Holle has owned two Akitas and has trained and bred dogs for decades.
Why Dogs Are Our Favorite Animal Companion
Canines were the very first animal humans domesticated. For more than 10,000 years, canines have helped us find and procure food, alerted and protected us in the face of danger, herded our livestock, and helped carry our belongings from one place to another. More recently, dogs have been trained to locate drugs, bombs, escaped prisoners, and lost humans. Some can even detect human diseases and anticipate imminent escalations of certain conditions. They can also be trained to guide the blind and to aid humans with other debilitating handicaps.
Of course, the role of most dogs today is to be a loyal companion. As a species, we humans love our canine friends . but do they love us, or do they just use us to fulfill their needs? The following information might give you some clues as to your pooch’s real feelings.
Does Your Dog Love You?
You've probably heard the old saying, "Sharing is caring." Is your dog willing to share with you? Answer the following questions:
- Does your dog bring you its toys?
- Does it allow you to handle its food bowl or food, even when it’s eating?
- Does it allow you to handle its bed?
- Does it give up its favorite chair when you want to sit down?
Is Your Dog Affectionate?
Affection is usually a sign of love, but not always. Dogs can be manipulative, and the smarter ones learn quickly how to “push our buttons.” When your pooch gives you affection is often an important factor in measuring your dog’s love for you. Check these out:
- Does your dog give you affection even when it doesn’t want anything (like food, water, or to go outside)?
- Does your dog follow you from room to room during the day?
- Does it want to sleep next to you or in the same room you’re in?
- Will your dog give up a comfy spot in another room just so it can be next to you, even if it has to lie on a hard floor?
- Is your dog elated to see you when you come home, even if you’ve been away for just a short period of time?
Does Your Dog Protect You?
Not all dogs are protective by nature, but many are. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll attack a person or animal they see as threatening you. Some might, but there are other ways to show they’re in protective mode:
- When a strange person or dog approaches you, does your dog stand between you and the other person or dog?
- If you and another human are conversing in raised voices or are using excited gestures, does your dog become suddenly interested?
- Does your dog alert you when someone knocks at your door?
- Does your dog let you know when it sees someone or something strange in your yard?
Does Your Dog Show Empathy?
Recent studies reveal that dogs are capable of amazing empathy for humans. More than any other animal, dogs can often read their owner’s emotions and act accordingly. Think about these:
- Does your dog move away from you and rest quietly when you’re angry?
- Does it rest its head on your lap or show other forms of affection when you’re sad?
- Is it happy and excited when you’re happy?
- Provided your dog is capable, health wise, is it always ready to play when you are?
Does Your Dog Show You Respect?
Respect is a big part of doggie love. Your dog should see you as its pack leader and willingly give you its undying respect and loyalty. See if your pet does the following:
- Does your dog allow you to go through a door first, when entering or exiting a room or building?
- Does it show respect to the other members of your pack, provided you've properly introduced them?
- When on leash, does it walk slightly behind you or even with you, but it never walks ahead of you?
- Does it follow commands the first time you give them (provided it has been adequately trained)?
Does Your Dog Trust You?
Another big part of canine love is trust. Your dog should trust you completely. Wild canines in packs unquestioningly and trustingly follow the lead of the pack leader. Since you are your pet’s pack leader, it should have total trust in you. Does your fur kid do the following?
- Does your dog sometimes roll over onto its back and expose its belly to you?
- Does it come to you for comfort when it’s scared or in pain?
- Does it go willingly with you to strange places when it’s on leash?
Does Your Dog Really Love You?
So . how did your pooch score? You didn’t have to “check all the boxes” to know your shaggy pal really loves you. Each dog is different, so not every adoring pooch is going to exhibit all the above behaviors. If you were able to answer “yes” to most of the questions, you can rest assured you are truly loved by your canine friend! I created this questionnaire based on interviews with veterinarians, on information from dog behaviorists, and from my decades of experience owning, breeding, training, and handling canines.
habee on October 01, 2017:
Great to hear from you, Paula! Yep, we have Great Danes, and they are...GREAT!! lol
Suzie from Carson City on September 27, 2017:
Habee...I am baffled! I have not seen hide nor hair of you in so long! I actually thought you had gone elsewhere or just "retired" from HP! Then I somehow ran into you today, so I have to look into why this happened. BUT....
anyway, it's good to see you again and I LOVE this article. I have never doubted my Cocker, "Toby," loves me. He's one huge Mama's Boy and passed your test in Aces. He's beginning to do some unusual things since he's getting up there in age, but for the most part, he's a good boy.
I have to say, your photos are great. I get such a charge when I see HUGE dogs showing love & gentleness....like Gentle Giants! Those dogs are Great Danes, right? The 2 photos in particular of the darling girls hugging one the other of the tiny kitten, & the child sleeping with the puppy, just stole my heart!
