Dog Sleeping Womans Lap


Sometimes it can be hard to know what is going on behind those adorable, glassy dog eyes, especially when it comes to feelings of love and affection. I love both of my dogs equally but one of the two clearly shows me more affection back. The other one seems so in her own head that I am often left wondering if she sees me as a companion or just a meals-on-wheels worker.

However, if you look closely, you will find some tell-tale signs that your dog has the same love and affection for you that you have for them.


This is particularly apparent in younger dogs. If your dog wants to play rough with you and wrestle, it is a strong indication that they see you as a companion and have affection for you. This is the way your dog plays with other dogs it feels safe and comfortable with, by displaying that behaviour towards you as a human, it is showing feelings of comfort and security towards you.

This behaviour also extends to bringing toys over to you. Your dog may carry some of its favourite toys over to you and look to you to play. This is the same behavioural pattern and indicates the same affection and comfort.


When two humans do not share a common language, body language becomes more important, particularly eye contact and looks. The same applies to the inter-species bond between you and your dog. When a dog looks directly into your eyes, it experiences an uptick of oxytocin, the love hormone, making direct eye contact the doggie equivalent of a warm hug. This expression of affection will be more welcome than an actual hug for a dog, as having your arms around your dog’s neck may make the animal anxious.


Yawning is contagious among humans and dogs. Scientists discovered that when we empathise with someone, we replicate their yawn. Dogs will also do similar things. If your dog replicates your yawn, it shows a bond. Whether or not this is a gesture of empathy from your dog is anyone’s guess but it is still a gesture of solidarity and affection.


Time for some dog neurology. When scientists put canines in an MRI scanner and presented them with a series of scents, the scent which triggered the most neurological activity was the smell of their owner. This triggered similar brain patterns to those seen when humans are presented with photos of loved ones. Your dog enjoying your scent and stealing your clothes when you are not around could be the biggest indicator of love.


Dogs live in packs in the wild and sleep together for warmth and safety. Their eagerness to sleep with you is a strong indication that they consider you part of their inner circle and you will keep each other safe.

These are clear signs that your dog has a strong feeling of affection towards you. One often misread sign is that your dog does not cope well with you leaving them. This is a sign of separation anxiety which is not actually a sign of love. If your dog is okay with you leaving, it shows it trusts you and knows you will be back. Don’t confuse signs of separation anxiety with signs of affection.

If your dog doesn’t show these signs, don’t worry. Feelings of respect, love, and affection must be earnt and are built over time. They will not begin right away, which makes it all the more rewarding when you do start to see these signs in your dog. You will know you have earnt it.


Do you know any other ways dogs show their love? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kimberly Powell

Kimberly loves camping, cooking, travelling and animals. She's turned her hand to writing to share her experience.