How Our Dogs Show Us Love
As Christmas is fast approaching, we begin to think of ways to show our animals just how much we love and care for them. From tasty treats to cuddly toys, we fill their stockings with an array of toys just to thank them for keeping us smiling each and every day.
For many of us, our smiles, high pitched voices and snuggles and kisses highlight to our four-legged friends just how much we love them. Telling them verbally every day and showing our affection through kisses and cuddles really emulates how much we adore our furry friends.
However, unlike us humans, our dogs cannot utter those three words we so wish to hear. Imagine if our dogs could speak – what would they really say? With the absence of words and just wet noses, tongues and paws for use, here’s how our pets really do show us that they love us just as much as we love them.
Reaction to Names
It is no surprise that dogs have the ability to recognise their names. From puppies, during the naming process, we train our dogs to recognise the name we are consistently calling is their own. Well, this is no different to their recognition of other names that they become familiar with.
Throughout their lives, especially with their owners, dogs will become aware when their loved ones names are mentioned by each other, family members or even by vets and groomers. Their waggy tails, tilted heads and even barking or yelping is their way of showing their excitement and love they associate with your name – now isn’t that just adorable!
Bringing you Toys
Noticed that your dog brings you a tattered tennis ball or one legged bear from time to time? This is one of the ways our dogs highlight how much we mean to them.
Often our pets will bring us toys that they trust us enough to fix. By holding a ripped toy or broken ball, our pets are attempting to convey that they would like us to repair the toy and their trust in us to do so. In addition, by bringing us a certain toy repeatedly, our furry friends are also signifying their love by suggesting they love us enough to want to share their favourite toy with us and engage in play – if that isn’t enough to bring a tear to your eye then we don’t know what else could!
Engaging in Eye Contact
We all know the phrase “love at first sight”.
Well, for our canine companions, this mantra lasts a lifetime. Using their eyes to penetrate our soft souls, dogs use eye contact as a way of signifying trust and adoration to their owners, hence the saying “puppy dog eyes”.
Engaging in staring shows a real deep connection between a dog and their owner. As they look into our eyes, dogs release oxytocin (the love chemical) in their brains. This gives them all those warm and fuzzy feelings (just as it does for us) and attachment is formed. The more and more our dogs long to stare into our eyes really does show how attached and in love with us they are.
Licking your Face
Although disputed amongst pet owners, having a dog lick your face is one of the most obvious forms of affection. Greeting us from hard days with a round of lip-smacking licks, we can’t help but adore this all too beautiful way our dogs show us they care.
Often known as “kisses”, our dogs lick our faces as to repeat the behaviour done by us when we give them a kiss. Although not an actual “kiss”, if a dogs' tongue is heading towards your face, it’s probably because they think you are pretty great.
Using their Paws
During cuddling sessions with your canine, do you ever notice them use their paws particularly on your hands and face? This is actually one of the most tell-tale signs of our pets showing us affection.
When we stroke our pets, we use our hands in a gliding motion to show our dogs signs of love. However, unable to recreate that exact action with their paws, dogs often place their paws on our hands and face to reciprocate that stroking action and signifying their absolute love and trust.
You may even notice that when the petting stops, your dogs will use their paws or even face to communicate to you that they haven’t finished their petting session. Often, they will nudge your hands or paw at you to say “please can I have some more” showcasing that they love to be stroked just as much as we love to stroke them.