How Dogs Show Love: Dog Love Languages and Non-Verbal Communication

Dogs are incredible creatures with their own dog love languages to show us love, and it’s no exaggeration to say that many of us don’t know what we would do without them.

· 5 min read

Dogs are incredible creatures with their own dog love languages to show us love, and it’s no exaggeration to say that many of us don’t know what we would do without them. Of course, this often leads us to wonder if our dogs really love us and, if they do, how they show that affection to us. Dogs are the masters of non-verbal communication, and it doesn’t take a lot to understand what they’re trying to tell us.

The truth is that our dogs do love us, and they show their love in a range of ways and a range of dog love languages that we might not even notice. Many of their expressions are small, but there is a lot of meaning behind them. In this guide, we’ll take you through all the ways in which your dog shows affection and love and a little look at the science behind how we know they feel it.

Are Dogs Able to Feel Love?

Dogs feel a wide range of emotions, and love is one of them. For those that might be skeptical, there are studies to prove that dogs are capable of love. These studies showed that when a dog’s owner walked into the room, the part of the dog’s brain associated with love activated. This was clear evidence that dogs love us and that their owners are important to them.


Dog Love Languages: Ways Your Dog Shows You Their Love

Now that we’ve had a quick look at some of the science, we can talk through the ways in which your dog tells you they love you. They do it every day, and you probably don’t even notice half of it. While listing every single way they express love would take up several pages too many, these are the most common signs that you’re their number one.


Your Dog Loves to be Physically Affectionate

Physical touch is important to dogs; if they are curled up next to you and pressed into you, this is a sign of affection. Similarly, pushing their muzzles into you, nuzzling you, and licking are all ways to say they love you. It’s a wonderful boost of oxytocin for both of you, and a lot of contact is a great way to strengthen the bond you have with your pup.

Your Dog Knows Their Name

A dog who knows their name and responds to it is a sign that they trust and love you. It means they are willing to listen to you, and they accept their name as your form of acknowledging them or calling them over. For comparison, it’s like when you get a new puppy or rescue, and they take time to get used to their name - they are building that bond of trust and love.

Your Dog Has all the Right Body Language

Body language is important in dogs, and it is a core form of non-verbal communication. Watching their tail wag is a surefire sign that they are happy, but there is more to their communication style than this. Ears that are tucked back while they wiggle their body is a great sign, and so is a desire to lean into you or nudge you with their noses.

Furthermore, you might notice that they give you a little bow or sneeze at you - this is a way to initiate play, and roughhousing with your dog is actually a sign of love and affection. Take the time to get on the floor and play with them - ten minutes of playtime can do a lot for your relationship with your dog.

Your Dog Wants to Sleep Near You

It’s in a dog’s nature to want to sleep close together. It’s part of their instinctive pack mentality, and the action provides comfort and security through the night. When your dog chooses to sleep next to you, it is a sign that they trust you to protect them while they sleep, and they will do the same for you. This level of trust is exceptional and shows how much they love you.

Your Dog is Happy to See You Home

When you get home, whether you have been at work all day or at the store for five minutes, the excitement your dog feels when they see you home is an expression of love. Whether it’s just a sniff to say hello, or they can’t contain themselves, and they jump up, these are equally important ways of saying I love you.

Your Dog Checks in on You

If you and your dog are in separate rooms and you notice that they check in on you from time to time, this is also a sign of love. They might poke their head around the door or maybe come in for a few minutes, and this action is part of that pack mentality where you always know where your pack members are. They’re letting you know that you’re part of the pack and they love you.

Your Dog Gives You That Loving Stare

If you catch your dog gazing at you from across the room, it’s a loving stare, and brief eye contact with them can boost this feeling. Eye contact can improve your bond with your dog as well as give both of you a little boost of oxytocin to make you feel happier and more relaxed. Of course, the loving stare is very different from an aggressive one - you’ll be able to tell.

Your Dog Shares Their Toys with You

When a dog walks up to you with a toy and presents it, often dropping it at your feet or on your lap, they are giving you a gift. This is a way for them to express love and affection by sharing the things they enjoy. It can also be a request to play, which is an equally valid way to show love and improve your bond. It’s like they always say - sharing is caring.

Your Dog Listens to You

If your dog listens to the commands you give and does as they are told (most of the time), this is a demonstration of love, affection, and respect. It means that they want to make you happy, and so they will perform commands like sit, stay, or even tricks like paw. You’ll find that dogs are also more likely to listen to the people that they consider to be their favorite.

To Conclude

Now that you know some of the most common ways your dog shows that they love you, you might look at them a little differently the next time you catch them staring, or they bring you a new toy. Our furry friends have so much love to give, and the statement that their love is unconditional couldn’t be truer. It’s why they only deserve the best from us.

Speaking of the best, have you considered getting your dog a DNA test from CirclePaw? Not only will it show you which breeds are in your dog’s DNA, but it can also help you determine the best diet for them and warn you of any illnesses (standard or genetic) that they might be predisposed to. It’s a great way to get to know your dog better and express your love.


VCA Animal Hospital, Does My Dog Love Me?: