How Do Dogs Show Love & Affection?

Written by Shopify API


Posted on June 05 2018

Golden Retriever with OwnerWhilst it is easy for humans to show love and affection for their dogs, dogs show their love through body language and actions. From their nose to tail, your dog will use his entire body to show how he feels and communicate with you easily. Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” and are a constant companion that will show you a significant amount of unconditional love so that is why it is important you are bonded with your dog for a happier, healthier life together. Bonding with your dog can be done through playing, training and just living together and knowing what to look out for when your dog is trying to communicate with you is vital for communicating with your pet for many years to come.


Your dog’s tail can show many emotions such as happiness, fear or that they are about to participate in an imminent attack. Most people think that dogs wagging tails can be a friendly gesture and whilst it can be, a stiff tail over their back is not friendly and is a warning sign. A full body wag, tail at mid height and doing circling motions signals that they are happy and excited.

Eye Contact

Enaging in eye contact in a loving relationship with your dog is a sign of trust, love and affection. Studies have shown that when a dog engages in eye contact with their human the level of oxytocin, a love hormone released from the brain associated with attachment and affection, goes up. However, in the canine world, eye contact can be considered as a challenge or a threat so think before you engage in eye contact with an unfamiliar dog. Dogs avoid prolonged stares and will most likely turn their head away to avoid any confrontation.


Whilst most people teach their dogs not to jump up, this can be a main way that they show affection. As dogs aren’t as tall as humans, it is their way of trying to get closer and show love and they don’t want to cause any harm. As dogs crave companionship it is their way of showing that they have missed you and that they are excited to see you.


Common in all dogs, but more common in large breeds as unlike small breeds they cannot be picked up and cuddled. It is a huge sign of affection when your dog leans on you for comfort although, it can be a signal that they are scared or nervous and is looking at you to protect him. It can also be his way of showing you that he wants something or wants to go somewhere.


Dogs are pack animals and thrive off company. They want to be wherever you are and would follow you everywhere if they could as they think they are protecting you in their own way. When away from you, your dog can become very anxious and this could be a sign that they are suffering from separation anxiety.


Instinctive behaviour for dogs as when they are puppies they are licked by their mother to make sure they are clean and secure. Therefore, when dogs lick their family members this is them showing that they are there for you, it also shows that they see you as the pack leader and respect you. It could be an indication that they want something and are looking to get your attention or it can be a sign that they are stressed.

Bringing Toys

Your dog bringing you his toys isn’t always a sign he wants to play. It can be him seeing you as the pack leader and he is giving you his prize possession that he hopes you’ll like as much as him.


It is very rare that dogs use nudging their owners as a form of communication however, in the off chance that they do it could be a sign they want affection, attention or to just feel secure. He may nudge you on your return home from work just to say ‘Hi’ and to show that he has missed you! Looking out for all these signs can ensure that you and your dog have a long, healthy and happy life together were you understand each other’s needs.