DoesMy Dog really like Me? HOW Can I Be Sure?

I have a pretty good relationship with my dog (5 year old male English Springer Spaniel). I feedhim, take him for two long walks in the woods every day, and paly with him (fetch and tug-of-war). He seems content…especially when he curls up on the sofa next to me, and I spend a few hours scratching his ears and having a conversation (mostly one-sided) with him.
Since he can’t talk, is he really liking me? Or does he see me as a “food provider” (as Jack London said of the dog in “TO BUILD A FIRE”). He is a non-human animal, but I tend to think of him as a friend…for you dog people…do the canines we live with really like us?


Dogs are simple that way. Now cats, on the other hand, can go either way. And our horses really don’t care who feeds them. Antisocial bunch!

You’re obviously not picking up on the sarcasm.

Yeah, I think dogs really do like human companionship apart from the food issue. After all, it’s in their nature to want to be part of a pack.
My dog usually gets upset when we leave the house, seemingly because she just likes to have us here at home with her.
Her hierarchy of who she most likes to be around isn’t TOTALLY based on who gives out the most food (although that is a factor, no doubt).

Ask him. If he wags his tail it means Yes. :smiley:

I walk the dog (siberian husky) for an elderly shut-in.

I DON’T feed him.

Yet he carries on in pure joy every time I come around…something he dosen’t even do for his owner.

Damn right he likes me!

I talked with your dog. He hates you and your albums.

You say he’s a Springer Spaniel? No worries, mate – they love everybody. Now, if you had an Akita…

This question always intrigues me.

While it’s definitely true that dogs are pack animals and seek out the company of that pack, I don’t think there can ever be a definitive answer about whether your dog likes you or loves you. They are hardwired to seek out being in a group, but if they weren’t, would your dog seek out your company just because he or she desires it? Impossible to say.

I like to think my dogs like me, and I had one wonderful dog once who definitely did seek me out over everyone else, even though there were others who would feed and walk him, but I don’t think there will ever be a way to really know what a dog thinks or feels about you.

Of course we don’t really know if the people closest to us really like or love us, either; they can say they do, and they can do things that make us believe it, but there isn’t really any way to prove it. Sometimes you just have to have faith :slight_smile:

Is he a mute ralph? I mean seriously, your dog doesn’t talk? Wow! mine talkes to me all the time. Usually in body sign language or telepathy, but yeah we talk together all the time. Granted he’s well trained and if he were to ever get on our couch he wouldn’t get second breakfast for a week! But seriously, he talkes to me all the time. He’s the one who persueded me to go out on the frozen pond the other day…

If you want to see how much your dog likes you, ask him to drive you to the airport or lend you twenty bucks.

Well, you can never know with humans either: many people pretend to be friends in order to get something. But if your dog is pleased to see you, is affectionate, obeys you, plays with you, etc, then he’s probably happy.