12 ways your dog shows they love you

Discover the 12 surprising behaviours your dog may exhibit when they’re letting you know they love you.

12th December 2014

Our dogs have a catalogue of ways they demonstrate their love and affection. Here’s a list of just some of the behaviours and quirks a dog exhibits when they’re letting you know that you’re special to them.

Tail wagging

We all know that a wagging tail means that your dog is happy so there is rarely a more heart-warming sight than your dog’s tail whipping about when they spot you, or when they’re pelting towards you on a run.


While we might not necessarily welcome a slobbery tongue to the face it is a sign of affection left over from puppyhood. All that dog breath is a token of their love.

Knowing when you need them

Dogs carry an instinct to protect and care for their families, like wolves licking each other’s wounds in the wild. Plenty of dog owners will swear to the fact that their dog knows when they aren’t well and pays special attention to them during periods of sickness.

Being your shadow

When our dogs follow us around the house (or garden, or park, or woods) it makes us feel safe and loved. It’s heartening to see that they want to be by our sides.

Sleeping buddy

Dogs tend to sleep a lot more than humans and there are few things more reassuring than a dog sleeping curled up by your feet while you watch TV or read a book.

Jumping up

Most of us will train this behaviour out of our dogs but sometimes they do it so they can lick your face and show their love. Even the most stringently trained dog will sometimes leap up out of excitement and joy!

Being part of the family

Dogs are distantly descended from wolves and share a social streak. They love company and, when a dog really settles in with the family, it makes us feel that they have accepted us in the same way as we have accepted them into our lives.

Leaning on you for support

You may find that your dog comes and literally leans against you or into you. This kind of proximity is a sign that they are comfortable with you and they want you to pay them some attention.

Play fighting

A bit of wrestling and roughhousing is a way to show affection and play with you. Play is important for their social development and it will help the two of you to bond so it will only make them love you more!

Checking in

Now and again your dog will want to spend a little time alone, either by pottering about the house or having a good chase about on a run or walk. It’s always rather nice when they pop back to check on you without being called, it makes us feel like they care.

Big smiles

If you would swear that you’ve seen your dog flash you a grin that could well be because they have! A Japanese study called “Behavioural Processes” suggests that dogs have a range of facial expressions similar to humans that they use to show the emotions in their repertoire.


Sometimes your dog will give you a really good sniff and (whether welcome or otherwise) this is their way of being sure of you, getting to know you, and forming a proper profile of you in their mind, as well as a way of greeting you as their friend.


Dogs are masters of unconditional love, showing their love for us just when we need it! As their pet parents, we can express our love back by being responsible owners – ensuring that their needs are fulfilled, and we are always looking out for their best interests. Dog insurance can help you to cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your dog gets injured or falls ill, helping you to provide security for your canine friend in case of the unexpected.

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