How Dogs Show Affection to Other Dogs

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: February 25, 2022

While it is relatively common knowledge that there are several ways that dogs show their affection towards humans, have you ever considered the ways in which dogs may show affection towards other dogs as well? There are many different ways that dogs are able to show this affection to one another. Some are similar to the affection shown to humans, and some may be a bit different. This article will show you the ways in which puppies and adult dogs alike show affection to one another and even a bit of how they show love and affection to humans as well.

Close Proximity

The first way in which dogs may show affection towards another dog, is by positioning themselves in close proximity to the other dog or dogs. This indicates that the dog is very willing and open to sharing their close, personal space with another dog. It is also essential to note that this close proximity can occur without any altercation of any sort. This is a leading indicator that the dog is showing affection with closeness, with no aggression shown at all. If you are introducing dogs to each other for the first time, this love and affection may take some time to grow with one another. When the closeness aspect is achieved on a regular basis, you can see the love and affection that the dogs have grown to show each other, as their comfort level with one another has increased.

This close proximity is also a method for dogs to show affection to people as well. When a dog wants to be physically close to you, whether it be right next to you on your couch or in your bed, this is definitely a sign that they love you. This is generally one of the most obvious ways that dogs show love and affection to both other dogs as well as to people.

Physical Touch

The next way in which a dog could possibly show affection to another dog is by physically touching the other dog or dogs. They can achieve this physical touch in many different ways. They are able to use their noses, faces, paws, or even their whole bodies for physical touch in showing their love and affection to other dogs.

The first way that they can demonstrate this physical touch is by using their noses. With their nose, they can either nudge or nuzzle other dogs. Nudging is the act of using their nose to gently push another dog, creating that physical contact that demonstrates love and/or affection. Nuzzling, however, is the act of a dog rubbing its whole face against another dog to show love and affection. With nuzzling, a dog can also rub their face into another dog’s fur to cuddle with them in a way.

Dogs can also use their whole bodies to rub up against other dogs to produce that physical touch and show their love. They can approach another dog and either rub or brush up against them. Dogs also use this method to demonstrate love and affection to people as well as to dogs. Many times, dogs will brush their bodies up against the legs of people to show that they love them and want to give them some sort of attention and affection.

Grooming Each Other

The next way that dogs can show love and affection to other dogs is by grooming them. A dog might lick and clean the fur of another dog to demonstrate that they love them. This may be a reminder of the comfort and care given when a mother dog licks and grooms her puppies. Dogs might see this as a perfect way to show another dog that they love them by cultivating this same affection that their mothers once showed to them when they were puppies. This might also transfer to people as well with dogs licking them. Most commonly, dogs will lick either the faces or hands of people that they love and want to show affection to.

Playing with Each Other

The act of one dog playing with another can definitely be an indicator that the dog is showing affection towards the other dog. Most importantly, playing with another dog tends to demonstrate a level of comfort with the other dog. This comfort level allows for the dogs to play with each other freely. This is not always a leading indicator of love and affection for all dogs, though, due to the fact that not all dogs have playful personalities. If a dog does not have a very playful personality to begin with, then they most likely will not demonstrate love and affection by playing with another dog or multiple dogs. They will try to find another way to show their love.

Dogs can also show love or affection to people by playing with them. If a dog has a playful demeanor in general, then they will most likely who love and affection towards humans by attempting to play with them. If a dog does not tend to have a very playful demeanor or personality in general, they will more than likely find another method to demonstrate their love and affection to humans. This falls in line with playfulness being a sign of love and affection from either dog to dog or from dog to human.

Sleeping Together

One of the most obvious ways that a dog can show love or affection towards another dog is by sleeping next to or around them. This is a display of an immense level of comfort around the other dog or dogs. Instinctually, dogs are most vulnerable when they are in a state of sleep. By sleeping with another dog or dogs, they are pushing that vulnerability aside and replacing it with the level of comfort and trust that they may feel for the dogs that they are around. This is a display of true calm and relaxation around another dog and an even greater display of the love and affection that they feel towards them.

Dogs can also display this love and affection by sleeping around humans. Dogs tend to show this love and affection by falling asleep next to their beloved humans. This could be either on the couch, in a chair or recliner, or in bed with them. It is very important to note that if a dog exposes their stomach while sleeping, then that is an even greater sign of trust, love, and affection. This is due to the fact that the act of sleeping, combined with their exposed underside, puts them in their most vulnerable state possible.

Sharing Food

Openly sharing their food with another dog is an excellent display of affection. This is also very true in the case of sharing treats with one another as well. Dogs will freely share their bowls or even their space with another dog if they feel comfortable with them and do not feel threatened by the other dog or dogs at all. Dogs might also attempt to share their food with humans that they feel love and affection for. Dogs seem to be very happy to share their food and treats with their loved ones, whether that be other dogs or humans.

Sharing Toys

While closely related to a dog’s willingness to share their food with other dogs, their sharing of toys is also a great indicator that they love or have affection towards another dog. As mentioned earlier in this article, a dog wanting to play with another dog is an indication of love and affection. When you add in the aspect of one wanting to share their toy with another dog, that is an even more significant increase in the display of their love and affection towards the other dog or dogs.

In general, some dogs may tend to be a bit possessive when it comes to their toys. Therefore, if they are willing to open up to another dog and share their toys with them, they are putting that possessiveness aside. This is an excellent indication that a dog may feel love, affection, and adoration by showing a willingness to share what is probably their “prized possession” with another dog.

Overall, there are many different ways that dogs are able to display their love and affection towards other dogs. These methods typically are not that different from the ways in which they tend to show their love and affection towards humans. From sharing their food and belongings, craving physical touch, closeness, grooming one another, playing with each other, and sleeping around each other, there are so many different ways that their love and affection can be shown to each other and to humans as well. Simply put, many dogs love to love. Whether that be other dogs or people, they try to find ways to show and demonstrate this love and affection as much as possible. Next time you see dogs interacting with each other, see if you witness any signs of love and affection towards one another that were covered in this list.