In the wild, wolves show affection by licking another wolf’s muzzle and even chewing on the other’s face. Dogs have evolved different ways of displaying affection toward people and other dogs. Learn the 10 subtle—and not-so-subtle—ways your dog is telling you he loves you.
1. Making eyes
Eye contact is one way that dogs show affection — but not just any type of eye contact. For example, if you have a staring contest with your dog, you’ll probably win, and your dog will look away sheepishly. That’s not affection. But if you’re playing or cuddling with your dog and you both maintain natural eye contact, that’s a sign of love.
2. Sleeping in your bed
If your dog sleeps with you in your bed—or tries to—it’s a sign they love you. Why? Because you’re a beloved member of his pack and he wants to be close to you.
3. Happy to see you
This one is kind of a no-brainer because it’s so obvious. If your dog jumps up and down with excitement when you come home, it’s a sure sign they love you. S
4. Sneaking into your shoes
If your dog carries your shoes or stinky socks around, it’s a sign of affection, because those items contain your scent. This behavior can extend to raiding the laundry basket just to roll around in your irresistible essence!
5. Checking in
Some dogs occasionally check in from another room to see how their beloved human is doing. Similarly, some dogs display this behavior during walks by interrupting their exploring time to double back to briefly say hi.
6. Physical contact
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, too. If your dog loves to snuggle with you, lean against you, and just generally be in physical contact with you, that means they love you.
7. A sacred offering
If your dog brings you their favorite toy, it’s not just a sign that they want to play (although they probably do). They’re presenting you their most prized possession. You should feel honored—and loved.
8. A winning smile
Some dogs actually learn to smile by pulling their lips back just like people do. If your dog has figured this behavior out, the best thing to do is return the love and smile back.
9. Raised eyebrows
When puppies see their mom, they raise their eyebrows (particularly the left one). This is a signal of recognition and love. If your dog raises its eyebrows at you, they’re telling you they love you.
10. Tilted head (or, “I feel your pain”)
Dogs convey empathy by tilting their heads. When your dog does that toward you, they’re connecting with your emotions. It’s also really cute!