22 Aug | Posted by Lenka Laskova | no comments |
“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things – a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”
― John Grogan, Marley and Me
Dogs teach us many valuable life lessons. They easily become the most adorable member of the household and, through often times, they share ups and downs with us, supporting us in their own, doggy way. Scientists have also discovered that, since dogs and humans have been so deeply intertwined through history, dogs have evolutionally developed ways to express their love for humans.
This means that it is likely that your dog has tried to show you love and appreciation many more times than you were actually aware of it. Watch out for the little signs.
1. Staring directly into your eyes
When a dog looks at you while the two of you are playing with one another or just cuddling, oxytocin is released. It’s the same hormone that helps new mothers bond with their babies. If you want to test this out with your dog, don’t go home and stare at your dog, because you don’t usually do it and the dog might think something’s wrong. Instead, try to naturally maintain eye contact with him during your normal routines and see how he responds.
2. Yawning when you yawn
Yawning, among humans, is known to be contagious. When humans echo another’s yawn, it’s because they’re empathetic, like sympathy pains. Because they’ve been bred to read humans, dogs also yawn when someone they love yawns. Even though it is impossible to measure if dogs are empathetic, but it is likely that a dog yawning the same time as a human happens because the dog has bonded with that person.
3. Leaning on you
Both humans and dogs have a need for the same kind of security, and physical presence and closeness matter a great deal. Sometimes a dog will lean on a human because he is anxious, wants you to do something, or take him somewhere. But leaning is also a symbol of affection to watch out for.
Even if your dog is leaning on you out of pure nervousness, he is still doing it because he thinks of you as someone who can protect him and keep him safe.
4. Cuddling with you after a meal
Most dogs lovers (or even people who don’t like dogs) know that pups are motivated by food. But, once a dog eats all its food, his next action can signify what’s most important to him besides eating. If your dog cuddles with you after eating, it’s a strong sign that they do indeed love you
5. Bringing you his favorite toy
“He taught us the art of unqualified love. How to give it, how to accept it. Where there is that, most other pieces fall into place.” (Grogan)
Although wanting to play with you is a sign of affection in itself, when your dog brings you his favorite ball, it may also mean he thinks of you as his pack leader. It is true that your pup will often want to play, but sometimes, he just wants to let you know he cares.