If you are a new pet parent, you may be wondering if your dog is happy with you. Know more about dog behaviors that express if they are comfortable where they are.
While you may be all happy and excited about having a pet, how do you know if your dog feels the same way? The best way to tell if your dog has bonded with you is to look out for signs and dog behaviors that express if they are comfortable and content where they are.
No matter the dog breed, they have an endearing way of expressing how they feel. While they may not articulate their feelings as humans do, they sure know how to communicate.
With dogs, it’s all about reading between the lines to understand what their actions imply because rather than telling you what they’re thinking, dogs will show you how they are feeling through their gestures, sounds, and actions. So, what should you be looking out for?
Signs Your Dog is Comfortable With You
From your dog’s barking style to its tail wag, every aspect of its body language tells you how it’s feeling. Ever wondered why your dog seems to look deep into your eyes? Is it a sign of happiness or distress? How do you know if a dog feels comfortable? Here are some of the most common signs that will tell you whether or not your dog is into you.
They Will Cuddle a Lot
Cuddling is a sign of love, affection, and comfort. If your puppy is content with its life and wishes to establish a strong bond of companionship with you, it’s going to want to be as close to you as possible, and cuddling is its way of showing that it feels at ease with you.
While most dogs like to cuddle, pups are more clingy compared to adult dogs, who prefer having some space to themselves. Having said that, if they’re comfortable with you, they won’t grow out of the cuddling phase no matter how big and old they get.
They Maintain Eye Contact
If there’s any truth in the saying, “Love at first sight,” it probably holds for a dog and its human. While it is true that dogs may make prolonged eye contact with other dogs they aren’t so comfortable with. The opposite is true for dogs who stare into the eyes of their favorite human.
According to a study on dogs, maintaining eye contact with humans, they are comfortable with increases their levels of oxytocin – the hormone responsible for generating feelings of love and affection. It is, therefore, safe to say that if your dog’s looking into your eyes, it shares a level of comfort with you.
Eye contact is not just a sign of affection but also a sign of trust and love.
Maintaining eye contact is a means by which your dog reassures you of its confidence in you. Those puppy eyes, although cute, are an expression of connection and deep communication.
They Will Be Jumpy
When dogs are happy and full of joy, they express themselves by jumping around or jumping on you.
How do you tell if your dog is happy with you? Watch how it moves from snout to tail in joy and relief when you walk through the door. Some dogs even do a dance of sorts to show you that they’re happy. Usually, a wagging tail is a sign of happiness, but then their entire bodies twist and turn – a sign of immense comfort, enjoyment, and well-being, and you know it’s mutt love all the way.
They Do Not Hesitate To Lean Into You
Leaning is one the most heartwarming dog behaviors that express if they are comfortable. When your dog leans its entire body weight on you, it’s trying to get your attention. It’s your dog’s way of asking for love, affection, and security. When your dog leans on you, the best way to respond to this gesture is to give it a nice belly rub and ear scratches. Do this once, and your dog will keep asking for more, eventually becoming a pleasurable and endearing routine for both of you.
They Will Guard You While You Eat
You’re probably familiar with the fact that dogs tend to get protective and possessive about their food bowls. They do this to guard you while you eat to show you how connected they feel with you. It’s also natural for dogs to beg for a sneaky bite of food when you’re eating. But have you ever wondered why dogs sit beside you or around when you’re at the dinner table?
Besides wanting some of your food, your dog also wants to keep you out of harm’s way while you’re dining because it feels a tremendous sense of comfort with you. Your pet considers you its master, the alpha of the pack. And if it feels comfortable around you, it will protect you out of sheer respect and affection towards you.
They Will Rub Their Face On You
Facing rub is your dog’s way of giving you some much-needed TLC. If your dog isn’t fond of you, it will stay away, especially from your face. If you and your dog have established a strong bond and connection, your dog will willingly and gladly rub its face on yours to tell you it loves you more than anything in the world.
If you wish to tell your dog you feel the same way, reciprocate this gesture with the same kind of gentleness. If you’re lucky, you may even get a few loving licks that will make your day.
Leaving your dog behind when you’re off to work is as painful for your dog as it is for you. If you want to see proof of whether you were missed when you were away, watch how excited your dog gets when you come home. Nothing compares to the kind of welcome you get when you come home to a dog that’s comfortable in your space.
However, dogs are pack animals, and if left alone for extended periods, they experience separation anxiety, and chewing on things around the house is how they express it. Sometimes, they may pick on things you use personally.
Dogs are nosy, and they love to probe, albeit with their mouths, but separation anxiety can worsen the chewing problem.
They Seek Physical Contact
How do you tell if a puppy is attached to you? Puppies will want to stay as close to you as possible if they feel connected to you. They seek physical contact and would do anything to achieve it.
For instance, dogs who feel and seek comfort will sit by your feet while you’re working to make sure they feel your touch. When you’re sleeping, puppies and adult dogs would want to sleep beside you to ensure physical contact.
It is easy to identify dog behaviors that express if they are comfortable where they are and with whom they are. Nurturing a healthy relationship with your dog is all about making them feel settled and content once you’ve brought them home. So, how do you make a dog feel comfortable with you? Being attentive and receptive to their physical, emotional, and psychological needs is a great place to start. Treat your dog with love and kindness, and they will reciprocate with a lifetime of love.
about the author
A self-confessed “pawrent,” Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience in raising puppies into show-quality dogs to help guide first-time pet parents.