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7 Signs Your Australian Shepherd Loves You

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A female blue merle Australian Shepherd

Only a few dog breeds are as affectionate as the Australian Shepherd. Also called Aussies, Australian Shepherds form a strong to their owners and so can be overprotective of their property. It is worth noting, though, that every individual Aussie is different. For example, while many Aussies are clingy, some are independent. Likewise, while some Aussies are child-intolerant, many are child-friendly. But generally speaking, Australian Shepherds are among the most affectionate dog breeds.

Like many other Aussie owners, you’ve probably wondered if your Australian Shepherd loves you or is just dependent on you. Of course, you show your Aussie love by giving them delicious treats, plenty of snuggles, and belly rubs. However, does your Aussie really love you back—and not because you feed them?

The good news is that Australian Shepherds really love their humans and show that love in different ways, similar to humans. The following are some common, universal signs that your Australian Shepherd loves you.

1. Your Australian Shepherd follows you around


Many Aussie owners are familiar with this sign. If your Australian Shepherd is following you around, it is a sign that they love and trust you. In addition, they've chosen you as their favorite person. Aussies are often referred to as "Velcro dogs" because of their desire to be attached to their owner's side. In a multi-person household, there’s a good chance your Aussie will pick a favorite person. That person might be someone who provides food and walks, or who often plays games with the dog. In turn, the Aussie might show their love by following the person around and being overly protective of them.

2. Your Australian Shepherd wags their tail when they see you


Aussies, like other dogs, wag their tail to convey a range of emotions including excitement, nervousness, and submission. If your Aussie’s tail is furiously wagging whenever you open your door, it is a sign of love. According to experts, a slightly raised or straight-up tail indicates happiness in your dog. That means your Aussie loves you and is happy whenever they see you or you’re around. Just like we humans feel happy whenever we see someone we love, so does your dog.

3. Your Australian Shepherd licks you

An Australian Shepherd licking its owner's face

Like many other animals, Australian Shepherds often show affection by licking their owners. According to The Kennel Club, licking is an instinctive trait that's linked to the comfort dogs felt when their mother licked them as a puppy. The Club notes that licking plays an important part in how dogs bond with their humans. Further, licking helps make your dog feel relaxed, calm, and happy.

If you've watched the Nickelodeon animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender, you may have noticed how Avatar Aang's loyal sky bison, Appa, showed affection by licking everyone he loved. Appa even licked Zuko in the Western Air Temple as a direct sign of gratitude for freeing him from his imprisonment in Ba Sing Se.

Generally speaking, animals show love by licking. So when your Australian Shepherd licks you, they’re giving you kisses, which is a universal sign of affection.

4. Your Australian Shepherd leans on you

If your Aussie often leans his body weight against your legs, they're showing their affection. Of all the cozy spots in your home, there’s no more place of solace for your Aussie than right next to you. Moreover, as per pet experts, your dog leans on you because they love you and seek out your touch just as humans lean in toward people they love. Like other breeds, Aussies often show affection by leaning against their owner's legs when they are sitting on the couch.

5. Your Australian Shepherd wants to play with you

In all animals, one of the most important behaviors is play. If your Australian Shepherd always seeks to play with you, it is usually a sign of love and trust. Moreover, Aussies are known for developing very strong connections with their owners and wanting to spend as much time with them as possible. That includes playtime, which is equally an essential part of their physical and mental well-being.

Most Australian Shepherds demonstrate their trust in and love for their owners by bringing their favorite toys to them. Toys are treasured items to your dog, and if they want to share them with you, it is an expression of love.

6. Your Australian Shepherd rolls on their back and shows their belly

When your Aussie rolls over on their back and shows you their belly, it often means they're passive and trust you completely. Much like the all-important playtime, your Aussies' rolling over and asking for belly rubs signals a high degree of love and trust. It means your Aussie loves and trusts you with the most vulnerable part of their body. So you should respond appropriately and rub that belly!

7. Your Australian Shepherd loves stealing your clothes

If your Aussie loves snuggling with your dirty laundry, it means they love you and find comfort in something that smells like you when you’re away. Aussies that bond strongly to their owners tend to develop separation anxiety when they are often left alone for more than 8 hours. To deal with their anxiety, your Aussie may steal and snuggle with clothing that smells like you. While this behavior might not be appropriate, study shows that dogs are happiest over their owner’s smell.

Dogs, as well as many other animals, experience anxiety, just like humans. If your Aussie tends to be anxious when you leave them home alone, it may be helpful to consciously place some of your unwashed clothes near them.

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