How Can I Tell If My Dog Really Loves Me? [DogBuddy]

How will I know if my dog really loves me?

There’s a dog I know, he’s the one I dream of. As a dog owner, it’s natural to be looking for signs your dog loves you. Like when you come home from work and he’s brought you your socks. That must be an act of love, right?

Having a strong bond with your dog is important – for your happiness and for making sure your dog knows who the boss is (so that they behave). And having and nurturing this bond can lead to a happier and healthier life for the both of you. Your bond with your dog develops through the course of your life together and through the things you do, like walking, playing, exercising, training – and generally how you interact when living your life together.

Yet, just like Whitney Houston, you might find yourself asking, ‘how will I know if he really loves me?’ But don’t worry, we’ve got answers. Your dog will give you a few clues to show you that yes, he really does love you. Here are seven of the signs your dog loves you.

1. They’re happy to see you

The wag of the tail. The whine through the nose. The bringing of the toy. There’s no purer joy than the sight of a dog realising their owner’s just come home. The relief that no, you haven’t abandoned them forever and the joy that you’re home with them at last. This is perhaps the most obvious sign of love – your dog’s excited to see you! And you’re probably just as excited to see them too.

2. They’re relaxed when they’re with you

Woman in bed with her dog, both working on laptops


After the initial excitement and confirmation that yes, you are back and no, you were not gone forever, a dog who loves and trusts their owner is one who settles down into relaxation. You can spot relaxed body language in a few different ways:

  • Mouth slightly open, with that lovable lolling tongue
  • A roll over and request for a belly rub – which shows they trust you
  • That good old tail of theirs wagging from side to side
  • Relaxed, soft facial expressions – you’ll know the one
  • Eyes blinking regularly
  • Bowing down on the front paws, with the head lower than the butt asking to play

3. They make eye contact with you

In any loving relationship, eye contact means love and trust. And as we all know, dogs have definitely got that look of love nailed. It’s just like us really – if we’re nervous or intimidated by someone, we tend not to look them in the eye. But, if we trust them, respect them and feel comfortable around them, we’ll meet their gaze.

And it’s not just a sign, it’s also a thing we can actively do and get better at to improve our bonds with our dogs. Research from Japan showed that dogs who made eye contact more with their owners showed elevated levels of oxytocin (the hormone of love) and the owners experiences higher levels of it too. So there you have it, you can strengthen your bond, love and happiness levels with your dog by just gazing into each other’s eyes.

Emotional staring contest, anyone?

4. They look for your affection

Man reading a newspaper on the sofa while he pets his dog who sits next to him

Love me, love me, say that you love me. Was that Kylie? Or was that your dog who sang that? If your dog’s looking for some love from you like scratching, petting, snuggling, leaning against you, resting their head on your knee or even hugging – it’s a definite sign that they love you. Giving your dog this kind of affection (though, not excessively so) can strengthen your bond even more, too.

5. They check in with you

Even the most independent women dogs still like to check in to make sure you’re there. This is their way of maintaining their visual contact with you, and a dog who shares a strong bond with you will like to regularly come and see you, whether you’re in a different room in the house, or whether you’re off on a dog walk – they’ll want to know you’re close by.

6. They listen to you and respond to you

It’s what we all dream of, isn’t it? Just someone who actually listens to you. While your dog might not be intently listening to you about your terrible day at work that involved a run-in with your boss, if your dog’s listening to what you’re saying when you speak (and you’ll be able to tell by the way they respond) and obeying the commands you give, it shows you they’re attached to you.

Your bond can be strengthened by basic obedience training, and recall training (coming when called) is one of the most important commands for your dog to be able to respond to, because it can keep them safe if something goes wrong. And by making coming back to you worth their while, like showing them the utmost excitement EVER, they’re more likely to respond.

7. They cuddle up to your things

Labrador puppy asleep under a rug cuddling a stuffed toy

Like in rom-com films where girls wear their high school boyfriend’s ‘sweater’, your dog loves things that smell like you. In a strong bond, dogs are attached to their owner’s scent, and can often look for things to cuddle up to when you’re not around. And because dogs don’t always have the same good manners as us, this can sometimes mean extra smelly ones, like worn socks or shoes. Nice. Your smell means home to your dog, and of course, they want to feel like they’re with you all the time.

If your dog’s beginning to take their love of your things a little too far, like hoarding dirty washing or ruining your favourite pair of shoes, this could be a sign of separation anxiety, which won’t be good for you or them. If you think your dog may be struggling with anxiety, you can find tips from us on how to ease your dog’s separation anxiety here.

