How Do you Tell if Your Lab Loves You? 30 Ways Labradors Show Affection

We’ve all wished that our dogs could talk, and tell us how they feel; Though they can’t convey their affection in words, dogs have an unusually big variety of methods to demonstrate they care. From subtle body language to over-the-top displays of affection, Your dog is most likely showering you with love in many unexpected ways.

Labradors are affectionate creatures who exhibit affection in a variety of ways. they are loving animals who can communicate their love in a variety of ways.

So, How do you tell if your lab loves you? You can tell if your Labrador loves you if he puts himself in vulnerable situations around you, kisses you frequently, share his toys, gets thrilled when you get home, leans on you, wiggles his tail, protects you, or makes frequent eye contact with you.

If you want to get to know all the signs that your dog loves you and how to strengthen your bond with them, continue reading this article.

How do you tell if your Lab Loves You?

lab hugging man to show how do you tell if your loves you

Labradors are affectionate creatures who exhibit affection in a variety of ways. They are loving creatures who may show their devotion in a variety of ways.

Labradors display affection in a variety of ways. Here are some examples of how Labradors demonstrate affection include Tail-wagging when they see you, Licking your face, Jumping up and down when you get home, making Eye Contact or gazing lovingly, Leaning on you, nudging you with their nose, Rolling over, Following you everywhere,  Roughhousing, Stealing your belongings, Caring for You, Guarding, Sniffing, Sighing, Empathizing with you, Toy Sharing, and Sleeping with you.

However, identifying these actions as affection is only the beginning. Each show of affection from a Labrador has its own set of subtleties that you should be aware of. Dogs utilize body language and motion to communicate their thoughts and feelings to us. Once we’ve figured out how to read them, we’ll be able to communicate with our pets in a whole new way.

30 Ways Labradors Show Affection? 

When they’re around you, they’ll wag their tails.

The tail of a dog can convey a variety of emotions, such as joy, fear, tension, or aggression. Generally, the looser a dog’s tail is, the calmer he or she is. When your dog is delighted, he or she will wag its tail so fiercely it appears like their whole rear end is wagging. This is a definite indicator your dog likes and trusts you.

They’re going to lick your face.

Dogs lick people’s faces for a variety of reasons, but the majority of the time it’s because they adore you.

Dogs may also lick as a form of submission or as a grooming method. When a strong relationship exists, dogs groom one other as a show of intimacy, therefore you may consider grooming as a statement of affection from your dog.

They follow you around

Dogs, particularly puppies, require a sense of security and safety. You know your dog is safe with you if he or she follows you around. You evoke a sense of security in your dog, making him feel at ease and secure. This develops into a feeling of devotion and love as your dog grows older.

They’ll interact with you in a kind manner.

Dogs, like us, are socially wired. You become the “pack leader” when your dog understands the critical position you play in his or her life. Your dog looks to you for direction, acceptance, friendship, and affection because you are the most important person in his life. Of course, your dog will reciprocate by being sociable with you.

They’ll charge at you.

Pets that jump up on people are typically regarded to be unwelcome, and most dog owners teach their dogs not to do so.

However, because most of us instinctively know that jumping up is a show of affection, we often send conflicting messages to our dogs when they jump up on us in enthusiasm. Your dog wants to jump on you because puppies learn to kiss their mother’s face and eyes.

Because he or she identifies you as their parent, he or she is attempting to lick your face.

They’ll be devoted to you.

Dogs are well-known for their devotion. Your dog’s inclination is to live as part of a nuclear family unit, which is why they are so loyal and make excellent family pets. 

They’ll sniff you

I understand how awkward and irritating this may be, but this action is intended to be nice to a dog. Your dog is shaking your hand in a pleasant manner, similar to how people shake hands.

It’s a “get-to-know-you” gesture that serves as both a greeting and a means of obtaining information about you through smell. 

They’ll recognize you

Dogs can learn their own names, but you might be shocked to find that they can also learn yours. Your dog will not only recognize your name, but they will become thrilled when they hear it uttered. If people become thrilled when they hear your name, it implies they believe you will emerge.

They’ll look you in the eyes intently.

An attempt to bond with you is demonstrated by prolonged eye-gazing. Some dogs appear to be driven to establish eye contact with you, which can be a marker of attachment.

They’ll want to go toe-to-toe with you.

Roughhousing (playfighting) is your dog’s natural way of expressing affection. It’s not only good for your dog’s health, but it’s also necessary for his social development.

Roughhousing can help you and your dog form a stronger bond. Of course, sometimes roughhousing can go too far. Be sure to teach your dog what behaviors are acceptable – no barking, biting or swiping. Keep it safe.

However, it’s important to distinguish between rough play and aggression. Although Labradors are not known to be aggressive, no dog is immune from turning aggressive, and Labradors are no exception. You can learn the difference between aggression and rough play in my post on why is my labrador suddenly aggressive here.

They’ll literally lean on you.

It can be inconvenient to have a dog lean on you, especially if you’re busy and they’re stepping on your toes. This becomes more of an issue as your dog grows in size.

