THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON I HEART DOGS.

Pup parents know that our dogs love us deeply, even though they do not express it in the same manner as humans do. Recently, behavioral research saddened dog lovers when it showed that most dogs don’t like to be hugged.

That’s not to say that our pups don’t enjoy receiving affection; they live for our love and approval! Try showing them your devotion in a language they can understand.

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1. Gaze Deeply Into Their Eyes

Dr, Brian Hare, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University topped the NY Times best seller list with his book, The Genius of Dogs. In an interview with Anderson Cooper this past Spring he told the dog-loving newsman that when your dog stares at you he is “hugging you with his eyes.”

This doesn’t mean you should stare deeply into the eyes of the dog that guards your local junkyard! Direct eye contact is still considered a challenge or threat in many situations. But with your own, trusted pet, try gazing into his eyes when the two of you are calmly relaxing.

Speak softly, stroke him gently and maintain eye contact. According to Hare these quiet moments stimulate the release of Oxytocin in the canine brain – the same hormone that bonds mother and child.

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