They Called It Puppy love

Discover the tell-tale signs of true puppy love. We’ve listed 12 ways puppies show their love.

While dogs and puppies can’t ‘speak’ with words, there are still plenty of signs that show your puppy loves you. So, if you’ve ever caught yourself wondering: ‘Does my puppy really love me, or just that I give them food?’, here are 12 signs of puppy love to look out for:

  1. Wagging their tail - This is a common sign that a dog is happy. The more their tail wags, the happier they are to see you. It’s also an invitation to come closer and give scratches or play with them.
  2. They get their tongue out. Licking, in dogs, is a bonding activity and is often done to help themselves and each other relax. So, next time your pup is licking your hand, it’s not the crumbs they’re after, but rather a sign they’re keen to get closer.
  3. They look lovingly into your eyes. Far from a display of dominance, when your dog makes eye contact with you it’s just another way they display affection and actually helps release oxytocin (that’s the love hormone, in case you’re wondering!).
  4. They want to shake your hand. Just like a small child might tug on your pants, your puppy might paw at your legs when looking for attention. This is often followed by…
  5. Showing you their belly. Puppies love a good belly rub; if they’re rolling over and showing you their tummy it’s a sign of trust, as it’s a very vulnerable position for them to be in.
  6. They want to get close to you. Often, dogs leap and jump up when you come home. They want to get close to your face to shower you with kisses, a clear sign of affection.
  7. They fall asleep on your lap. Sleeping is another vulnerable time for dogs, so if your pup is snoozing on or next to you, they’re pretty comfy in your presence and know they can trust you to keep them safe.
  8. They lean on you. No, this isn’t your dog just being lazy or tired after a long walk, it’s actually them showing you they love you! Think of it like they’re giving you a full body hug.
  9. They chew your favourite shirt. Puppies often make off with items carrying your scent just to feel close to you.
  10. They become your shadow. When your puppy loves you, they will follow you to the ends of the earth, or just to the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom…
  11. They wet the floor! This is probably the least endearing of ways your puppy can show you they love you, but submissive peeing is a sign they recognise they’re at the bottom of the rung in terms of hierarchy.
  12. They just want to play. If your pup comes over with their favourite toy, they’re keen for some playtime. Puppies start play from a very young age and it’s a way for them to expend some energy and learn how to bond and communicate with each other. So, when your pup wants to play with you, it’s just another way for them to be close to the person they love

Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive and there may be other ways your puppy is showing you they love you. As dogs age, the behaviours they display might change too. However, there are just as many – like leaning up against you or giving you a slurpy lick – they’ll never grow out of.