It is, nevertheless, a show of devotion in your dog’s thinking. It’s a means of expressing your affection while also requesting your attention. When this happens, take a few minutes to sit down and touch your dog to show them how much you care.

They’ll hand you damaged toys.

Dogs demonstrate their confidence in their masters by bringing them items that need to be repaired. They’re demonstrating their faith in you by putting their trust in you to fix the problem.

They want to sleep close to you.

Wolves in the wild sleep in groups cuddled up together. Dogs, too, like to snuggle up with each other. It’s only natural that your dog will want to sleep near you because you’re their best friend and family.

The fact that they desire to sleep beside you demonstrates a strong relationship of love and trust.

They’ll let you play with their toys.

Your dog will frequently bring you their favorite toy if he or she truly loves you. It’s a method for them to show you how much they care by sharing their possessions with you.

They’ll be able to tell if you’re upset.

If your dog detects that you are upset, he or she may attempt to console you. Most dogs are acutely aware of their owners’ emotions and will frequently respond if they are upset.

You can learn how dogs sense your emotions here.

If you lie down, they may become agitated.

If they believe their master is asleep or unresponsive, some dogs will get distressed. They may urgently try to “revive” you by licking your head and face. Of course, this might make it difficult to sleep, so if your dog exhibits this habit, you could consider having him sleep in a different room.

They’ll keep an eye on you if you get sick.

Just like wolves rely on the care of their family, dogs have an urge to look after their pack mates. Wolves in the wild will frequently lick each other’s wounds and tend to a sick family member.

Their desire to look after you demonstrates that they care about you and want to protect you, just as they would a member of their pack in the wild.

They’ll brush their faces against you.

A frequent indication of affection is for them to rub their face against yours. They are branding you as theirs by rubbing their face against yours.

Of course, if your dog appears to be rubbing his face on everything in sight, you should take him to the veterinarian to ensure he doesn’t have a skin condition.

They’ll keep an eye on you as you eat.

Even if there isn’t an actual threat, dogs are protective creatures. Some dogs express their love by keeping an eye on you as they eat or relax.

Guarding is an indication that your dog believes he or she is a member of your pack. Despite the fact that this might be a show of affection, most vets would advise against it since it can lead to territorial or behavioral concerns.

They may attempt to herd you.

If herding breeds believe you are going out on your own, they may attempt to herd you.

It’s a method for them to demonstrate their love for their pack. Herding behavior is more common in breeds that were bred to manage cattle in the first place.

They’ll snuggle up to you.

Snuggling can help dogs and their owners form stronger bonds, so it’s a perfect reason to cuddle up on the couch with your pet.

Dogs, like humans, use snuggling behaviors to bond with one another. If your dog wants to snuggle, it’s a sign that he or she cares about you and wants to be near you.

They’ll heave a sigh of relief.

Dogs express happiness with soft vocalizations like sighs and moans. If your dog sighs and snuggles up to you, it means they are safe and secure by your side.

They’ll push you with their noses.

Your dog pushing you with his nose is a gesture of affection and a method for him to indicate that he likes you. It’s also a way for them to get your attention or warn you that you’re in their way. If the nose-nudge is followed by a soulful stare or more body contact, you’ll know your dog is expressing affection.


Another demonstration of devotion by your Labrador is his protection of you. Experts explain that dogs naturally guard items they consider valuable: a bone, a blanket, and especially food.

When your dog comes to your defense when you are threatened, it is great praise. He is saying, “You are very precious to me. I’ll put my life on the line to defend you!” You can learn more about your Labrador’s protective instincts here.


It is a gesture of friendship when a dog wags its tail. The dog’s high-speed wagging indicates that he is content. When a dog’s tail is angled to the right, it expresses more pleasant emotions.

So, if you notice your dog’s tail swaying broadly and prominently to the right in a comfortable stance, know that he’s saying, “I love you.”


Empathizing with you is another way your Labrador may express affection. While dog owners have long assumed that their canines feel empathy for people, research has now confirmed this.

Research headed by Kyoto University’s Dr. Kazuo Fujita looked at how dogs behave when their owners are abused. When the people were treated badly, the offending person offered their dogs food.

The meal was declined by the vast majority of the 54 dogs.


Finally, your Labrador may express his or her love in an unexpected way: by peeing. While peeing is well-known as a means for dogs to communicate with other animals (i.e., to mark their territory), it is sometimes overlooked as a form of love language.

Canine specialists have discovered, however, that a dog may occasionally urinate in front of the leader as a gesture of submission.

When your dog wets the floor when you get home, he could be expressing, “You are my boss, and I respect you!”

Rolling Over

Dogs will turn over on their backs to demonstrate that they trust and are relaxed in your presence. This action might also be interpreted as a request for a belly rub.

The roll-over is similar to the lean; when your dog falls over and waggles his tail, he’s showing you how much he loves and trusts you.

Paying attention to the signals that your dog adores you might help you realize your two-way relationship. I hope that this article has given you a better knowledge of the various ways your dog shows you that he or she loves and is loyal to you, resulting in a happier relationship.

