25 ways you know your dog loves you (and that they’re better than cats) | Bella Mackie

We wrote about how cats show they love you so it’s only fair man’s – and woman’s – best friend gets a look-in too

Which is a more loving pet – a cat or a dog? The publication of this article about loving cats has caused more disagreement than almost any other. It’s been decided that the matter can only be settled with an article that will restore the balance. So here it is, 25 ways you know your dog loves you. Next week: 25 signs your goldfish hates you.

Your dog …

1. Cries hysterically when you arrive home. No matter how long you’ve been away. Sometimes mere minutes – once, when I went into another room.

2. Licks your face frantically. No it’s not gross and unhygienic, it’s ridiculously sweet and probably just as exfoliating as a cat’s tongue, actually.

3. Jumps on you, possibly in a full body slam. The excitement is why you’ve got those bruises. Love marks, as I call them.

Dog catching ball

4. Takes your knickers/socks/shoes onto the bed with them. My dog will take any garment of mine that she can, just to be near me. Our old family dog used to present visitors to our house with my bras. It always made for a lovely surprise for the postman.

5. Jumps up begging to be held. No, my dog is not a performing genius, she just sometimes sees how far away my lickable face is, and demands to be carried. This isn’t embarrassing at all in the park, as manly men with staffies look on and laugh.

Bella Mackie with her dog
Valentine’s Day and Bonnie showers Bella with kisses Photograph: Bella Mackie


7. Chews up your carpet. “It was tacky and you could do much better. I want you to have nicer furnishings.”

8. Chases the ball you throw in the park. The dog is an intelligent, complex animal. It cares not for a rubber ball. It would much rather enjoy the autumnal leaves and the bracing air, but indulges your odd fetish for throwing tennis balls because it loves you.

9. Tries to get in the bath with you. This one might just be my dog though...

10. Wakes you up. Your mutt wants you to get to work on time. They’ve been up all night, staring at the clock, anxiously wondering when they should nudge you.

11. Smiles at you. No, I’m not mad. Yes, my dog definitely smiles at me. Why wouldn’t she? I’m delightful.

12. Vets your dates. If you’re undecided about a new love interest, introduce them to your canine companion. There is no faster way to tell if a person is good enough for you. The dog SEES those cowboy boots, even if you haven’t yet.

13. Snuggles as close as possible to you. Even if you’re doing a tricky yoga position on the floor, or trying to write a piece on deadline (like right now).

14. Follows you. Everywhere. To the loo. Always to the loo.

Two dogs

15. Sits on your knee. At dinner parties, while working, when watching TV. My dog demands to be picked up, and placed on my knees, from where she surveys the scene (or waits for food).

16. Waits at the window when they sense that you’re coming home. Looking forlornly out, as though waiting for a lover to come home from sea. Even your real lover doesn’t do that.

17. Gets jealous. Dogs get jealous of anything you pay attention to: humans; other dogs; the cat nemesis next door. They want all of you, and will remind you of this constantly.

A Chihuahua is held by its owner as they arrive at an international dog show in Belgrade

18. Brings you the lead. They know you need some exercise. They are right.

19. Eats anything off the floor. “Look, I’m helping you tidy!”

20. Is protective of you. This one is obvious, unless your dog is a pug or a chihuahua, in which case it’s sweet, but also embarrassing in front of men with staffies (see above).

21. Brings you toys every five minutes. How can you not be happy when asked to play tug of war using a stuffed panda in a jaunty outfit?

Beagle puppy chewing carpet

22. Lets you cry on them. Bad breakup? Rough day at work? A dog will let you cry buckets all over their lovely warm fur, while possibly licking you at the same time, for extra comfort.

23. Tries to please you, even when they’re ill. That half wag of a tail is one of the most heartbreaking expressions of love you’ll ever see.

24. Tries to please you when you’re ill. Whether it’s a hangover or something more serious, your dog will try and make it better by lying down next to you, and mirroring your movements.

25. Nose rubbing. When my dog is feeling especially loving towards me, she’ll butt my nose with hers. Important: this is not to be confused with the inferior cat nudge.


Bella Mackie

The GuardianTramp

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