I’ve always fantasized about having the same powers as Doctor Dolittle — mostly because knowing exactly what animals are thinking and feeling would be a very valuable information.
For example, why does my dog bark at the vacuum cleaner or always hide in a corner when starts raining?
I do not think I’ll know the answers to these questions, but thanks to new science findings on dog communication, I can now know if my dog loves me or not.
Several studies related to this question revealed that dogs have certain “powers” or keener senses, and because of the ancient relationship between humans and dogs, they have also developed unique ways to express their love.
Signs can be subtle and they are not always obvious, but once you read this article, all you’ll need are small signs that prove your dog’s love for you.
1. Look straight into your eyes
Dog expert Brian Hare said on the 60 Minutes show that when a dog looks directly into your eyes he is “hugging you with his eyes.”
When a dog looks at you when you’re playing or just cuddling him, oxytocin is released. This is the same hormone that helps mothers bond with their children. If you want to test this out with your dog, do not keep staring at each other: He’ll be embarrassed and look away.
Instead, try to make eye contact with him naturally during day-to-day activities, and see how he will react.
2. Yawning when you yawn
Yawning is contagious. But did you know this impulse is not limited only to humans?
By being raised closely to humans, dogs end up yawning when someone they love yawns.
A study indicates that when humans echo the yawning of others, it is because they are being empathetic — like when we feel pain when we see someone else’s pain. It is not possible to measure the level of empathy of the dogs, but it is possible that a dog yawns at the same time as a human because there is a bond between the animal with the person.
The study also showed that it is more common for them to yawn with their owners yawn, as opposed to strangers.
3. Leaning on you
Dogs expect you to offer them security.
When a dog leans on a human it is because he is anxious, wants you to do something, or take him somewhere. But leaning is also a symbol of affection.
Even if your dog is leaning on you out of nervousness, he is still doing it because he has you as someone who can protect and keep him safe.
4. Cuddling after a meal
In Gregory Berns’s book, How Dogs Love Us, if your dog cuddles with you after eating, this is a strong sign that he loves you.
Most dog lovers (or even those who does not like dogs) know that they are motivated by food. But according to Berns, when he eats all his food, the next action shows what is most important for the dog besides his food.
Sometimes your dog needs to do his “business” right after eating, but watch how he reacts in the morning and at night. If he keeps snuggling up with you after one of those meals, he definitely loves you.
5. Lifting and wiggling eyebrows
We think we can understand a dog by its tail, but its facial expression is a much more powerful indicator.
In a recent study in Japan, dogs were introduced to their parent, a stranger, a dog toy, and an item they dislike.
When they see their parent, the dogs immediately lifted their eyebrows (especially the left one), and when they see a stranger there was a lot less facial movements, except for movement of the right eyebrow.
Then, when they saw an item they knew and liked, they put their left ear back. But for an item they do not like, they shifted the right ear. According to this study, this suggests that dogs are more reserved when approaching someone they do not know or something they do not like.
6. Calmly watching you leave
Some dog owners think that if a dog panics when they leave it is because they love them.
This is not necessarily true, according to Gregory Berns.
If your dog panics when you leave, it is more of a sign of separation anxiety than of love.
If the dog goes to his house or accepts you are leaving, i.e. they stay calm when you leave, it means that he trusts you and is confident that you will return.
7. Freaking out when you come back
We feel special when we are greeted by our little dog, with his tail wagging, holding his favorite toy with his mouth, and jumping everywhere like a kangaroo.
And it is good that we like it, because this is a distinct sign of the love they feel for us — love in its purest form.
8. Sleeping in your room
Another way to find out if your dog loves you is to see where he likes to sleep.
There is a certain controversy in this matter, because if he likes to sleep on your bed — even if you do not allow it — he definitely loves you.
According to Berns, if a dog sleeps on your bed, this is a good test of loyalty because he does not want to be separated from the pack.
9. Bringing you his favorite toy
If your dog always brings to you his favorite toy, it does not just mean that he wants to play.
Yet wanting to play with you is a sign of affection in itself, the act of bringing you his favorite ball, it also means that he sees you as the leader of the pack.
Because of this, he wants to please you by bringing you his most precious thing, be it a squeeze toy or a well-worn disc. He thinks you’ll like it as much as he does — and sharing something with you is an act of caring.
10. Enjoying your love
Do you love your dog? According to Gregory Berns, dogs intuitively know whether you love them or not.
If you do not love him then you will not have his love in return!
How does your dog show his love for you? Let us know in the comments and share this dog love guide with your friends!