Does My Dog Know I Love Him? [How To Show Dogs You Love Them]

Do you love your dog more than anything in the world? Are you always trying to show your pup how much you love him? If so, you might be wondering whether your canine knows that you love him or her.

As a dog expert, I get asked all the time how to best look after and love a dog. But does your dog really know that you love them? Can they feel your love?

does my dog know I love him
Does my dog know I love him?

Does my dog know I love him? Luckily, there are key signs that show whether my dog understands my love.

Below, I will outline all the factors showing that your dog knows you love them.

  • What is oxytocin and why does it mean love
  • Key signs your dog loves you
  • How to show your dog love

I’ll also give you some great tips on how you can let your dog know your love. Now, let’s get started!  

The Oxytocin Bonding Pathway

jack russell in a raincoat
Jack Russell in a raincoat. Ready for any inclement weather!

Scientific research, specifically canine cognition, focuses on understanding how dogs’ brains work. Researchers have found that when dog owners and their canines spend time together, both parties have a love hormone called oxytocin release to create a better bond and increase happiness.

Dogs release oxytocin whenever you play with them, pet them, or even make eye contact. Essentially, both parties experience love for each other through the oxytocin bonding pathway. Often, parents have the same bonding pathway when interacting with their children. Below, I discuss the main signals showing your dog is aware of your love.

Key Signs of Your Dog’s Love Awareness

Does my dog know I love him? You can find out if your dog is aware of your love. All you need to do is pay attention to the following signs. Dogs may stare at you, wag their tails, lay down by your legs, or lick your face. Now, let’s get into all the details! 

a blue eyed siberian husky puppy
A blue eyed Siberian Husky puppy

Dogs Give Eye Contact and Stare At You

Researchers have found that dogs can lock eyes on you to show their fondness. If you’re looking at your dog, they understand that this is a way you show devotion. Further, scientists have stated that dogs staring at you is a way that they hug you with their eyes.

This experience can also release oxytocin and create a stronger bond between dog owners and pups.  

Dogs Wag Their Tails

When a dog is happy and feeling affection from you, you will likely see him calmly wagging his tail. 

When your dog looks at you, they may feel the love and express their happiness by slowly wagging their tail, which needs to happen when you’re not about to feed the dog. Otherwise, they’re more excited about the food than seeing you.  

If your dogs start wagging their tail when you’re petting or playing with them, then they’re aware of your love.

french mastiff dog getting pat
A French Mastiff dog getting a pat on the head. Look at those jowls!

Your Dog Cuddles Up Against Your Legs or Feet

When your dog presses up against your legs, sits at your feet, or generally cuddles with you, the pup is showing awareness of your love. Your dog exhibits how comfortable he feels around you when he cuddles up against your legs. 

Dogs feel reassured and happy when they cuddle up with their owners.

Dogs May Lick Their Owners

When dogs lick their owners’ faces, you may think this means they’re trying to kiss their best friends. However, with dog owners making sure their canines are well cared for and groomed, the pups often try to reciprocate with their licks. 

The pups are trying to groom their owners when they start licking their faces. Essentially, they’re taking you in as part of their family when they groom you. It’s their way of keeping you clean and free of dirt and grime, which is how they know you love them and try to show you their love as well.

How to Show Your Dog Plenty of Love

There are plenty of ways to exhibit your affection and caring attitude toward your canine. For instance, you can take your pup on a jog or play catch outdoors in the park. You can also make sure your dog gets plenty of hugs and provide positive reinforcement when you’re training the pup. I will go into more detail about these topics below.

chocolate goldendoodle in dog park
A Chocolate Goldendoodle in a dog park (Parti with white face)

Praise Your Dog and Give Positive Reinforcement

Dogs want to please their owners, and they love to get praise and positive reinforcement. During training, make sure to praise your dog when they show the correct behavior.

Dogs will understand their owners’ tone and overall mood, so make sure to show that you’re happy when your pup tries to please you. Some options for positive reinforcement include:

  • Giving your pup a treat
  • Petting your dog
  • Praising verbally
  • Playing with your canine or giving a new toy 

Spend Time With Your Dog

You’ll need to take your dog out for a game of catch or tug-of-war every once in a while. If you want your dog to get its exercise, take it for a jog down the block.

However, if you’re too tired to go out, then you can merely have your dog cuddle up with you on the couch while you watch television.

Give Your Dog Hugs and Affection

Petting, hugging, and other forms of physical affection are perfect ways to show your dog how much you love them. Give your pup a belly rub or pat the head when the doggy is behaving well. Your dog will love the time you spend cuddling with them. 

Does My Dog Know I Love Him? [How To Show Dogs You Love Them] 1
A super cute Poochon puppy Photo by mbtrama /CC BY

Spoil Your Dog Once in a While

Giving your pups a wonderful surprise, like a new toy, is a great way to show them how much you love them. Other rewards can include taking them to their favorite park or a beach where they can go for a swim. Your dog will be very excited if you give them a treat, too.

Wrap Up

Now you know that your dog does know how much you love him. Watch out for signs like a wagging tail, dog licks, or continual stares. These signals will tell you how aware your dog is about your love.

Don’t forget to show your dog affection and give positive reinforcement and playtime, which will let your pup know your love.