If dogs were to send Valentine’s Day cards, they would probably read something like this: “Roses are red, violets are blue. You are my favorite face to lick after I’ve eaten my poo”.
Luckily for us, it will be a long time before we receive love notes like this in the mail. Yet, while they may not be able to write, dogs use complex language to show their affection. It is time for us to become detectives and decipher the true meaning of those pugs and hugs.
Love is built on trust
Just like in human relationships, love grows over time. It is built on trust, understanding, and respect. The difference between humans and dogs is that humans have grown accustomed to placing conditions on their love. Meanwhile, unconditional love comes so naturally to dogs.
If we lost our job, ran out of food, or our home got repossessed, our dogs will still love us unconditionally without a second thought. There is no surprise that a dog is known as man’s best friend. While each dog is different and will have their unique way to communicate affection, there are a few key signs to pick up on.
1. Wet sloppy kisses are the ultimate display of affection
Licking, A.K.A: big, fat slurpy puppy kisses are top of the list when it comes to loving gestures. Puppies use licking as a way to bond and show their appreciation. Just as dogs groom other members of their pack, they will lick you to show you that you are in their gang. According to scientists, this action calms dogs down and helps to reduce anxiety. So, next time a pup tries to french kiss you, consider yourself the chosen one.
2. Their “wag-o-meter” goes off the scale
Just like a racing heartbeat or the feeling of butterflies in our stomachs when we see our crush, dogs experience this surge of emotion too. It may seem like common sense but if a dog wags its tail like crazy, it is a surefire way to tell that they are happy to see you. Of course, there are all kinds of tail-wagging. But, when it comes to the wag-o-meter scale, we are talking about the windscreen wipers in a tropical storm kind of wag.
3. All personal space boundaries go out of the window
While it may be perfectly normal for dogs to sniff each other’s butts, it becomes uncomfortable when they practice this behavior on humans… in public. For us, it appears as if it’s the canine equivalent of turning up on a first date in wedding attire. Boundaries don’t exist. Yet, if we look at this through the eyes of our dogs, it is just like a normal handshake.
4. Let’s high-five the greatest love story known to man and dog
Have you noticed that dogs tend to offer their paw when they are pleased to see you or are looking to impress? This eagerness to please is deeply rooted in affection and respect. Some may call it love. They are so happy to be in your presence that they want to give you a good old-fashioned paws up.
5. Bellies up, let’s cheers to puppy love
We may be crazy dog pawrents but there is no greater happiness than watching a dog roll over and offer its belly for petting. Not only is this the ultimate sign of trust and affection it is also an invitation to pet and bond with them. They are throwing caution to the wind, showing their vulnerability and saying “Hey, I like you, let’s be BFFs forever”.
6. They love us so much they will explode… or pee themselves
Have you ever loved someone so much you just want to squeeze them as hard as you can? Dogs feel the same. Yet, instead of bone-breaking hugs, they release their intense emotions by accidentally wetting the floor. This is not the same as marking territory, this is the goofy happy pee that escapes when they excitedly greet you as you return home. It is their way of releasing their overwhelming affection for you and showing that you are their world.
7. It’s all smiles and happiness
“Act natural, your crush is coming” is a phrase that has become an internet sensation and generally is accompanied by a funny photo. Well, dogs are the champions of this. The toothy, goofy smile that dogs use to greet us is heart-meltingly sweet. There are few cuter gestures that dogs use to communicate their admiration for humans. Used as a greeting or as a way to gain extra treats, this smile is a dog’s secret weapon for ensuring we know just how much they love us.
8. Our home will fall victim to love bites
Dogs are highly sensory beings with scent being one of the most dominant senses. If we are the object of a dog’s affection, it is not uncommon for them to be attracted to our smell. This means our clothes, shoes, and personal possessions – the smellier the better. If we are out for the day, it is not uncommon for dogs to grow lovesick and crave our presence. If we are not there, they make do with the next best thing - our stuff. Chewing releases anxiety and makes them feel closer to us. Just make sure not to leave anything valuable lying around.
9. They are low-key OBSESSED with you
Being a pawrent is a bit like having a stalker. Everywhere you go you have a furry shadow following you. It’s impossible to get rid of them. Dogs are pack animals and love to feel part of the group. If you have made them feel welcome, they will want to be part of your life 24/7 - no boundaries. So, not only will they follow you around the house, they will stare at you when you go to the bathroom and find a way to snuggle up with you at night - the closer the better.
10. You are their ride or die
Tug of war? Fetch? Dogs love to play and when they consider you to be furmily you are their go-to whenever it comes to playtime. You may find your dog brings you their toys as gifts, inviting you to play with them. This is a sign of honor and closeness. If your dog makes you the center of their attention, they really truly love you!