The Five Love Languages of Dogs
Gary Chapman’s take on the five languages that define romantic relationships fascinated many people. In the 1992 bestseller “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate,” Chapman described these love languages as words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and touch. Well, there also are five love languages of dogs.
For those who’ve read the book, it isn’t hard, albeit quite obvious, to see how we might express these love languages to our furry buddies. After all, many of us would rather build lasting relationships with our canine companions than with our fellow humans.
Like how we naturally profess love to a special someone, we give dogs our undivided attention, care, and respect. In return, they give us their slobbery kisses, unending wagging tails, and absolute loyalty.
Now, if we apply Chapman’s take on the five languages to our beloved pets, how might we show that we love them?
Words of Affirmation
We might not always understand what our dogs are trying to tell us, but they sure seem to know what we’re saying. Dogs are highly attuned to the tone of our voice and the emotions behind our words. So, they know we love them when we talk to them in a kind, gentle voice.
It’s like how we might tell our partner, “I love you,” versus yelling at them, “I told you I don’t want pineapples on my pizza!” The tone couldn’t be more different.
Similarly, dogs respond better to a soft voice and positive affirmations like, “Good boy!” or “You’re such a good girl!” rather than scolding them with, “No!” or “Bad dog!”
No other domesticated animal is more social than dogs. They thrive on human companionship. They bond with us in a way that few other animals can and form deep, lasting relationships with us. It’s just natural to them, and we need to reciprocate it.
So, it’s not surprising that one of the best ways to show our dogs we love them is to spend quality time with them. This means playing fetch together, going for long walks, or just cuddling on the couch. The reality is that it doesn’t matter what type of activity you’re doing as long as you’re doing it together.
Dogs are happiest when they’re with their human companions, so quality time is the best way to show them we love them. We’re sure your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner would love some quality time with you too, but we’ll save that for another article!
Dogs may not be able to appreciate material things the way we do, but they sure do love getting treats! Treats are a great way to show our dogs we love them, and they’re a great way to train them too.
Dogs love food, so it’s no surprise that they see treats as a form of love. They know we’re showing them some extra love and attention when we give them a treat. It also means filling their belly!
And while we’re on the subject of gifts, dogs also love toys! Toys are their best form of entertainment. Truth be told, they’ll even forget you exist for a minute or two when they’re playing with their favourite toy. But that’s okay because we know they’re just having fun!
Acts of Service
Dogs may not have much to offer than their cuteness and loyalty, but they’ll definitely appreciate everything we do for them. From feeding them and giving them water to walking them and taking them to the vet, everything we do for our dogs is an act of love.
And let’s not forget all the things we do that they can’t even begin to understand. Things like paying the mortgage, going to work, and doing the grocery shopping. They may not know what any of that means, but you know deep in your heart that it’s all for them.
You know by now how tactile creatures dogs can be. It means they crave stuff like getting petted, hugged, kissed, and scratched. In other words, touch is a critical part of a dog’s life. It makes them feel safe, loved, and secure.
And while we might not be as tactile as dogs, we can still show them love through touch. Petting them, scratching them behind the ears, and hugging them are great ways to show our dogs we love them. Ensure you respect their personal space, and you’ll be fine.
We bet you’ve realized your shortcomings after reading this article. But that’s okay! We all have room to improve when it comes to professing our love to our dogs. The important thing is that we’re aware of it and willing to work on it. So, go ahead and redeem yourself by showing your dog some extra love today with the help of the five love languages of dogs.