If there’s one thing most dog lovers wish for, it’s being able to speak and understand their canine companion. Just a simple Google search will provide you with plenty of techniques to read your dogs body language. Once you’ve understood the basics to canine communication, you’ll be able to use this guide to speak and empathise back to them.
We all know, dogs are descended from pack animals and they enjoy the connections and habits that are formed in such. Pack behaviours includes exercising, physical touch and hunting which we replicate and mimic with play (throwing a ball, playing with a fluffy bunny or squeaky toy).
We’ve been researching ways you can interpret your dog’s body language and mimic pack behaviours, all so you can say ‘I love you’ in dog language!
Speak To Your Pooch
Having that one-way chit chat with your pooch, isn’t as crazy as you think. Recent studies show that dogs actually understand us better than we think. It’s recommended to engage in conversations with your pooch, speak in a high pitched tone (baby talk) and use words that they love like, treat, walk, good etc. Yup, we can finally we can talk to our dogs without feeling like a crazy dog person.
Studies also show that it’s not only speaking to them that can create that special bond, but also reading. A rescue centre in Missouri introduced a training programme where children aged 6-15 could come and read to the dogs. They found that when the children read, it calmed anxious and high-energy dogs – but also made shy dogs a little more confident.
Listen Closely To Them
If your dog has a wagging tail, gazes lovingly into your eyes or even raising their eyebrows (yes really), then these could all be signs that your dog is telling you they love you too.
While we all know a wagging tail speaks volumes, your dog’s eyes do plenty of talking too. You can even communicate back to them using the same loving gaze. In fact, oxytocin, the ‘love chemical,’ goes up in both humans and doggies when they share this long loving stare.
Behavioural scientists in Japan found that when a dog feels connected to someone, they often raise their eyebrows (surprisingly the left eyebrow more than the right). So raise your eyebrows when looking at them to say ‘I love you’ in dog language.
On the opposite side, a stare can also come across as aggressive or untranslatable to your dog depending on whether or not it’s forced or just down-right creepy – so make sure you’re using kind eyes and slightly raised eyebrows.
Other human communication tools that are confusing for our pups include:
- Hugs: some dogs feel trapped or sometimes pinned down when you hug them. Watch your dog’s reaction, if you see a tucked tail, lip licking or averted eyes then stop the hug immediately. While your dog may not enjoy a hug, a nice cuddle session offers the connection they crave.
- Kisses: this is also another communication tool which we love, but leaves dogs baffled. A quick smooch is similar to a playful nip in doggy speak. But it can also be seen as a gesture of domination, where you’re trying to assert your place in the household hierarchy.
Touching Your Pooch
Just petting your pooch releases the love chemical oxytocin in both you and your dog. So treat your dog to a soothing massage, or a gentle groom to tell your dog how much you love them. Wondering where the best place to pet your dog is? We recommend rubbing their ears! They’re packed with feeling receptors.
A more commonly known part of the dog love language is when a dog leans into you. When they do this, it’s seen as a sign of love and trust. This body language can be mimicked or reciprocated to show affection, but watch you don’t squash them. Gently lean against them to show a little love.
Exercise and Nap Together
If there’s one thing dogs thrive on it’s routine and schedule. They love a daily walk, but love it even more with training mixed in as it builds trust and that pack connection.
After exercising together, one of your dog’s historic pack behaviours is resting together. If you don’t allow your pooch in the bed, that’s okay! An afternoon nap together will deepen your dog’s feeling of a pack connection.
How do you tell your dog you love them?
Ultimately, saying ‘I love you’ to your dog can vary depending on your dog’s individual body language and the craved pack comforts. Do you talk all day to your dog? Perhaps you have afternoon naps together? Let us know in the comments below.