I'm off to find out how I lost track of you for so long! Peace, Paula
Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 09, 2017:
Maria, sounds like you have a great doggie pal!
Maria Cecilia from Philippines on May 09, 2017:
oh Habee I really read this because I want to know if my dogs really love me and not fooling me hahaha. I think they got the perfect score. but not when who is the first to enter the door because my female dog is assigned to open the door for me. About walking in leash, I let Mac to walk ahead so he can easily find his spot when you what.... I love this specially to that part of sharing toys, now I know what Mac often come to me with his toy in his mouth.... Yes they sleep with me in my room and they don't want to sleep ahead, they really wait for me.. Excellent hub...
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 19, 2017:
Just great. How can one go wrong when talking about dogs and love?
Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on April 19, 2017:
Woohoo! My dog loves me. However, I must admit that when he's walked, he takes the lead and will stubbornly try to go where he wants. He can be very assertive when he's on his walk. LOL. I don't really mind and I've never tried to undo that "personality trait."
Great article. Take care.
Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on April 18, 2017:
Ha,ha,ha...yep ...the dog loves us and so does the cat. However every dog in my family always wanted to get out of the door first. Hmmm? Cat is always respectful though; he says dogs have no manners. :)
Clive Williams from Jamaica on April 18, 2017:
The dog is either with you and shows emotions or it isn't.
10 signs your dog loves you
Do you want to know if your dog loves you? When we love someone, we want to know if he feels the same way about us. So it’s natural that we want to be able to read the signs by which our canine friends show us that they love us. But dogs have different ways of showing their love than we do, and they can’t express “I love you” in words. But they find other ways to show us how much they love us, and it’s easier than you think to recognize these signs. The ability to understand the language of our beloved dogs lies dormant in all of us.
Here are ten signs that will definitely show your dog’s heart is beating and his tail is wagging for you. Above all, it’s important for you to realize that your instincts are a key factor in understanding your dog’s language. Just as our dogs rely entirely on their instincts, our instincts are also a reliable guide when it comes to understanding their language. For this reason, the following list is not meant to be exhaustive, and the following ten points can only be an approximate guideline. Perhaps your dog will find other ways than those mentioned here to show his love for you. The better your relationship with him, the easier it will be for you to interpret the signs of his affection for you.
Signs Your Dog Loves You - pets
8 Ways a Dog Tells You They Love You
How do dogs communicate their love and affection? Our canine companions have certains ways of showing us that they care, but they’re often missed by their owners. As man’s best friend, dogs will often nudge your arm at night for a cuddle before bed, or survey the surroundings for danger during a walk. Easy to overlook, there are plenty of subtle signs your dog loves you, that you might be missing! While hugging, kissing or snuggling your pup is typically the way you shower your fluffy companion with affection, it’s not always the same the other way around. In fact, some breeds of dogs don’t appreciate being hugged and may try to wiggle out of an embrace with their owner. While this might come across as dismissing your attention, it’s certainly not what your pup is trying to communicate to you. So the question is, how do dogs show love? Well, dogs simply have different ways to show they care about their family. So, in this article, we’re going to take a look at 8 signs your dog loves you to help you understand your pal a little more.
1: They Nudge Your Arm
If you have a fur ball at home, you’ll likely experience a wet nose nudge on a daily basis. When your pup is in need of love and support, they’ll often come over to you and nudge your arm or hand with their nose. This common canine behaviour is their little way of reminding you that they’re there and want to be close to you. Dogs, just like humans thrive on physical affection and this subtle gesture is a clear sign your dog loves you.
So the next time this happens, make sure to show your pup some attention and comfort them by gently stroking their head. Or, if you’re taking a nap, allow your pooch to come and snuggle up next to you to build a strong and supportive relationship. This will help to deepen their feelings and give them the reassurance they need from you.
2: They Show You Their Puppy Dog Eyes
Those big puppy dog eyes are enough to make you instantly give-in to another biscuit! Well, according to canine body language experts, a loving gaze from your pup is a strong sign your dog loves you. If your dog holds eye contact in an affectionate way, their oxytocin levels will increase once you look back. and this is how dogs show love. This chemical represents the feeling of love and will increase in both dogs and humans when sharing a loving gaze. So the next time you catch your pooch gazing at you, hold their gaze to show them that you appreciate and care for them too.
3: Your Dog Is Excited To See You
If your pup bounces at the front door, eagerly waiting on you to come home from work, you can rest assured that they worship you! Studies have found that dogs enjoy welcoming their owners home and view you as a family member when they exhibit this behavior. The emotional rollercoaster your pup will experience when they see you returning home gives them an instant boost of oxytocin. So when your pup welcomes you home, make sure to shower them with love back. This will reinforce the strength of your relationship and reward your dog with the attention and love they crave.