8. They just want to be next to you

Whether it’s napping next to you on the sofa (if they’re allowed up there), lying close to your feet as you sit at the table or just essentially being your shadow, this is a sign of trust and a sign that your dog just loves being close to you – which shows you that you’ve got one strong bond.

How can I improve my bond with my dog?

Man playing with his dog in the park

If you and your dog have had a rough patch recently (it happens to the best of relationships), you can build on your bond and relationship in a few ways. The easiest and best way is to spend around 30 minute together – just the two of you. And it’s not just walks, being out in the garden of being curled up on the sofa together. ‘Bonding time’ needs to be focused and active. You can do things like:

  • Work on new (or improving old) commands and skills together
  • Play fetch, hide and seek, tug of war or ‘who can run up the stairs or around the garden the fastest’
  • Give your dog a pamper session – like grooming or a massage
  • Try out sports that need teamwork, like agility courses

It goes without saying, that the best way to bond with your dog is to spend time together that’s full of love and care. Dogs respond to people who treat them well, so if you’re taking good care of your dog on an emotional and physical level – their lifetime of unconditional love is all yours.How have you encouraged bonding time with your dog? We’d love to hear your stories, so post them in the comments below!

Originally published on blog.dogbuddy.com

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15 French Dog Breeds You’ll Fall In Love With [DogBuddy]

Ah, France. A country known for its cheese, wine, champagne, bread, pastries and exquisite, romantic culture. Surely, we hear you say, it’s not possible for this country to have even more things for us to adore?

Well think again, for another of France’s gifts to the world is their dogs, and we’ve gone and found 15 of them that you’re sure to fall in love with. From the popular French Bulldog to the perhaps lesser known Barbet, these dogs are national treasures. So alors, let’s take a look at these 15 French dog breeds, and see which one is your favourite.

Poodle


Perhaps the breed most associated with France, the fabulously fluffy and floppy-eared Poodle is actually a French imposter who actually originated in Germany with ancestors from Asia, Hungary, Russia but also (thankfully) France. Before becoming style icons, the Poodle was bred as a water dog – and are as home in the water as a fish would be. Now, they’ve seen the light of luxury and make chilled out house dogs, as well as impressive dog show contenders.

A fun fact for you: Poodles have been favoured by celebrities through history, with famous owners such as Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Streisand, Priscilla Presley, Jackie Kennedy and Rihanna.

Dogue de Bordeaux


The handsome Dogue is a big dog, with a big wrinkly head and a big heart for its family – with a big tendency to snore and drool, too. The Dogue de Bordeaux, or the French Mastiff, has been around since the Middle Ages, becoming hugely popular in the UK since its introduction in the 20th century.

A fun fact for you: Beasley, was the name of the handsome Dogue de Bordeaux who starred alongside Tom Hanks in the 1998 film Turner & Hooch. If you’re likely to watch the film soon, stock up on the tissues.

Pyrenean Mountain Dog


With humble beginnings as a livestock guard, the loyal and lovable Pyrenean Mountain Dog rose through the ranks of French nobility, eventually becoming an official court dog in the 1700s. How about a great career, right? They’re people-oriented dogs, and are often used as therapy dogs due to their soft fur and calm, affectionate nature. Truly, a good dog.

A fun fact for you: This French dog breed was seriously adored by royalty, with owners like Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette and even Queen Victoria across the English Channel.

Papillon


Whilst definitely a dog (we checked), the name ‘Papillon’ is actually the French word for butterfly, given to this little breed because of the resemblance its ears had to a butterfly’s wings. Dating back to the 13th century, the Papillon was bred as a companion dog, ideal for ladies of court to carry tucked under their arms. They’re smart, lively dogs from the Spaniel family, who need lots of exercise to exert their energy.

A fun fact for you: It’s said that one of notorious dog lover Marie Antoinette’s beloved companions was a Papillon named Coco.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen


This little short but strong scent hound was originally bred to sniff out hares and other small game on hunts. It’s French name is the perfect, simple description for the breed, literally translating to ‘small, low to the ground, rough coated, from the Vendée region of France’. With a confident and curious nature, this friendly little dog will be quick to lick the hands of any human willing to give them attention (relatable).

A fun fact for you: In 2013, the winner of Crufts Best In Show was a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen called Jilly.

Barbet


Another French dog breed loved by the nation’s nobility, the Barbet is a rare dog that’s thought to be the ancestor of our other French four-legged friend, the Poodle. The breed’s name originates from ‘barbe’ – the French word for ‘beard’ – and has webbed feet and a water-resistant coat that meant they were originally ideal companions for sailors and hunters to retrieve waterfowl. Later in the 1800s, the lovable, loyal and intelligent Barbet became a companion dog.

