Although we love our dogs and just expect they feel the same about us, it feels impossible to actually know how they feel about us. It is possible for our dogs to form a bond with us that leads to them trusting us. There are subtle ways our canine friends show us they trust us, and it's probably something you see everyday.
1. Eye contact.
If your dog can look into your eyes for a substantial amount of time, it means they love and trust you. By staring into your eyes, it raises their oxytocin levels. This is the same hormone present in humans that produces the feeling of love. It is the same hormone that makes a mother deeply fall in love with their newborn child. So, when your dog looks into your eyes, it means that they have already grown a high level of affection towards you, which builds trust.
2. Doesn't panic when you leave.
If you have ever brought home a new dog, you have probably realized that they tend to panic every time you leave the house. They do this because they don't have a strong connection with you and don't yet trust you. So, every time you leave the house they think you are abandoning them and get upset, (heartbreaking, I know).
Once your dog trusts you, you will find that they don't panic as much when you leave the house. Although they would always rather go wherever you're going, they won't be filled with anxiety every time you leave the house. Your dog trusts that you will come home and they won't be abandoned.
But those are not the only ways your pup will show that they trust you...
3. Knows your routine.
Dogs need routine to trust and form a bond. When you put them into a routine, they can begin to feel comfortable. For example, if you always walk and feed your dog at the same time, they won't be filled with anxiety all day wondering if they will get fed or not. They will learn this routine and always be ready for key parts of it. This also works with trust because your dog will learn when you come home at the end of the day.
Your dog will become accustomed to the time of day you come home at, and therefore will trust that you always come home. They will begin to understand that just because you're gone, doesn't mean they are abandoned.
4. They follow your lead.
You may notice that your dog often looks at you if they are ever uncertain about something. They almost act like a small child that looks to you to make sure something is safe for them to do. This demonstrates trust for an obvious reason: They trust that you wouldn't let them do something that would hurt them.
They will also follow you around the house and look for a time they can spend time with you, because your presence makes them feel safe.
Does your dog do any, or all of these subtle hints? That probably means they fully trust you and have a strong bond with you.