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Understanding Your Dog’s Love Language

Adorable yellow labrador retriever with owner

Written by The Halo Team

February 1, 2024

How Does a Dog Show It Loves You?

Rom-coms and tearful ballads aside, there’s one companion that might understand love better than you do: your dog. A survey conducted by language-learning hub Preply found that 1 in 3 dog owners feel more emotionally understood by their pup than by other humans. The same study also suggests that dogs recognize the word “love” as much as “sit” or “stay.”

But if dogs love just like humans, how do they show it? The answer lies in a theory coined by relationship guru Gary Chapman: the five love languages. In his book of the same name, Chapman outlines five unique ways humans give and receive love to each other. But this phenomenon isn’t limited by species.

The five love languages offer an intriguing glimpse into the private world of canine brains. Here’s how love manifests in your dog’s brain and how to grow the connection between you and your furry friend.

The Five Dog Love Languages

Dog love languages are broken down into five categories, including:

  • Acts of service
  • Quality time
  • Gifts
  • Words of affirmation
  • Physical touch

For a dog, care can be one of the strongest forms of affection. Pets that have the acts of service love language appreciate thoughtful gestures like a relaxing grooming session or a one-on-one pet store outing. Giving your faithful dog care and attention can show you value it.

Quality time can be hard to give when faced with a busy schedule, but for some dogs, it’s the best way to show you care. If your dog loves to spend all its free time at your feet or seems happiest when it earns your attention, it may respond best to this love language.

Most dogs love a new toy here and there, but some dogs process gifts as care. These pets feel most loved when you surprise them with a favorite treat or new plaything, which makes even small gifts useful for strengthening your bond.

The average dog loves to be praised. But if your dog’s tail wags uncontrollably at the sound of your approval, it might respond to words of affirmation. This dog love language can make a pup feel like a very special genius for mastering a trick or command.

Ear scratches and belly rubs are beloved by most dogs, but they may be more important for some. Dogs that always need a good pat might have the physical touch love language.

Identifying Your Dog’s Primary Love Language

Because dogs communicate differently than humans, finding out which love language your wonderful dog speaks means you’ll need to do some observing. Here are some behaviors to look out for that might help you narrow down your search:

  • Acts of service: Brings you things, enjoys being groomed
  • Quality time: Gets excited over walks or car rides, always wants to be in the same room
  • Gifts: Shows excitement over gifts or treats
  • Words of affirmation: Wags tail when praised, appears engaged when you’re speaking
  • Physical touch: Enjoys snuggling, paws at you for pets

To really find out how your dog loves, you can experiment by demonstrating a love language and assessing its reaction. If your dog barely bats an eye when given a gift but is visibly blissful when given pets, its love language may be physical touch. Once you know which language to speak, you can tailor your interactions to meet it.

Cute puppy portrait

Deepening Your Connection with Your Dog

Knowing how a dog loves can help dog owners build a better relationship with their canine companions. Here’s how you can deepen the connection, based on your own pet’s love language:

  • Acts of service: Take your dog on a fun car ride, give it a relaxing grooming session
  • Quality time: Take your dog out for a hike or walk, set aside some distraction-free time to play together one-on-one
  • Gifts: Accept gifts your dog brings to you, surprise it with puzzles and toys
  • Words of affirmation: Verbally praise your dog, talk to your dog about your day
  • Physical touch: Give your dog a massage, curl up with it on the couch

Utilizing the Halo Collar to Enhance Dog Love

Building a strong relationship with a truly faithful dog is easier said than done, which is why so many dog owners have turned to tools like the Halo Collar. Though the built-in GPS tracking and virtual fence technology are great for keeping your dog safe, the collar’s various features are ideal for owners looking to monitor their love language strategy.

The Halo Collar’s dog activity tracker makes keeping track of your pup’s time simple. This tool is ideal for owners with dogs inclined toward quality time and allows them to monitor how much time is spent going for walks or playing together.

The virtual fence feature is also useful for dogs that value physical closeness. The Halo Collar makes use of canine brain responses to teach pups where to be, keeping them within reach of owners looking to boost physical touch.

Transform Your Relationship

Nothing compares to the relationship between a dog and its owner. And with a little observation, you can identify your own pet’s love language to build a stronger connection with your faithful friend. When your pet feels loved, it’s more likely to be happier, making it more responsive to training and commands. When you and your pet are attuned to one another, it’s easier than ever to cultivate a harmonious relationship that will last for your pup’s lifetime.

It’s never too late to strengthen a bond built on unconditional love. Check out the Halo Collar today to make the most of your dog’s love language.

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