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You have a dog. You love your dog. You adore your dog. You think this dog of yours is the best thing to ever happen to you in your whole entire life. Yet sometimes you suspect that your dog doesn’t quite reciprocate your intense feelings. In fact, sometimes you suspect that your dog could take you or leave you. Especially if she found another sucker to provide her with her daily kibble and chew toys.
But how can you know for sure if your dog’s not that into you? How can you find out if your man’s best friend is really more of a man’s best acquaintance? We talked with a few hopelessly in love dog owners to find out what they consider signs to look for.
Unlike most dogs, who sprint to their humans as soon as they enter their houses, then wiggle and yelp like crazy, as if to say, “OMG! I missed you so much!” your dog doesn’t even bother getting up. The best you can hope for is a curt head nod. You know, like you get from surly NYC cab drivers acknowledging that they see you even as they refuse to stop and pick you up.
Not only does your dog not come when you call him at the dog park, but he seems to be sucking up to other owners with his sad puppy dog eyes and cute act. Uh-oh, is he following that nice woman to her car? Yes. Yes, he is, and you’d better stop him before she takes him home.
Instead of trotting next to you on his leash, your dog insists on walking ten steps ahead or ten steps behind. Sure, he’ll go out in public with you, but people don’t need to know that you’re together, right? So don’t be surprised if he darts behind a bush when a cute Poodle approaches.
“He’s just not a licker,” you tell everyone when you ask him for kisses and he refuses. But then you take him to his checkup at the vet’s office, and the poor vet has to towel off her face after his massive love attack. “Ha, ha,” you stammer. “I guess he just really enjoys having his ears checked! Sorry about your glasses, doctor!”
Fetch is fun. But not when all your tennis balls wind up in your grumpy neighbor’s hands instead of yours. “Here, boy!” you yell. “Yeah, I don’t think so,” your dog answers.
At first you’re happy that your dog leaves your shoes alone, but then you start to wonder what’s wrong with them. Don’t your $100 loafers look as chewable as your spouse’s? Aren’t your suede pumps totally delicious? Do your slippers smell bad? Nope. He’s just silently judging your taste in footwear.
You don’t exactly want your dog to pee on your leg like he does everything in the yard to show it belongs to him, but still. At this point, you’d be happy to have even that gross show of affection come your way.
Before you panic, realize there could be other explanations for any of the above behaviors, including the possibility you have a confident, independent dog who maybe finds you a little needy.
The only time you should really worry about your dog not liking you very much is when you catch him at your computer. Signing up for match.com.
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