Have you ever noticed that no matter what room you go into, your dog will eventually follow along and sprawl out — seemingly watching your every move?
While it might make your heart happily flutter when you find your dog constantly right behind you, you might also wonder why that is.
That’s why The Dodo reached out to Dr. Andrea Tu, medical director at Behavior Vets NYC, to find out a little bit more.
“Your dog may follow you everywhere simply because they like you and want to spend time with you!” Dr. Tu said.
That’s the simple answer in most cases: Dogs are pack animals and tend to feel more comfortable when their pack — aka YOU, gahh how cute — is around them.
But there can be times when the behavior might be more serious than your dog’s natural pack mentality.
“If your dog truly is like your shadow and acts like he or she is attached to you by a bungee cord, this may be indicative of an anxiety condition,” Dr. Tu said.
According to Dr. Tu, there are other anxiety signs that tend to be missed. “Other signs of anxiety that are often missed include excessive air licking, especially when there is no food around, and yawning, especially when the dog is not tired or not at times when your dog would be sleeping,” she explained.
So while there’s a good chance your pup following you around is just out of love, Dr. Tu recommends that if you are concerned, you should speak to your veterinarian — or a veterinary behaviorist — to rule out a behavior condition that may need treating.
Our little Sweeny suffers from an anxiety issue and if he was the only dog we had then we would have a problem.
But because he mixes so well with all the other dogs it is more or less under control.
Overnight, as in last night, we were in for some heavy rain and the next few days see the arrival of Winter. Ah well, it was good while it lasted and it lasted for some considerable time.
We humans love to be loved and, especially, by our dogs.
I am certain that all of the people who read Learning from Dogs on a regular basis are dog lovers and, just as important, your love for your dogs means that they in turn love you.
But unfortunately not everyone thinks of dogs in such a beautiful manner. For example, not far from here on Hugo Rd are a group of dogs, 4 or 5 I think, that I cycle past, and they live in outside kennels.
If you are an uncertain owner or a new owner you may want to understand more about your dog’s behaviour, or more accurately, whether your dog loves you. This article on The Dodo explains this very well.
Does My Dog Love Me?
How to tell what those happy wiggles really mean ❤️️
Humans loveeee love. Which means we want the people — or animals — we love to show us they love us back.
But it’s sometimes hard for us to tell whether or not our dogs truly, deeply, madly love us — especially if you’re a new pet owner.
Who doesn’t want to feel all warm, fuzzy and loved by our pets?
To help you get that confirmation you’re looking for, The Dodo turned to Dr. Vanessa Spano, a veterinarian at Behavior Vets in New York City, to understand how dogs show their love.
“It is so important to understand your pets’ body language, as that is their way of communicating with us,” Dr. Spano said.
Here are some of the most common ways to tell that your dog, in fact, abso-freakin’-lutely loves you.
Your dog has a relaxed, wiggly body
“When interacting with your dog, body language signs to look out for that may indicate comfort and positivity include a relaxed body (or wiggly body during times of excitement, like play or you coming home), soft, forward ears and soft, rounded eyes,” Dr. Spano said.
He wiggles his eyebrows at you
You read that right! Doggos in love are known to raise their eyebrows when they see their owner. In fact, a 2013 Japanese study used a high-speed camera to record dogs’ faces when their humans walked into the room. It found that dogs raised their eyebrows when they saw their owners, but not when strangers walked in. *happy cry*
He wants your attention
“It is also a good sign if your dog is soliciting attention from you, such as with a play bow,” Dr. Spano said.
This can also be seen when he brings you one of his favorite toys.
He leans against you
A dog will lean on humans for a few different reasons — sometimes it’s because he’s anxious or he wants you to do something — but it’s also a sign of affection. And regardless — even if your dog is leaning against you because he’s nervous — it still indicates that he thinks of you as someone who can protect him and keep him safe.
Confusing body language to look out for
According to Dr. Spano, there are some things dogs do that humans typically consider to be signs of affection, but aren’t always.
“Confusing signs include wagging tails and exposed bellies,” Dr. Spano said. “A dog wagging his tail simply means he is aroused by the situation. This can be a good thing, but not necessarily; it depends on the context of the situation.”
This means that it’s good to notice the situations that cause each of your dog’s behaviors and begin to build an understanding of your individual dog’s moods.
For example, maybe you notice your dog always wags her tail when you walk into a room — you can equate that situation with her being happy in those moments. On the other hand, maybe you’ve also noticed she wags her tail just a bit stiffer when she sees a strange dog, and it’s almost always followed by raising her hair and growling. While she is wagging her tail in both of these situations, it’s not the same kind of tail wag.
“Similarly, a dog showing his belly may be asking for belly rubs, but it can also indicate fear,” Dr. Spano said. “Dogs do have the capability of trusting and loving you, but depending on their own fears, stress level and past experiences, it may take some time.”
So in general, look for those relaxed and wiggly bodies to know how happy your dog is to see you. Other behaviors you’ll learn over time — and it’ll just help your bond grow even stronger since you’ll be the only one who can truly detect your dog’s moods and emotions.
Yes, it certainly takes time to really get to know a dog. Although one might think that having a number of dogs in the household makes it easier, and generally that is the case, even in a largish group one can have tensions that exist between a couple of the dogs. Knowing both dogs as well as you can enables one to adjust things so that the tension no longer exists or it becomes a very rare event.
But it is rare and, luckily, loving dogs is the normal!
I will close with a photograph of dear Oliver who is one of the most loving dogs I have come across.