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While dogs don’t have the words to say they love us, they have several actions that they use to communicate their love and affection to us. Sometimes, however, even seasoned dog owners can miss their dog’s cues of affection. So, how do you know when your canine buddy is telling you they love you?

The most common sign of love in dog language is wagging their tail when they see you. This is your dog’s way of saying they are happy to see you. Dogs also communicate affection by licking your face and cuddling with you, but there are several other ways through which dogs show love. Let’s check them out below.

22. Sharing Their Toys With You

Dogs are very possessive around their toys, and can easily get aggressive when someone or another dog tries taking their toys from them.

When a dog wants to show you their affection, however, they’ll often carry their favorite toy and present it to you. Sharing their favorite toys with you is their way of saying that you’re someone special to them, and that they love you and want you to be happy.

21. They Sense Your Sadness

When a dog loves you, they will be in tune with your emotions. When you’re feeling sad, your canine buddy can easily tell that something is not okay.

In such situations, you’ll notice that your dog will act in a manner that suggests that they’re trying to comfort you. For instance, your dog will rest their head on your lap, or try snuggling with you to show that they are there for you.

20. Sighing

As a dog owner, you have noticed that sometimes your four legged buddy will come close to you, lie down on the couch next to you or on the carpet just next to your feet, and let out a long, contented sigh.

When you pooch lets out such soft vocalizations, it is their way of saying that they feel comfortable and safe around you. It is a show of trust and affection.

19. Checking Up On You

Even if a dog loves you, they won’t always spend all their time with you. However, you’ll notice that they’ll come to check in on you every now and then.

For instance, if you are in another room, your dog will come, take a peek at you, and then go back to their business. This is their way of showing that they care about you and want to make sure that you are safe.

18. Stealing Your Shoes, Clothes, And Socks

Have you ever noticed that one of your t-shirts, socks, or hoodies is missing, only to later find it near your dog’s crate or sleeping area?

While you see your dog raiding your laundry basket for your dirty clothes as bad behavior, it’s not the case for your furry buddy. This means that your dog is actually missing you and is trying to comfort themselves by smelling your scent on your dirty clothes.

17. They Recognize Your Name

As a dog owner, you know that your dog recognizes their own name, but did you know that your dog can also recognize your name?

If you notice that your dog gets visibly excited when they hear your name when you’re not around, this is a great sign of love. By getting excited when they hear your name, it shows that your dog thinks you’ll appear and are excited about it.

16. Gazing Into Your Eyes

When a dog loves you, you’ll notice that they like spending time gazing deeply into your eyes with soft, puppyish eyes. This is your doggie’s way of trying to bond with you and communicating their attachment to you.

Studies have shown that when dogs and humans gaze into each other’s eyes, oxytocin, the love chemical, is released in both of their bodies, resulting in feelings of love and affection.

15. Standing Guard While You Eat

A dog who loves you will want to be protective towards you, especially when they think you are in a position of vulnerability. Therefore, you’ll notice your pooch standing guard over you when you’re eating, or when you’re relaxing.

This is your doggie’s way of saying that they care about you and want to ensure that you can enjoy your meals or your relaxation without a worry, because they are there to protect you.

14. They’ll Be Loyal To You

Like their wolf ancestors, dogs are social animals that thrive in packs. To ensure survival of the pack, dogs and wolves need to be very loyal to their pack members, caring for, and protecting one another.

While today’s dogs no longer live in packs, they consider the family they live with as their pack, with you as the pack leader. Therefore, a dog that loves you will show you their utmost loyalty.

SPOTLIGHT: Check out your dog’s weight at with our very own puppy weight chart right here.

13. They Go Crazy When You Get Home

Every dog owner loves this spectacle; as soon as you get to your front door from work, your dog comes running to you, barking excitedly and eager to jump on you.

This is your dog’s way of saying that they really missed you while you were away and are very happy that you’re back home to them. If this doesn’t make you feel loved, I don’t know what will.

12. Nose-Nudging

When your dog nudges you with their nose, they are trying to show you their affection – in most cases. Sometimes, however, nose nudging can be attention-seeking behavior, or your dog’s way of asking you to move out of their way. So, how do you know when your pooch is showing affection?

When your dog is nudging you as a sign of affection, the nose-nudging will be accompanied by more body contact and eye gazes.

11. Wanting To Sleep Near You

When pups are born in a litter, they curl up and sleep with each other, and this behavior sticks with them even when they grow up.

