What ways do dogs use for showing affection?

Dogs can’t use words to say just how much they love us, so instead make their feelings known through their behaviour and show their affection physically. It’s good to learn and note what these physical signs are so you can be sure to acknowledge them as positive behaviours and show your own in return. After all, everyone likes to feel loved!

Just like cats, dogs use their tails as a way to express their different emotions. These may not always be positive; at times, certain types of wagging can be used to indicate fear or anxiety, or when threatened their tail may take up a defensive position. But they also show happiness and affection – generally if your dog wags their tail very enthusiastically in wide, side-to-side, sweeping motions this is most likely a sign of their love for you. It’s also a show of respect that acknowledges your position as their leader and so their loyalty to you.

It might not be your favourite habit of theirs, but if your dog has a tendency to shower you with slobbery canine ‘kisses’ and bouts of licking then you can be sure this is another demonstration of their affection. Puppies can have a tendency to do this more than adult dogs, but you may find yours still shows you this token of love on a regular basis. Some people can be quick to dismiss this slightly more unpleasant behaviour, but be careful not to do this too harshly as it’s important to not disregard the positive intentions of such an action. Dogs also use licking as part of grooming and do this to other dogs as a sign of intimacy and bonding, the same sentiment that applies if they do it to you.

Ever thought you’ve caught your dog showing you his pearly whites before? Well you could well be right, as research suggests that dogs use facial expressions to show how they’re feeling in the same way that humans do, which leads many to believe that they really can smile!

We’ve all heard the scamper of paws eagerly running to greet us as we get home, or follow us around the house especially after being separated for a while. Close physical proximity is a sure sign of your dog’s love and devotion. Unlike us, who at times have a desire or tendency to seek solitude, dogs are very sociable creatures that would choose to be with their owner almost all of the time. This need to be close to you is a way of showing their loyalty and can also manifest into leaning. It might be a slight irritation as you try not to trip over them, but leaning themselves against your legs is usually a gesture of affection in your dog’s eyes, so if this does happen then bend down and show them some attention, even if it’s just for a minute. If it is an unfamiliar dog that’s leaning into you be a little more careful – rarely this can be a prelude to aggressive behaviour.

A dog rolling over is perhaps one of the most common signs of their affection and trust. Quite often, it’s also a hint for a belly rub too! Take the time to indulge your furry friend and show them some love in return. Dogs are highly affectionate animals and they’re not thought of as man’s best friend for no reason, so watch out for these regular displays of love, be sure to reciprocate and you’ll find you’ve got a guaranteed furry friend for life.

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