Dog Behaviour

How do Dogs Show Affection?

Dogs are generally believed to be extremely affectionate pets, and it is often hard to miss the outright displays of affection that they want to show. However, there are a few ways that dogs show their love towards you, that you might not be aware of.

Let’s take a look at some ways that dogs show affection to their favorite humans.

Signs of Affection From a Dog

For us humans, it is easy to show affection to whoever we want. Even while playing with dogs for example, a good treat or a belly rub is enough to let your dog know that you love them. However, dogs have to work harder to tell you that they love you. Let’s make things easier for your best friend by getting to know how dogs like to show affection.


Dogs can be incredibly social. Much like their wolf counterparts, they consider packs to be an essential part of their life. Therefore, when a dog loves you, they tend to be social with you in a way that they treat you as their ‘pack leader.’ Resultingly, you become the most respected and vital part of their life, and they seek you for love and companionship.

Following You Everywhere

Dogs require attention at all times, and they often want to be close to the person that they like for as long as possible. Resultingly, if a dog likes you, they are likely to follow you around everywhere you go. Not only is this a sign of affection, but also one of respect. To dogs, their humans become their place of security.

Tail Wagging

Ever since people have tried to understand what their dogs are thinking, tail wagging has often been associated with happiness. If your dog is wagging its tail while doing nothing but following you around the house, it is a sure sign of affection.


Licking is considered to be a grooming instinct in dogs. Puppies use licking as an instrument of communicating hunger or anxiety to their mothers. However, when they lick people’s faces, it is a way to show trust and love. Licking is also a sign of submissiveness and a way of accepting you as their leader.


Most dogs are trained not to jump on people at an early age. However, dogs often jump to show affection. As puppies, they learn to show appreciation to their mothers by licking their faces. Since dogs consider you their parents, they like to jump on you to get closer to licking your face.

Usually, when a dog sees you after a while of absence, they are often full of happiness and excitement. Jumping helps them show affection and allows them to release all that extra excited energy they get due to your presence.

Sleeping Near You

When wolves live in the wild, they tend to curl up against one another when they sleep. Dogs have adopted this mannerism too and like to sleep around the person they like. When a puppy sleeps on your lap, it is a sign of accepting you as their parent. Likewise, when a dog wants to sleep next to you, it is their way of welcoming you as their companion and showing trust.

Eye Contact

For most dogs, eye contact is a very intimidating and daunting action. Some dogs don’t like being looked into the eyes for a long time since they might sense a threat and it may also cause anxiety. However, if the dog trusts you or has love towards you, you can expect eye contact. Maintaining eye contact with you is often a trust building and bonding exercise for dogs.


One of the cutest ways dogs display affection is by leaning on the person they like. Dogs like to relieve their entire weight on trustworthy people as a way of showing absolute trust. You can often consider leaning as a dogs equivalent to hugging. Other signs of affection, such as tail wagging and soft eyes, might accompany leaning to show greater love.


Most dog lovers know that dogs love belly rubs. The dorsal side of a dog’s body is extremely gentle and soft. Therefore, when you tickle their belly, it is often delightful for them. However, since the belly skin is soft, it is also a vulnerable part of their body. Therefore, if a dog rolls over in front of you, it is a great sign of trust.

Dogs are affectionate and social animals that need a lot of attention. Since dogs require a lot of attention, most of them show affection by physically being around you. Once a dog accepts you as their mother or ‘pack leader,’ they will always want to be close to you. Check out the signs of affection that we have listed above, and let your dog know that you love them in return!

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