Signs Your Dog Loves You

Updated: April 21, 2023

Dogs are beloved members of countless households around the world. Dogs provide their owners with loyalty, companionship, and unconditional love. As a pet parent, it is easy to tell when your furbaby is happy to see you or in need of affection. But sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether your dog genuinely loves you or simply enjoys the treats and attention you provide.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common signs your dog loves you. By learning to recognize these behaviors, you can deepen your bond and better understand their emotional needs.

dog loves human
yellow dog paw and human hand shaking, friendship | Photographer: Elena Elisseeva

Why Do Dogs Love Humans?

Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, used MRI technology to study the emotional state of dogs. The researchers exposed dogs to various odors and analyzed their reactions to both familiar and unfamiliar individuals and dogs.

The study discovered that when dogs smell their owner's scent, the "reward center" of their brain was activated. This releases dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone and causes feelings of pleasure. This indicates that when dogs smell or interact with their pet parents, they feel happy.

How Can You Tell If Your Dog Loves You?

They say dogs are man’s best friend. But are we their best friends? Here are some of the most common signs that your dog loves you!

Your Dog Enjoys Spending Time With You

When your dog wags their tail when you get home or shows enthusiasm when you sit next to them or take them for a walk, it is a clear sign that they love you! Dogs are sociable animals and they enjoy being with their pet parents, so they are likely to show their happiness and affection when you’re around them.

Your Dog Looks at You With Love

Dogs use eye contact to communicate with their pet parents and to express their emotions. A tender, affectionate glance can convey feelings of confidence, security, and joy. One well-known instance of this is when a dog makes "puppy dog eyes," which involves lifting their eyebrows and giving you a pleading face.

Studies have shown that when dogs gaze into their pet parents’ eyes, their brains release oxytocin, a hormone that is associated with feelings of love and bonding. They are not only expressing their emotions, but also strengthening the bond between the two of you.

"Dogs use eye contact to communicate with their pet parents and to express their emotions."

Your Dog Gives You Presents

Dogs can show their affection and love by bringing their owners small "gifts", such as a toy, a stick, or even their Gnawtlers®. This behavior is rooted in their natural instincts to hunt and gather, as well as their desire to please their pet parents. It is a way of showing their affection and appreciation for their pet parents. If your furbaby frequently brings you gifts, it is a sign that they love and trust you.

Your Dog Follows You Everywhere

Dogs naturally seek companionship and closeness with their pack members. If your dog follows you around, it is a sign that they consider you to be an important part of their pack. They enjoy your company and want to be near you. Dogs are also known for being fiercely loyal to their owners. If they feel that you are in danger or need protection, they may follow you around to keep you safe.

Your Dog Chooses You Over Food

Dogs are known for their love of food. But if your dog chooses to spend time with you or seek your attention even when there is food available, it could be a sign that they value your company more.

Your Dog Loves to Sleep With You

Dogs are pack animals, and sleeping together is their way of strengthening the bond between members of the pack. When a dog sleeps with you, it is a sign that they feel comfortable and safe in your presence.

Additionally, when a dog sleeps with you, they can sense your breathing and heartbeat, which can have a calming effect on them. This can help them feel more secure and relaxed, which can lead to a better night's sleep.

"Dogs can show their affection and love by bringing their owners small "gifts", such as a toy, a stick, or even their Gnawtlers®."

Your Dog Craves Physical Touch

If your dog leans against you, snuggles with you, or sits on your lap, they’re showing they trust you and feel comfortable with you. Not all dogs like lots of physical touch, though. You may instead notice that these dogs allow you to pet them or give them a little hug. Or you may notice that your dog sits near you on the couch or on the floor to enjoy your company.

dog hugs human


As you’re spending time with your pup, pay attention to these signs your dog loves you! It’s important to acknowledge their loving actions, as well as give them back.