuddle, please
He wants us to scratch his tummy
And here we are at the scratchers … the irresistible scratchers. We probably think that having to choose between a prize in food and a scratch on the belly, a dog would choose food. But a recent study has shown that they prefer scratchers. And if it is not love to prefer physical contact over food, what else is it?
All you need is love
So, the next time someone tells us that it is only animal instincts that lead the dog to seemingly affectionate behaviors, let’s explain that instead it has been shown that not only do dogs love us, but they love to show us! Obviously, we show them the love we feel, in exchange for what they show us.