At the Jersey Shore, we love our dogs with all our heart.  For example, have you ever felt that you love your dog more than most people? Have you ever had a long day at work and all you can think of is going home and cuddling up with your pooch? We love them purely and deeply which really is amazing when you think about the fact that you’ve never even had a conversation with them. It got me wondering, is there a scientific way to know if they actually love us back? Also, there anything we can do to strengthen that bond? After lots of research, the answer is YES and YES!

Our family got a new puppy a few moths ago and we are obsessed with him. His name is Fozzie Bear and he is a furry ball of goodness. Sure he chews, garbage picks and runs away with our favorite shoe but not of that matters. He makes us all so happy and all he has to do is bring the cuteness which I have to say, I think he's mastered. After reading all about the subject it seems that dogs have non-verbal ways of telling you that they love you everyday, you just may not know the signs. If your dog does any combination of these things, he's in love:

He leans against you: When your dog does this they are saying that you are their person. They also want the comfort of feeling you next to them. It’s their version of a hug.

If He Wags His Tail:  This may seem like a given but dogs truly dogs talk with their tails. If you walk in the room and this happens it’s the equivalent of a huge human smile.

If He Yawns With You: Our pooches are pack animals and you are their fearless leader. Test this one out...yawn in front of your pup and see if he yawns back!

Bringing You Their Toys: If they do this it’s just like a human sharing their desert with you at a restaurant. You share what you love with those you love most!

They Want To Sleep Near You: This is the pack animal instinct that says they feel safe with you and they also want to protect you while you are in the vulnerable state of sleep.

Facial expressions: They emote more with the person they love from raising their eyebrows to tilting their heads to widening their eyes. They will engage with you in a direct way.

If They Let You Touch Their Head: This can be considered an aggressive move by a dog that does not know you. If they let you do it, then they are standing down and trusting you above all others.

They Let You Rub Their Belly: This is literally them exposing their soft underbelly to you which is extremely vulnerable. They are showing you that they trust you fully.

Since your dog has to rely on non verbal communication to really know how you feel scientists in Japan did a study on what happens in the human and dog brain when you look deeply into each other’s eyes for a few minutes everyday. It turns out dogs have a similar emotive structure in their brains to us. Because of this, you can deepen your bond with your dog by just looking deeply into their eyes for a few minutes a day. This is an action of trust that they understand. It actually raises the level of oxytocin (the love hormone) in both your brains. Now, if we can only get this love fest to work on our cat Boots.

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