Different Ways Dogs Show Affection

Different Ways Dogs Show Affection

Different Ways Dogs Show Affection

It’s easy for humans to show their dogs some affection. We cuddle them, we pet them, we share our food with them. How can we humans tell that our dogs love us? Well, those range from obvious to surprising. Take a look at our list below.

Black Doberman dog kissing white American bulldog.
Eye Contact - When dogs feel a connection to you, they’ll maintain eye contact. This will also release oxytocin, aka the Love Hormone. Make sure you maintain eye contact while you’re playing or cuddling, and don’t force it.

Sighing - If your dog does a big stretch and lets out a sigh, this shows that they are content and comfortable by your side.

Licking - This is one of the obvious ways dogs show affection. It’s their version of a kiss. This is also a sign of submission.

Jumping - Jumping may be a sign that your dog wants to get closer to your face, look into your eyes, and give you a kiss.

Leaning Against You - This is a sign that your pup feels comfortable and safe around you. If your dog does this while they’re scared or anxious, it means they see you as a protector.

Black Doberman mixed puppy shows his belly.
Snuggling - Dogs will use physical affection to grow closer to their humans. They’ll nuzzle and cuddle you, releasing oxytocin for both you and them.

Roughhousing - This is good for your pup’s social skills. Make sure you teach your pup boundaries for how to play.

Stealing Your Shoes - When your pup is bonded with you, they love your scent and will grab anything that smells like you, like your shoes or dirty clothes.

Checking On You - If your dog is independent, they may not want to be beside you at all times. However, if they check up on you while you’re in another room or on a walk, this is a sign they adore you.

Wagging Their Tail - When a dog’s tail is less controlled, it means they are more relaxed. When your dog is happy, they will wag their tail.

Black dog showing off red and pink tennis ball
Peeing When They See You - This is more for puppies. When they see you, they get so excited that they can’t hold it in. Most dogs grow out of this behavior.

Nudging (or Nosing) - When dogs nose-nudge they want your attention and to let you know that they like you. When they rub their face on you, it’s also a sign that they mght be marking you as their territory.

Rolling On Their Back - This shows a high level of trust and relaxation. Plus, they want you to give them affection in return with belly rubs!

Name Recognition - Dogs will recognize their human’s names and get excited when they hear it. They can learn many words, so it’s makes sense that they learn names too.

Herding - Dogs who herd want to keep their family members from wandering off. This is seen more in dogs who were originally bred to help with livestock, such as Australian shepherds and border collies.

Two dogs smiling and walking in grass.
Smiling - Yes, some dogs learn to smile. They can raise their eyebrows and mimic our facial expressions.

Sharing Toys - They say sharing is caring and that’s no different for dogs. When your pup brings you a tattered toy, that’s a good sign.

Bringing You Broken Items - This shows that your pup trusts you to fix things, whether it’s a broken toy or a hurt animal. They’ll trust you to do a good job taking care of it.

Comforting You - Dogs are in tune with their parents’ emotions and can tell when you’re unhappy or hurt. They’ll try to be close to you on these occasions.

Crotch Sniffing - For dogs, this is friendly behavior (even if it is a little embarrassing for us). It’s a way to say hello but also to get to know your scent.

Have you noticed your pup doing any of these behaviors? Let us know in the comments which your pup does the most and if any of these surprised you.

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