Any dog owner will tell you that one of the greatest things about owning their tail-wagging pet is the unconditional love they provide. There's nothing like a dog's enthusiastic greeting at the door to turn a rough day into a "ruff" one. Dogs show their love in so many ways that they leave little room for doubt about their feelings for you... unlike many humans.
Although dogs aren't capable of feeling the varying shades of love that we do, "they are able to experience 'love,'" Jennifer Freeman, DVM, tells Romper. Freeman, the resident veterinarian for PetSmart, adds, "Both dogs and cats release the brain chemical oxytocin — the hormone that makes you feel love — when they interact with each other and with humans."
But why do dogs maintain such a close bond to the people they live with? "It's similar to humans; everyone has a different personality based on their genetic makeup," Dr. Freeman explains. "Some breeds are more social and trusting, while others are reluctant to trust those they don't know well. Most people would say that they are closer to the people they have a relationship with, and the same goes for animals." Socialization at an early age helps any dog become more comfortable around people naturally, and more likely to feel trust and affection.
If you've noticed that your pup seems to prefer your partner over you (or vice versa), don't take it personally. "Many times, this is a breed trait," Dr. Freeman says. "Greyhounds and Shiba Inus are breeds that are notorious for bonding closely to one person."
How can you tell your dog is feeling the love? Some of the signs are the ones we know well, while others are a little more surprising. Which ones sound like your own fur buddy?