How to tell if your Labrador loves you?
Well, Labradors are known to be one of the most affectionate breeds of dogs. They are often very loving and playful dogs that love their owners to bits!
For this article, we will be talking about how your Labrador shows their affection and you know if they love you (they probably do!).
The way dogs show their love for you is vastly different from how you show it to them.
Of course, we are human beings and our dogs are, well, dogs. But even if it feels like they are worlds different from us, we still have a lot of love for our dear Labradors.
A common question that any pet owner would ask themselves is whether their pet loves them or not.
After all, most owners have a lot of love for their Labs and it would be devastating if you found out that they didn’t love you.
It’s completely reasonable to question Labrador’s emotions and how they feel about their owners.
A Labrador’s emotions
Before we talk about how you can tell if your Lab loves you, let’s cover Labrador’s emotions for a little bit.
Like humans, dogs also feel emotions and have feelings. Albeit, they might not be as complex as human emotions and are not tied with the social constructs that cause human emotions.
But for the most part, dogs also have their fair share of feeling things and acting on these feelings.
As you probably have already observed in your own pup, dogs can feel stressed out, happy, excited, and so much more!
Your dog likely gets excited when you come home from the day’s work and they probably get distressed when they encounter something that they don’t like.
All these reactions point to the fact that Labrador’s harbor emotions as well.
There are even some scientific resources that can answer questions on doggy emotions.
Let’s take a look at this one study where the researchers looked into how dogs react to smells.
Out of the five smells given to dogs, the canines reacted with excitement to the scents of their owners, telling us that they connect their owners to feelings of happiness.
To take that a step further, humans are also able to recognize when their owners are sad or happy.
In this study in 2015, the researchers concluded that dogs are able to discern between positive and negative emotions (in humans) and are able to act on these perceptions.
Even without these studies, there is already some anecdotal evidence regarding the emphatic ability of dogs.
There are tons of stories that you can read about detailing how an owner’s dog seems to know when they are feeling down and cheers them up.
Anecdotal or not, these things tell us that Labradors have emotions and feelings beyond simple natural reactions.
This means that they also have the capacity to love their owners just like their owners love them.
How to know if your Lab loves you
Now that you understand a little bit about how a Labrador’s emotions work, now comes the big question.
How do you know if your Lab loves you?
Do they feel the same affection and love for you that you do for them?
The answer depends on a case to case basis. Let’s take a look at some of the different ways that Labs show affection and love towards their owners:
1) They care for you
The idea of your dogs caring for you may sound vague at first. After all, there are so many ways that your dog can show that they care for you! And that’s exactly the point.
Before we get into the list properly, you have to know that different dogs act in different ways.
Your Lab may not exhibit all of the tells in this list and instead shows their affection through different and unconventional ways.
You, as the pet owner, can tell what the individual indications are. As much as we can talk about general ideas of how dogs show that they love their owner, the reality can be so much different.
Your dog, much like you, is unique and may have their own ways of expression that are just as valid as any of the rest that we will talk about.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can discuss the common ways your Lab shows love.
2) They are excited around you.
In the study that was previously mentioned, the dogs involved in the research associated their owners with positive emotions such as excitement and pleasure.
This may come from the fact that their owners are their primary caretakers and that they’re excited to be in the presence of their owner again.
Your Lab can show that they are excited in many ways.
For example, you’ll know that your Lab is happy to meet you if they act all excited and race to meet you at the front door. For some, that is even the highlight of their day.
They can show this affection through pouncing on you playfully or licking you when you arrive.
Take these as signs that they are excited to welcome you home again and that they are happy to spend more time with you.
3) They know your emotions
Empathy is not something that we would usually associate with domestic pets.
Empathy is a very complex emotion that many humans struggle with in their daily lives.
The fact that many Labs are emphatic is such an amazing thing to have.
We’ve already established that Labradors are good at telling the difference between positive and negative emotions.
When you’re feeling down, they are likely to do something to cheer you up or understand that you need company and stay with you.
Similarly, your Lab knows when you are elated and will act accordingly.
Previously, only humans were established to have the capability of discerning emotions. Most other animals only have the capacity to tell the difference between emotions within their species.
Amazingly, dogs are surprisingly good at establishing empathy towards their owners.
This is why your dog being empathic towards you is such an amazing thing that signifies that they really do love you.
4 ) They follow you around
Your Labrador is probably also fond of following you around the house when you are at home.
This is another way that they show affection. While they might just be bugging you for treats in some situations, the way that your Lab dotes on you is a serious indicator that they love you and want to spend time with you.
This is also another reason why some say that you don’t really need an absurdly large space for your Lab.
Since, for the most part, they’ll be sticking by your side and the large space (like a backyard) is mostly so they can exercise.
5) They’re protective or possessive of you
Sometimes, your Lab can show that they love you by acting all possessive of you as their owner. Clearly, this is not exactly the same as love, but it does point to it.
They may do this by acting annoyed or even aggressive when you turn your attention to another pet or another animal.
Sometimes they’ll even get jealous of you if you turn your attention to a stuffed animal since it may make them feel less.
How to make your Lab love you
As previously mentioned, the answer to that question is personal and won’t be defined by just a couple of metrics.
Dogs are amazing pets that can love you just as much as you love them (and maybe even more). But those ways are varied and individual depending on the temperament and individual personality of your Lab.
But if it makes you feel better, the chances are high that your Labrador loves you! They don’t have a reputation for being an affectionate breed for no reason.
If you take care of your Lab and show them the proper degree of attention and love they deserve, they will most likely feel the same way towards you.
The secret to a Labrador affection is not a secret at all. Your Labrador’s love for you is most often a reflection of the way you treat them.
Make sure to cultivate a positive relationship with your pet, and you are almost guaranteed that you’ll have a friend for life.
It really is that easy for the most part.
You are already at an advantage since you are their primary caretaker and provide them with their needs.
All you need to do is foster a positive environment for them and they’ll do the same.