4: They’re Always Following You Around
If you are constantly tripping over your pooch as they follow you around the house, this is a strong sign that your dog loves you. Often mistaken for begging for food or just being irritating, when a dog follows a person around, it is a physical sign that they really care for you. Although it’s important to bear in mind that some breeds of dog are more likely to show this behavior than others. While you might assume it’s because you’re the pack leader or alpha dog due to their pack mentality, it’s actually much deeper than this. Your dog is most likely keeping an eye on you and making sure you’re not in any danger as you move around the house.
5: Your Pup Listens To You
If your pup is super receptive to tricks, and always listens to your commands, they are showing you they care. Dogs naturally love to please their owners and they enjoy a lot of attention too. When your pooch responds well and quickly to your commands, this is how dogs communicate respect – by listening and obeying. So, it turns out, dogs really do listen after-all! But if your pup is choosing to ignore you, try not to scold them for it. Instead consider how much attention you’re giving them throughout the day. Perhaps you need to show them more love in order for you to earn their trust and respect.
6: Dogs Licking To Show Affection
Yes it’s not a great way to be woken up in the morning, but dogs licking your face, arm or feet is another clear sign your dog loves you. In a similar way that humans kiss, dogs lick to show affection to those they care for. More common in puppies, when dogs tend to lick their brothers, sisters and mom, as well as rub their faces together. If your dog is licking your face, it’s also their unique way of marking you as their owner, and comes quite natural to them.
7: They Want To Be Petted
When you stroke or pet your pup, they feel secure and loved. So, if your dog asks to be petted by coming over to you and nudging your hand, or trying to snuggle across your lap, you should show them a bit of attention. Just like humans, sometimes we just need a cuddle, so never ignore your pup when they’re asking to be petted! Dogs also have an incredible way of sensing how you feel too. So if you’re feeling upset or stressed out, don’t be surprised to find your fluffy friend trotting over to you for a cuddle. This is how dogs communicate support.
8: Your Dog Guards You When Outside
A strong sign your dog loves you and your family is by guarding you when outside or on a walk. If you take your dog for a walk and they are on high alert and paying close attention to strangers, other dogs and sounds, they are actively guarding you against danger. Even if there is no real threat around, your pup might be on alert and showing signs of guarding as they consider you part of their pack. That’s why it’s important to never scold your pup for guarding, but instead reassure them if they seem tense or on high alert that everything is OK. Eventually, with your help, they’ll start to relax and just enjoy being outside.
So, we hope these 8 signs your dog loves you have helped to shed some light on the canine world of communication. One thing is for sure – a dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than they love themselves, so make sure to spend quality time bonding with your pup as much as you can!
6 Signs Your Dog Trusts You With His Life
The bond between a dog and his person is nothing to underestimate. It’s based on mutual love, appreciation, and most of all, trust. Contrary to popular belief, earning a dog’s complete trust isn’t as simple as giving out a few treats and belly rubs. If you want your dog to trust you with his life, you need to earn it. It can take months, and even years, of dedicated love and attention to earn a dog’s trust. Not every relationship has it, but if your dog trusts you 100%, you’ll know. Here’s how.
1. He Looks You In The Eyes
In human body language, eye contact can mean anything from, “I take you seriously” to “Will you go on a date with me?” There are several different messages your eyes can send another person, but generally, looking someone in the eye tells them you’re focused and paying attention. In canine body language, however, eye contact tells a whole different story. A dog that looks another dog in the eye is most likely issuing a threat. It’s a sign of dominance, and to keep the peace, most dogs avoid locking eyes with their furry friends.
Your dog won’t look into the eyes of another dog, but you’re not another dog. You’re the person he trusts more than anyone else in the world. Animal behaviorist Alexandra Horowitz says in her book, “Inside a Dog,” a dog’s ability to look into a person’s eyes in a non-aggressive way was one of the first steps toward canine domestication. They somehow learned that humans like eye contact, and by looking into a person’s eyes, they establish a meaningful relationship. If you and your dog can gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes, it’s a sign your dog trusts you and understands you.
2. He Comes To You For Cuddles
It’s easy to take doggy cuddles for granted when your pup is hogging the blankets and taking up most of the bed. He might kick you in his sleep or fart dangerously close to your face, but the fact he’s sleeping with you in the first place is a good sign you’ve earned his complete trust.
