How do you know if your dog loves you? Let’s figure out the signs! We can never be entirely sure what our fur babies are really thinking. Sometimes it seems like they speak perfect English, and other times their behavior is totally inexplicable. Sometimes their devotion to their families is obvious, and other times— well, we wonder if they really just like the food. So how can we tell if their puppy love is really? Check out this list! If your dog loves you . . .

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  1. He licks your face.
    Yes, this behavior disgusts a lot of people, but come on— our dogs don’t know what germs are! He just knows that he wants to groom you, and grooming is a definite sign of a pup’s love and devotion. It’s a sign of intimacy that only happens when your dog feels a strong bond, so even if you’re not really OK with the licking, at least be flattered that you’re loved!
  2. She takes care of you when you’re sick or injured.
    At least, she tries to take care of you. Licking is also a behavior dogs have inherited from wolves, who often lick each other’s wounds in the wild to try to heal them. So if your dog licks you a lot while you’re sick, or generally licks any scratches or cuts you have, she’s probably trying to heal you. She could also just generally stay near you the entire time you’re feeling under the weather. Either way, it’s all about love!
  3. He shares his toys.
    When your pup bounds into the living room and drops a toy in your lap, it could mean he wants to play— OR it could mean he’s bringing you an offering! “Sharing is caring,” after all, and sharing his toys is your dog’s way of showing affection and acknowledging you as his “pack leader.”
  4. She cuddles after eating.
    Food is the ultimate motivator for your pup, whether you’re training her to do tricks or simply offering a prize for good behavior. So what she does after eating shows what her next priority is, and if she comes to cuddle immediately after enjoying her dinner, that means it’s YOU! Second place to food is pretty good, don’t you think? So if your little fur baby comes to give you some kisses that smell a little too much like dog food, just know that they’re truly a sign of love.
  5. He sleeps in your bed.
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    Do you let your dog sleep in your bed? People feel passionately on both sides of the argument, but one thing that isn’t up for debate is what it means on your pup’s part: total devotion! If your dog keeps trying to sleep in your bed, and falls asleep near you even if you don’t allow it, it means he’s totally loyal and dedicated to staying with his pack – that’s you! – at all times.
  6. She follows you around.
    Your pup’s pack behavior isn’t just limited to bedtime, either. If your dog follows you around the house while you’re just doing chores or hanging out, she’s just trying to keep her pack together. Dogs don’t need “alone time” the way we humans do, so if she loves you, she wants to be with you— all the time.
  7. He yawns when you yawn.
    Contagious yawns are widely understood to be a sign of human empathy, a similar phenomenon to sympathy pains. That empathy isn’t just limited to humans, though; dogs do it, too! Why? Because dogs were bred by humans to, among other things, be able to read and instinctively understand their owners. So if your pup yawns when you do, you know you can trust your bond— he loves you!
  8. She watches you leave calmly . . .
    No, panic’s not a sign of love; it’s actually just a sign of separation anxiety. A dog who panics where her humans leave just doesn’t want to be alone. A dog who remains calm? Totally trusts and loves you, and feels absolutely confident that you’ll return to her.
  9. . . . but flips out when you return!
    So when do you want your dog to flip out a little? When you come back! It’s probably the number one way your dog can express his love for you. So drink in his excitement and accept that puppy adoration. It’s love in its purest form.
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So what’s the verdict? Does your fur baby love you as much as you love him? We’re guessing the verdict is “Definitely Yes!” but if you want even more signs, check out How Dogs Love Us by Gregory Berns, and these guides from Little Things and Want to learn more about the secret language of dogs? Check out our guide, 9 Things Your Dog Is Trying to Tell You!