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5 Signs Your Dog Loves You More Than Anything

Are you picking up on their hints?

© Miniature Poodles - Getty Images Just like humans, dogs have different ways of expressing emotion. Whether it's following you around or wanting to be on top of you, these are signs your dog loves you.

By Celia Fernandez, Oprah Magazine

Dogs are some of the most lovable creatures on the planet, right?

I am totally biased since I have a 4-year-old Yorkie named Chloe at home, but there's no denying that there's a reason the phrase a "man's," err, "woman's best friend" exists. Though we like to assume from their licks and tail-wagging that they're expressing how content they are, if you've ever wondered what your four-legged friend is really thinking, we turned to Dr. Angela Hughes, DVM, PhD, a veterinary genetics research manager at Wisdom Health.

Each breed has different behavioral traits, so they each show their affection in a number of ways, she explains.

Dogs that are meant to be in close contact with humans can often "read" our needs and anticipate what we want from them, she says. Here's what else we can infer:


Asian Breeds


Chow Chows or Akita dogs were originally bred to guard people and property, so they are very loyal to their pack.

"They often show their love by attentively sitting near (but not on) their family members," Hughes says.


Arctic Breeds


Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes fall under this category. They were bred to be social, highly active dogs that also work well in a pack. When it comes time to show love, they like to jump, play with toys, and roughhouse.

"Arctic breeds do best when they have been given a lot of exercise," Hughes adds.


Companion Breeds


Maltese, Pomeranian, and Pekingese (to name a few) have a history of being lap dogs.

"Because we tend to hold them close, they often also share their love by "kissing" your face," Hughes adds. "They make good watch dogs as they will happily alert you to strangers passing by."


Guard Breeds


Similar to companion breeds, guard dogs are devoted to their owners. Some examples are Bulldogs, Mastiffs, and Rottweilers.

"They are often big softies with the humans in their pack," Hughes says. "They tend to enjoy belly rubs and just hanging out. They will happily join you on the couch or sleep with you in bed-that's how they reveal they care."


Herding Breeds


Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, and German Shepherds express their affection through hard work.

"You will make them happiest by giving them a job to do," Hughes adds. She refers to this group as "velcro dogs" because they will stick by you wherever you go.


Sporting Breeds

© Miniature Poodles - Getty Images 5 Signs Your Dog Loves You More Than Anything

Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, and Poodles fall under this umbrella.

"They show their love by helping their humans," Hughes says. "Their ability to read our moods shows their empathy and why they can make great therapy and guide dogs."

It's important that you, in turn, show them how you feel, by keeping them active, cuddling, and rubbing their bellies.


Terrier Breeds


My Yorkie falls under this just like Chihuahuas and Schnauzers. They are very active but once they slow down, they just want to be with their people.

"They love to play with you, toys, and squirrels, and they generally want to be in your space, if not on top of you," Hughes says.

Regardless of your breed, Hughes reiterates that these are the general signs your dog uses to show affection:

1. Playing. Most dogs love to engage in play as a means of revealing their love and forming a bond. Whether it's retrieving or chasing games, they want it all. Plus, playing is a great way of getting out a little of their energy.

2. Following you everywhere. Since dogs were bred from wolves, their loyalty to the pack and sociability is the same. They want to be in our spaces all the time.

3. Leaning on you/being in contact. Dogs will show their affection by leaning against you, curling up in your lap, or resting a nose or paw on you. They also often like to sleep with you.

4. Tail-wagging. A happy, relaxed dog will show you how they feel by wagging their tail in a friendly way and often with a smile on their face.

5. Licking you. Another thing passed on from their wolf ancestors, dogs use this instinct to let humans know they care. They will also do it as an act to groom you, which is another way to show intimacy.

Learning your dogs love language can help you understand them better and in return, make the bond you have with them that much stronger.

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5 Signs Your Dog Loves You More Than Anything
Are you picking up on their hints?
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