Dog news: Expert pinpoints the exact signs your pup really loves you | Nature | News

Our canine companions express their affection in many ways, from wagging their tails and jumping, to licking and snuggling with us. However, even those with the strongest bonds with their prized pups sometimes wonder – what are they really thinking? The resident vet on ITV’s The Pet Show Dr James Greenwood has revealed the tell-tale signs that owners can look out for that their dogs truly love them – as well as how to show the same affection back.

He told Webbox: “It’s all about the tail with dogs! They can express a whole range of emotions through their tail wag.

“Whilst it’s important to note not all tail wagging is a sign of happiness, there are two types that signal pure joy in our dogs.

“Firstly, the whole-body wag that starts at the shoulders and wiggles all the way down to the tip of the tail is quite literally their happy dance!

“Secondly, the helicopter tail wag is usually reserved for those who are viewed as especially important.”

Something that is less likely to get that tail wagging is hugging or restraining dogs, Dr Greenwood added.

However, if they choose to come to you and snuggle into you, it’s likely that they trust you as a member of their family.

He added: “That super excited greeting when you get back from leaving the house – the jumping and licking, sometimes they may bark or bring you a toy – is a genuine signal that they are pleased to see you.”

A great way to show your dog you love them and something they will enjoy is simply to spend time with them.

But there is still plenty extra you can do to really show your puppy best friend how much they mean to you

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Dr Greenwood explained: “A daily walk is essential; dogs love using their senses to smell and explore and need to burn off calories exercising.

“I would also suggest setting up an obstacle course or using puzzle feeders to get them thinking and problem solving.

“Food is also a big motivator for dogs and you can use this to your advantage when training by using treats as a reward for good behavior.

“It’s also worth teaching our dogs how to be alone – gradual time spent on their own, with long lasting chews or toys to keep them occupied, is key to their development.

“Independence is necessary so they don’t become overly reliant on their pet parents or develop attachment issues.”

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Not constantly keeping up the shower of love and attention every minute of the day is also important when it comes to teaching your pup and introducing them to new things.

The doctor said: “[You shouldn’t] try to make everything positive and avoid punishment techniques.

“If your pet doesn’t seem comfortable with a certain situation (they may back away, try to hide or even show some early signs of aggression) then it’s important we pick up on this and don’t force them into anything they’re not doing comfortable.

“Instead, take small steps using positive reinforcement (eg with treats) to gradually introduce our pets to these new situations and give them time to realize everything is ok.”

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