A fun fact for you: After World War I, the Barbet was faced with near-extinction, despite their long history. Thankfully, they’ve made their comeback in recent years. Phew.

Braque du Bourbonnais


Part of the Pointer Sisters family, this intelligent gundog is one of the oldest Pointer dogs that exists today. The Braque du Bourbonnais is an old, old French dog, originating from the original French Pointer in the 1500s. During the 1960s, the breed almost became extinct, but began to increase in popularity and breeding again in the 1970s. And we’re ever so glad they were.

A fun fact for you: All French Pointers are named after the region they were developed in, with other notable breeds including the Braque d’Auvergne and the Braque Saint Germain.

Picardy Spaniel


France is home to the origin of many Spaniel breeds, originally bred for hunting, pointing and retrieving – which they historically all did excellently. Whilst the French Spaniel originated in the Middle Ages, the Picardy Spaniel (named after the Picardy region in France) was only separated from the generalised breed name and give its own recognition in the early 1900s.

A fun fact for you: The Picardy Spaniel is pretty rare outside of France and Canada, with huge waiting lists for big time admirers to bring one of these gorgeous dogs into their families.

Briard


Perhaps not known so widely as a French dog, the Briard is an ancient herding dog with a handsome, bearded face. They’re known for their unwavering loyalty and protectiveness, used by the French military as sentries and ‘pack dogs’ during World War I. Today, the Briard is still used as a sheepdog, by search and rescue organisations and the police.

A fun fact for you: It’s said that Napoleon Bonaparte owned a Briard – and you can’t get more French than him, can you?

Pyrenean Sheepdog


The Pyrenean Sheepdog is one of France’s oldest and beloved dogs throughout the nation’s history, wagging its tail since medieval times. With it’s high energy and high intelligence, it’s no surprise that this breed was used for herding sheep, and also as a courier, watchdog and rescue dog during World War I. Pyr Sheps are devotedly loyal, but also harbour a delight for mischief, too.

A fun fact for you: Pyrenean Sheepdogs can be so attached to their owners, that they’ll follow them around the house to ‘help’ with daily chores.

Porcelaine


Believed to be the oldest of the French scent hounds, the Porcelaine was bred to hunt hare, roe deer and boar. Sadly, Porcelaines are rare these days, with only 14 puppies bred in the UK since 2009, after disappearing post-French Revolution. Currently, many breeders and clubs are working to help the breed regain its once stellar popularity.

A fun fact for you: Perhaps obviously, but ‘porcelaine’ means porcelain in English, referring to its shiny white coat. But you probably guessed that already, didn’t you?

Löwchen


Thought to be from the Mediterranean (or Côte D’Azur, if you’re fancy) region of France, ‘Le petite chien lion’ (the little lion dog) was originally a companion dog for the elite only, appearing in French literature and art dating as far back as the 15th century. It’s name comes from its traditional haircut, featuring a rather fantastic mane that Simba would envy, for sure.

A fun fact for you: Despite its French origin, ‘Löwchen’ means ‘little lion’, but in German. Go figure.

Berger Picard (Picardy Shepherd)


Another ancient French dog breed, the Berger Picard is a herding dog originating from the mountain region of Picardie in France. After World War I and World War II, they nearly became extinct and still remain a rare breed today. They have short legs, but big personalities and are loyal, lively and people-oriented – as well as highly intelligent.

A fun fact for you: Three Berger Picards (Scott, Laiko and Tasha) starred in the film Because of Winn-Dixie which led many fans of the film to mistakenly think that ‘Winn-Dixie’ was their mixed-breed.

Brittany


Those well-travelled, or excellent at Geography will put two and two together to realise that yes, this breed is from the Brittany region of France. Bred originally as a gun dog in the 17th century, the Brittany excels in this sport still today. This breed has a calm and curious temperament, but can also sometimes be shy.

A fun fact for you: Like many dating profiles on the internet, this dog loves long walks and exploring the countryside.

French Bulldog


And of course, who could forget the iconic and hugely popular French Bulldog. Often referred to as the ‘Frenchie’, this endearing breed currently ranks as #2 in the UK’s most popular breeds, just trailing behind the Labrador. These dogs have a playful attitude and gorgeous nature, but as with many brachycephalic breeds, can face breathing difficulties due to their flat noses and faces.

A fun fact for you: As well as being popular with us regular non-famous folk, celebrity Frenchie owners include Madonna, Hugh Jackman, Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock), Reese Witherspoon and countless others.

So, there you have it. Our 15 French dog breeds. Do you own a French dog? Send us your snaps across our social media channels, or tell us all about your dog in the comments below.

Originally published on blog.dogbuddy.com