6 clear signs that your dog loves you

Szénási Szimonetta

2023. December 26 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

As a pet owner, one of the most important things for you is to keep your pet happy. We tell you how he shows you his emotions.


It’s not even a question how you feel about your four-legged companion. But how can you know that your dog loves you? Sometimes they express it in surprising ways. But first, a little science!

The brain function confirms it

The innovative research group at Emory University in Atlanta, with a clinical approach, examined the emotional state of dogs. Scientists associated certain smells with the dogs and then used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to observe how their brains reacted to various scents. From this, they drew several conclusions regarding the emotional state of the animals.

Why smells?

Dogs navigate the world primarily through their sense of smell. In fact, their nose is a more crucial sensory organ for them than their eyes. As they process and react to different scents, it reflects their emotional world. During the mentioned observation, dogs were exposed to the smells of both familiar and unfamiliar individuals.

During the experiment, it was revealed that when a dog smelled the familiar scent of its owner, the “reward center” of the brain (caudate nucleus) was activated. This area contains numerous dopamine receptors, which are activated in both human and canine brains in response to pleasurable experiences. Just sensing the aroma of your favorite dish wafting from the kitchen table is enough to trigger this response.

We are more important than other dogs

Remarkably, the brains of dogs reacted more favorably to the scent of humans than to that of their fellow dogs. The scent of familiar individuals, in particular, triggered the mentioned brain area. This is similar to our own response when we see photos of people we love.

Sound is also a positive stimulus

Eötvös Loránd University researchers conducted a similar study, but with human voices. Cheerful speech had a similarly positive effect, just as it does in humans.

Signs that your dog loves you

From all of this, it’s clear that for our four-legged companions, meeting familiar people or being spoken to kindly is an absolute positive experience. Now let’s go through the signs that indicate your dog harbors tender feelings towards you.

1.) He is very happy when he sees you

Is he jumping, happily barking, starting with enthusiastic barking, or wagging his tail? Your pet can express his joy in many ways when you finally get home after a long day at work. If he is happy to see you, it’s clearly a sign of love.

2.) Gives gifts

Do he often receive his favorite plush toy or his cherished ball as a gift? Appreciate it, as these gifts carry an important message; he wants to share with you what means a lot to him.

3.) Food and the owner

Does he consider two things to be the world: tasty treats and you? It’s clear that your dog loves you very much! However, don’t take it personally if he licks the plate clean first and only then runs to you: eating is a basic need. The fact that he needs you afterward, though, is emotional..

4.) He wouldn’t let go even at night

Sleeping together or the fact that your pet likes to sleep near you is very telling: dogs guard those they love even at night. On the other hand, when he snuggles up to you and relaxes, it clearly shows that he feels safe with you.

5.) Talking eyes

Dogs communicate a lot with their gaze. If he sends gentle glances your way, feel free to take it to heart.

6.) He follows you everywhere

If your dog wants to spend most of his time with you, that can be one way of expressing love. However, be cautious: there are times when shadowing may indicate that the dog is anxious. If you notice he is tense and nervous, restless when you just step out of his line of sight, it’s better to be alert. Mental issues, including separation anxiety, can complicate both of your lives and negatively impact your pet’s health. If you’re worried, for the sake of safety, talk to the veterinarian about the symptoms.

If you would like to express your love for your pet well, in this article, we will tell you how you can do that.

dog human relationship dog loves love research science smell sound

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