Even if your pup was separated from their littermates at a young age, this behavior is still in their instincts, and therefore, a dog who loves you will feel the urge to curl up and sleep near you, or next to you.

10. Roughhousing With You

Dogs show their affection to their littermates by playing a little rough with them. Apart from being a bonding activity, roughhousing is also good for a dog’s social development.

If your dog wants to roughhouse with you, this shows that they view you as a close friend and are trying to form a bond with you. However, exercise caution when roughhousing with your pooch, and let them know that behavior like biting and scratching are unacceptable.

9. Leaning On You

Sometimes, you’ll be busy doing something, when, out of the blues, your dog comes and starts leaning on you, placing their weight against your body.

While this behavior can sometimes be annoying, it is one of the actions dogs use to communicate their affection. By placing their weight on you, it is their version of giving you a hug and saying that they trust you. You can return the favor by reaching down to pet them.

8. Smiling At You

Dogs have a good understanding of human facial expressions, and will sometimes mimic these expressions in a bid to communicate their emotions. Therefore, when your dog looks at you with a face that looks like they are trying to smile, that’s exactly what they are trying to do.

Whenever you notice your dog looking at you with a smiley face and soft, round eyes, they’re just trying to let you know that they adore you.

7. Jumping On You

To many people, a dog trying to jump on you is annoying behavior, especially if you’re dealing with a large dog whose weight can easily get you on the ground.

In the dog’s mind, however, they are not trying to annoy you. Instead, this is one of the ways through which they communicate their love to you. By jumping on you, your dog is trying to give you a bear hug.

SPOTLIGHT: Check out your dog’s weight at with our very own puppy weight chart right here.

6. Rubbing Their Face On You

This is another very popular action that dogs use to show their affection. When your dog rubs their face on your legs or body, they are claiming you as theirs and letting everyone else know that you are taken.

When your dear fido rubs their face on you, you can reciprocate the gesture by reaching down to pet them and show them that you love them as well.

5. Rolling Over On Their Back

You’ll notice that dogs don’t roll over on their backs around everyone. They only do this around people they trust. Doing this is their way of saying that they feel comfortable and safe around you.

Rolling on their back is also a dog’s way of asking for a belly rub. They don’t ask for these from everyone, so it means you are really special. Just don’t deny them the much desired belly rub.

4. Following You Around

A dog that loves you wants to spend their time close to you, and therefore, you’ll notice your dog following you around as you go about your chores.

For instance, if you walk to the kitchen, your fido will get up and follow you to the kitchen. Once you’re done with kitchen chores and move out to the yard, your pooch will once again get up and follow you to the yard.

3. Cuddling With You

Just like cuddling with your significant other is an expression of affection, cuddling with your dog can also be a great bonding activity and a show of affection.

If your four legged buddy never misses an opportunity to curl up on your lap while you watch a movie or read a book, this is their way of expressing their love and showing that they want to feel close to you.

2. Licking Your Face

When a dog gives birth to puppies, she often licks the puppies to groom them and bond with them. Therefore, puppies grow up with the understanding that when someone loves you, they show it through licking.

It should not be surprising to you, therefore, that your pup wants to lick your face. It is their way of showing their love to you, even though some people find it disgusting.

1. Wagging Their Tail

This is the most recognized sign of affection in dogs. A dog who adores you will happily wiggle their tail, as well as their butt, whenever they see you.

Note that when your dog is wagging their tail as a show of love, their whole body will be relaxed. If your dog’s tail is held high, but their body looks stiff, this is a warning sign that your dog is about to get aggressive.

Related Questions

How Do You Tell If You Are Your Dog’s Favorite Person? You can tell that you are your dog’s favorite person if their body language is all relaxed and comfortable around you, and if they constantly seek out your affection. Yes, dogs do pick a favorite person, and they’ll want to spend a lot of time around this person, are happy to see them, and like snuggling up and playing with them.

Can A Dog Be Mad At You? While it is possible for your dog to get mad, their emotions don’t work in the exact same way that ours do. When your dog is mad, they’ll be upset at whatever happened, but they won’t hold a grudge in their mind and blame you for what happened. They are just mad at the event, not the cause.

How Do I Tell My Dog I Love Him? You can tell your dog you love them by petting them, allowing them to snuggle against you, gazing softly into their eyes, and playing with them. You can also show love to your dog by allowing them to sleep on your bed, leaning in on them, and spending time with them.

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