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Understanding Your Pet’s Affection

February 12, 2019

February brings Valentine’s Day and its many forms of love – including puppy love! Picture this…you leave home for a quick ride to the store. When you get home, your dog greets you with unbridled enthusiasm that makes you wonder if you were away for a month. And you’re like, “Whoa, buddy, it’s nice to see you too, but I was only gone for fifteen minutes.” Why? Because they love you! While dogs have a circadian rhythm and a sense of time, just like humans, you’re pretty much the center of their doggone universe. A wonderful quote we read recently sums it up like this, “Be kind to your dog because while he’s just a short part of your life, you’re all of his.” So, let’s talk about love…


One of the surefire ways to know that your dog is happy is to check out their derrière, er, tail. But the height and briskness of the “wave” does matter. A tail that is wagging horizontally and quickly means that your pup is a happy little camper. A slow wag means he’s assessing the situation and is hopeful. A tail held high, vertically in the air might mean he’s showing dominance and things might get “ruff.” A low hanging tail is more likely to be a sign of submissiveness. Much like a human smile - from a wide grin to a scowl – a lot can be said without barking a word.


To a dog, kiss, kiss, kiss really means lick, lick, lick. Take it as a compliment, and if you own a doormat that reads, “Dog can’t hold his licker,” then you know exactly what we’re talking about. Besides affection, licking signals a few other things. First, it shows that they view you as having a higher social status. Second, it feels good for them as licking releases endorphins. Third, it might just be because you ate a batch of his favorite chicken wings. Never fear this Valentine’s Day though if your dog isn’t a big kisser because some breeds lick more than others, like Golden Retrievers. We know, big shocker there.


Surprisingly, a dog that leans on you, puts her paw on you, or willingly snuggles up with you during TV time, is showing you that you’re her main squeeze. But don’t get her a box of chocolates (it contains caffeine and theobromine, which can be toxic to your bro dog), rub her belly instead as she’d much prefer that anyway. Speaking of bellies, if a dog rolls over on his back that’s another sign of the trust they’ve placed in you to protect and provide for them. So, go ahead, lean on them, when you're not strong, and he’ll be your friend and help you carry on…wait, where have we heard that before?

Dogs can be loyal and extremely affectionate; understanding their cues can foster an even closer bond. It should be a reciprocal relationship as well. Kind and loving things you can do for your dog include: a fabulous doggie massage, getting on their level and spending time with them, lots of praise when they’re modeling correct behavior, and most importantly, having patience with them as they find their way to becoming your best friend.

P.S. Since we’ve already established that you can’t buy your dog chocolates for Valentine’s Day, and you’re certainly not going to “put a ring on it,” check out our selection of heart collars to show how much you care.


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