6 Ways Your Dog Says “I Love You!”

Your dog says “I love you” all the time. But, as humans, we need to learn how to understand their language. There is a language barrier between us and our dogs to an extent, but we can learn how our dog’s language just as they have learned ours.

Way #1: Our Dog’s Language

We know when another human being is showing us affection. But, we have learned most dog lovers aren’t aware of the many ways our dogs show affection to us. We clearly don’t speak the same language… but we are able to learn their language just as they learn ours (awesome, right?).

Dogs have clear communication skills. And, they tell you everything you need to know. You just need to know what to look for. You need to be able to understand what their vocalizations mean, and what their body language is telling you.

Way #2: The Nose Nudge

First, the nose nudge. Does your dog ever come up to you and press their nose against your body? This is a commonly missed form of affection. When your dog comes up to you, and nudges, they’re looking for your attention, but they’re also saying, “I love you, love me back.” And, usually that’s when we look at our dog, pet her, or we may even get up and grab her a treat. When the nose nudge is accompanied by a long stare… your dog is showing affection to the extreme.

Way #3: Eye Contact Means the World to Us

Eye contact is an intimate way of your dog saying, “I love you.” And, for many dogs, this is another way he says, “I trust you” or “you’re my person.” If your dog makes eye contact with you on a regular basis, this is a very good thing. When we look into the eyes of our dogs (and they’re returning eye contact), oxytocin is released in us and our dogs. You can think of this as the “happy hormone,” the “bonding hormone,” or the “love hormone” in us and our dogs.

The Difference Between the Love Eye and Whale Eye

It’s essential to note, affectionate eye contact is different than ‘whale eye’ contact. If a dog is showing signs of nervousness or anxiety during what you think is an intimate moment, they’re not comfortable with the eye contact. But, this can be adjusted over time by making brief eye contact with your dog throughout the day, so you can reach the ‘intimate eye contact’ level of your relationship.

Soft vocalizations, like a soft sigh or a low, slow groan, are also signs your dog is showing he’s happy or content with a situation. If your dog comes up to you, lays down, and lets out a soft sigh, this is a way of him saying “I am so happy to be next to you.”

Way #4: Oh, the Licking

Oh, the kisses. We all clearly know this one all too well. Kissing is a universal sign of affection. And, our dogs are no different than us when it comes to giving kisses as a form of affection. Clearly when our dogs are giving us kisses, they are saying “I love you, I love you, I love you.” Licking is also a method dogs use to let you know she respects and trusts you.

Way #5: The Gentle Lean

Leaning on you gently is an extreme form of trust for our dogs. If your dog leans on you, this means you have an extremely close bond. She’s trusts you so much that she feels comfortable depending on you to support her weight. She trusts you not to let her fall. She’s being vulnerable. Gentle leaning is an extreme form of affection.

Way #6: The Most Frustrating “I Love You”

Now, we have the most frustrating way our dog says, “I love you.’ Your dog may do this… and it might drive you a little wild. The JUMPING! Jumping is an excited form of affection. Our dogs love us, and they want to be at our height to tell us “I love you, I love you, I love you!” But, jumping is usually not encouraged by us as dog lovers.

Make sure you’re understanding, and don’t punish your dog for jumping. We don’t want to damage her love for us. Keep in mind, although this is an undesired behavior, he is telling you you’re his favorite person on Earth. Instead of scolding, redirect her attention to different forms of affection. When she jumps, turn your back to her and don’t pet her until she has all four paws on the ground. She’ll begin to understand that although you love her back tremendously, you’d rather her show her affection in other ways.

Your Dog Loves You

If your dog doesn’t display all these forms of affection, don’t take it personally. All dogs are different, and they show their affection in different ways. Some dogs may only display two forms of affection, whereas others may wear their heart on their sleeve. Like dogs, some people show their affection more than others. Always remember, your dog loves you more than life itself.