8 Ways Dogs Show Love

yellow lab rolling over in the grass

Dogs and humans communicate in different ways. It’s easy to project a wide array of human emotions onto a dog even if it’s not what they’re feeling or how they process the world. Although dogs may not experience all human emotions the same way we do, we do know they bond with their families and show affection and love. Here are a few ways dogs show love and trust:

1. Your Dog Licks You

Licking your hand, face, or wherever your dog gives you kisses is a sign of submission, but it is also a dog’s way of showing affection. It’s a simple way for them to let you know they like you are comfortable around you.

2. They Wag Their Tail and Wiggle Excitedly When You’re Around

If your dog goes into tail wagging and excited wiggles when you talk to them or when they see you, it’s one of the ways they can show they like you. The excited wiggles and tail wagging are a sure sign that your dog is happy to see you.

3. Your Dog Checks on You and Responds to Your Needs

No matter what your dog is doing or how independent they are, they will eventually come back around you to check in with you. This is their way of making sure you are still around and are okay before returning to their alone time or other activities.

Another way dogs show love is by responding to your needs. Dogs are often in tune with their owners and can sense how they’re feeling. Your dog may cuddle up to you when you aren’t feeling well or when you’re feeling sad.

They may even bring you their favorite toy or other items to try and help cheer you up. Many dogs often respond in a therapeutic or useful way even without specific emotional support, therapy, or service dog training.

4. They Lean Into You

Even the most independent dog breeds still enjoy being with their favorite humans. Not only do dogs show love by being close to you, but they will also often lean into your body, your legs, or your hand when they’re getting attention, cuddles, or pets from you.

5. Your Dog Sleeps Near You

Canine and human alike, sleep is one of the times when we are most vulnerable. So, if your dog is completely comfortable sleeping next to you or nearby, they trust you and feel comfortable around you.

6. They Bring Their Toys to You

Whether they sense you are sad and want to make you feel better or they just want to play, dogs show love and trust by bringing their toys to you. If they’re bringing you their favorite toy, chances are you are a-okay in their book. They may also bring their toys near you in order to play with them, which is just another sign of trust.

7. Your Dog Nudges You With Their Nose

Although a nose nudge can be a sign of interest or a sign that you’re in the way, it can also be a sign of affection. Nudging you with their nose is often a sign of affection, especially if it’s paired with leaning in, full-body contact, or a deep, soulful stare.

Some types of eye contact can be aggressive, but others can be an intimate bonding experience. For a lot of dogs, eye contact with someone they like is a bonding move because it releases oxytocin. In these cases, eye contact means trust and affection.

8. They Flop Over and Ask for Belly Rubs

Nothing says “I trust you and like you” more you than a dog that rolls over and happily asks for belly rubs. Rolling over in dog body language is often a submissive move. But, when paired with relaxed body language and a wagging tail, it’s a sign of trust, affection, and love.

These are just a few ways dogs show love and trust towards their favorite humans. When your dogs are showing these signs of love, communicate the same back to them to continue strengthening your bond. You can also set aside some time for some of the best ways to make your dog happy to show them some love.