Dogs are the most vulnerable when they’re asleep. Wolves and wild dogs purposefully sleep in small, confined areas with pack members they trust to protect against predators. For your pampered pooch, curled up on your bed is the safest place to be. Voluntary cuddling and snuggling is one of a dog’s favorite ways to show people their love. They know you won’t hurt them while they sleep, and if an unwanted visitor comes knocking, he knows he’d rather be near you than far away.
3. He’s Confident And Relaxed Around You
You can tell a lot about how a dog feels based on their body language. Dogs that are scared or anxious pace back and forth, cower, put their tails between their legs, lip their licks, yawn when they aren’t tired, pant excessively, and pin their ears to their heads. When used in normal context, all these actions suggest something’s bothering your dog. For one reason or another, they’re not as confident or as relaxed as they should be.
On the other paw, animal behaviorist Victoria Stilwell says dogs that trust their people often display signs of confident and relaxed body posture. They keep their mouths slightly open, their eyes blink often, their ears are in a forward position, and their tails are either wagging or perky and loose. This type of body language says your dog is confident by your side and isn’t worried about being scared or surprised. Your dog trusts you to keep things under control. You’ll notice your dog’s confident posture when you’re doing chores around the house, out on a walk, and simply spending time together.
4. He Responds Well To Your Training
Most people think training a dog is all about the dog, but it’s actually about the bond shared on both ends of the leash. If the dog doesn’t trust his handler, he’s far less likely to respond well to the training. Some trainers get results from punishment and fear-based lessons, but most behaviorists agree this kind of “obedience” isn’t the same as a dog responding to cues based on trust and respect.
Many people who bring home newly adopted rescue dogs struggle with training because of trust. Rescue dogs see the worst of humanity through abuse and abandonment, and trusting their new families doesn’t come naturally. While training right away is important, it might take a rescue a few days, weeks, or months to realize his new family is permanent. Once he feels comfortable enough to let his guard down, he can start building trust and training goes much smoother. If your dog seems eager and attentive during training, it’s a sign he both respects and trusts you.
5. He’s Calm When You Leave
Separation anxiety is a common behavioral issue in dogs. These pups panic when their families leave them alone and get into serious (often dangerous) trouble. Even if you wouldn’t classify your dog as having separation anxiety, some pups cry, whine, and scratch at the door when their favorite people disappear. Sometimes this means they want to join in on the fun they’re missing out on, but it could also mean they’re not completely confident the people they love are coming back.
If your dog trusts you 100%, he won’t doubt that you’ll eventually be back for belly rubs and playtime. He might not be happy about you leaving for work every day, but for the most part, he remains calm. He’ll wait patiently for you to finish up whatever mysterious human business you have to do, and he’ll be at the door ready to greet you when you get home.
6. He Looks To You For Reassurance And Guidance
Whether you’re out on a walk or playing at the park, you and your dog are a team. You might not always agree on which tree deserves sniffing and when it’s time to head back home, but your pup is happy to be out adventuring with his favorite human. For scared and timid dogs, being outside in a new environment can be especially intimidating. They find comfort in knowing a trustworthy human is there for moral support.
Even if your dog isn’t usually anxious outside, you can tell he trusts you if he regularly checks in to see what you’re doing. If he’s walking on or off a leash, he might glance back in your direction to make sure you’re still there and approve of his behavior. If you’re at the dog park and he’s busy wrestling with his best buds, he’ll probably stop every now and then to scamper back to where you’re standing. He gets his confidence from you, and he’s happy to keep you involved even if it’s in a small way.
Knowing you have a dog’s complete trust is an incredible feeling. It means you’re doing this whole “pup parenting” thing right, and you and your dog have a great bond. Having a dog’s trust is a big responsibility, however. He’ll turn to you when he’s sad and scared, and you’ll be the first person he plays with when he’s happy. Never take that feeling for granted. If you want to improve the trust between you and your dog, check out this article.
A Gift but Not a Guarantee
As much as you want to hear from a beloved animal that has died, you can’t make it happen if it’s not God’s will. Trying to force afterlife communication--or operating outside the trusting relationship with God--is dangerous and can open communication portals to fallen angels with evil motives who may take advantage of your grief to deceive you.
The best way to begin is by praying asking God to send a message from you to the departed animal indicating your desire to experience some kind of sign or receive some kind of message from that animal. Express your love wholeheartedly when you pray, since love vibrates powerful electromagnetic energy that can send signals from your soul to the animal’s soul across the dimensions between Earth and heaven.
Once you’ve prayed, open your mind and heart up to receive any communication that may come. But be sure to place your trust in God to arrange that communication at the right times and in the right ways. Be at peace that God, who loves you, will do so if it’s His will.
Be encouraged that there’s a good chance you’ll hear something from your beloved departed animal. In her book All Pets Go to Heaven: The Spiritual Lives of the Animals We Love, Sylvia Browne writes: