As scientists explore our dogs’ subtle behaviors and mannerisms, they gain more and more insight into what they are thinking and feeling. We now know that our pups do experience and express love for us, above and beyond instinct or dependence.
Have you ever wondered if some simple little act has a deeper meaning that you may be missing? Here are ten attempts your dog made at expressing his love, but sadly, you didn’t notice. Poor pup.
1. He brought you his filthy & unpleasantly moist stuffed fox
You probably assume that when your pooch plunks his favorite, well loved toy into your lap that he’s looking for a play session, right? Well, sometimes he probably is, but on other occasions he may be offering you a gift. To your dog, that smelly, ratty fox is like a brand new iPhone 6 and he’s offering to share it with you. If that doesn’t say love, I don’t know what does!
2. He finished his dinner then snuggled up next to you and belched in your face
Lucky for us all, burping does not equal doggy affection. However, seeking out a cozy cuddle on a full belly does. We know that dogs are food motivated, so snuggling after meal times shows that your dog is not just buttering you up for noms. Neuroscientist, Gregory Berns discusses this behavior in his book, How Dogs Love Us.
Source: PB Fingers
3. He mimicked your overly dramatic yawn.
Nope, your dog wasn’t mocking you. The phenomenon of contagious yawning is a sign of empathy among humans, and one study showed that our dogs do it, too. The mimicked yawn is just another symbol of how our canine companions are in tune to our moods and feelings.
4. He barely even lifted his head when you left for work
Some may think that a loving dog should become distraught when we leave. In reality it’s the pups who stay calm when we depart who are the most adoring. Insecure dogs may cry, bark or paw at the door when you leave. Pooches who remain chill are confident in the bond you share and know that you will be returning soon enough.
5. He convulsed with glee when you came home
Contrary to the chilly, aloof behavior during your departure, your pup is so crazy about you that reuniting is just about the best thing he can think of. Galloping around, vocalizing and showering you with kisses means exactly what it seems- your pup ruvs you!
6. He gave you the old boxer pre-match stare down
You’ve probably heard that when a dog stares directly in your eyes it is a challenge, but it all depends on the circumstances surrounding that gaze. If you are playing, snuggling or talking to your pup and he maintains relaxed eye contact, he is “hugging you with his eyes” says dog expert, Brian Hare.
7. He hiked his left eyebrow up like The Rock when you got back from your business trip
Dogs actually have much more complex facial expressions than the average person picks up on. A recent Japanese study had owners and strangers greet test dogs. When the pups saw their pawrents they immediately raised their eyebrows, especially the left. They demonstrated far less facial activity upon seeing the strangers, and most involved the right brow.
Source: Dogs With Eyebrows
8. He did a trust fall into the backs of your knees
Leaning against a beloved human could mean your pup is nervous, anxious, or just wants something from you. Regardless of the ulterior motive, it still shows that he trusts you and believes that you will take care of whatever he needs. Sometimes, though, it simply means “I like being close to you, Mom or Dad.”
Source: The Dodo
9. He slept diagonally across your twin size bed
This may seem like an act of pure terrorism. How are you supposed to sleep with a gassy Pitbull sprawled across your mattress? What your dog is saying through his actions (or lack thereof) is that of all the places in the house to sleep, he wants to doze as close to you as possible. According to Gregory Berns this is a huge symbol of loyalty because your dog is staying close to his pack- you!
10. He savored every second of the love you gave him
Berns also believes that our dogs have the innate ability to sense our true feeling for them. So if you’re just phoning in the affection, there’s no way you’re going to get any in return. However, if your love is true, your pup knows and returns the favor with the behaviors above.