Reacting to the Tone of Your Voice

Your Labrador does not need to be present in the room to recognize that you have returned home. They can tell who you are just by hearing your voice.

And she generally follows close after, knocking everything down in her wake.

One of the most obvious indications of attachment is familiarity. It demonstrates that he not only loves you, but he also knows that you adore him. Your efforts to care for and worry for your Labrador are being rewarded. This, I believe, is how Labradors express their love for the humans in their lives.

Taking things from your belongings

Many dogs have a bad habit of taking socks, underwear, or clothing. While some of this thieving may be due to amusement, many studies feel that a Labrador stealing your belongings is a show of devotion.

Though this may appear to be a strange way to communicate love at first, it has a solid scientific foundation. There is no better method for the dog to remember the person he adores than to take a dirty item of clothing that bears his fragrance. Remember that when your dog goes off with your socks, he’s saying, “I missed you today, and I’m glad you’re back!”

How do you know if your labrador is happy? 

The most effective way to know whether your labrador is happy or not is to pay attention to their body language:

Labradors, like other breeds, use their tails to communicate. If you watch what they do with their tails, you can get a glimpse inside their brains.

With their tails, Labrador Retrievers communicate their present mood and confidence levels. I pay special attention to the tail when I take a brand new puppy on off-leash walks. I know the dog is having a good time as long as the tail is up and wagging back and forth. A puppy with that tail is enthusiastic and having fun.

Wags that are happy are generally huge, warm wags. A furious dog’s tail may still wag, but it won’t be the big, looping wags. Angry dogs, on the other hand, move stiffly. From their tail to their back, they are rigid. If you come across a dog who is doing this, simply move away gently.

When your Labrador’s tail begins knocking things off the coffee table when you get home, on the other hand, that’s a positive indication.

Keep an eye on your Labrador’s expression

You can tell when your Labrador loves you by his expression. Dogs may genuinely smile or grin.

Your Lab’s expression will be open and relaxed if he is happy; A worried dog pants with a frown on his face. If it’s a hot day, I wouldn’t be concerned about panting. Always remember to put your dog’s actions into context.

Additionally, if your dog is “cheek puffing,” he may be anxious. This occurs when your dog shuts his mouth and then blows fast out of it.

5 Ways to bond with your labrador (even stronger!) 

Spending Time Together to Unwind

Once you’ve found a Labrador who is content to settle in, allow them to do so directly beside you. You may do so as frequently as you like. Watching TV together, or even having asleep together, might assist to build the bonds between you.

Personal grooming

It’s a lot of fun to get yourself into a mess. Most of us enjoy getting dirty at the park or in the woods, then coming home and removing our wet-weather clothing.

It’s enjoyable to be dirty, but it’s also pleasant to know that you can clean up afterward. Your dog is no exception. Your dog would like to be clean and dry at home, from mud on their feet to knots in their fur. This is also an excellent chance for you to bond.

Become more active together

You and your dog may participate in a variety of activities together. The majority of them will assist you in staying fit and active. Many places welcome well-behaved Labradors.

Try to take him to as many locations as possible when you’re not at work. When your Labrador is with you, you are strengthening your relationship. 

Clicker Training

It’s a great way to bond with your dog by training him. You will be assisting him to keep his mind and body busy, whilst paying attention to you. He’ll figure out that you’re a great source of entertainment. This effect is amplified even more with clicker training.

Positive Reinforcement The use of aversives is not used in training. This implies that every part of your dog’s training will be enjoyable for him. 

Feeding by hand

Giving your dog his meal directly will substantially improve the amount of time you spend together. From his perspective, it will also increase the quality of the interaction because it will be far more gratifying with the food involved.

Did you know that your lab can have a favorite person in the family? You can learn how do labradors choose their favorite person here and find out if your lab indeed has a favorite and how you can take the top spot in their heart.

Related Questions 

What do labs love the most? 

Labradors love being around humans the most; being friendly dogs, they enjoy making new friends, even other dogs. Taking your dog to the pet store, the park, or even a friend’s house may make your Lab extremely happy. They would like to accompany you rather than remain at home.

What makes labradors happy? 

Labradors are happy when they’re spending time with their family members, friends, and children. It will help your lab feel happy and safe if you show him that he is a member of your family. they will be happier if he feels safe and at home, so make his home life enjoyable and inclusive for him.

How to know if your lab is happy?

you will know your Labrador is happy when he will appear comfortable and genuine, with a slight tail wiggle and slight or no attempts to appear huge or tiny. He’ll stand with his tail and ears naturally held, relaxed facial muscles, and his mouth closed or slightly open if panting to cool off.

What do Labradors enjoy doing?

Labrador Retrievers love doing an energy-releasing activity; they were bred to work in physically demanding environments and have the tremendous energy that comes with being a working breed. They must exercise for at least 30 to 60 minutes every day.

Helpful Resources

surprising ways your dog is showing that they love you, according to veterinarians

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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