Photo of Pomeranian by Karla
How do dogs show their affection, how do they show us their love? When a dog says, "I love you", it is usually pretty obvious by the body language. If you're not sure how to interpret your dog's signals, take a look at the following list of common affection signs your dog may show.

The list of common dog signs of affection

Licking
Why do dogs lick? Of course, there can be many reasons; one of them - they want to show how much they love you. In a way, it could be compared with human kissing.
Following you
When you love someone, you usually want to spend with him or her all your time. The same behaviour is typical for dogs. Moreover, when you're beside, they can protect you.
However, this must not be confused with the separation anxiety. It's a disorder when a dog gets very nervous when you leave, and it can never feel comfortable without you.
Rolling over
It's one of the most common signs of affection and happiness. Moreover, it's a sign of trust and an invitation for a tummy rub.
Jumping on your knees
Jumping can be an expression of love and a way to greet you. Remember that sometimes dogs jump in an attempt to assert dominance: people usually respond to such behaviour right away, and dogs spot the correlation between the two actions very well. Remain a good pack leader at all times and do not encourage your dog to jump on you unless it's really what you want it to do.
Wagging the tail
"A dog can express more with his tail in seconds than his owner can express with his tongue in hours." - Author unknown. The quote says it all.
Resting the head on your lap
A sign of love, trust, and an invitation for you to pet your companion.
Rubbing the body against your legs like a cat
Even though it may be surprising, some dogs really do this to express their affection.
Trying to get your attention
They do this in a variety of ways, the basic idea being to show their devotion. However, in some cases, such behaviour is an attempt to assert dominance and rule the household. Do not forget that too much attention may spoil the dog and undermine your leading position. When you are not happy with your dog begging for attention, do let it know about it with a verbal command in a firm and confident voice, or another correction method. You can also ignore the dog until it calms down. Give it attention only when it is calm and obedient. If you give your dog affection while it's begging for it, you reinforce the unwanted behaviour.
Whimpering sounds
Sometimes with further puffing or quiet growling, and then barking if you haven't reacted. It's one of the ways to get your attention. See the paragraph above.
Staring at you
Probably, you have seen that look: "You are my owner, my heaven and hell."
Note that even though these signs can be an expression of love, they can also mean other things. For example, licking could be a form of manipulation: most people will react to that, so the dog knows how to get your attention.
Every dog is unique in expressions of its love, so there are always more than listed. If you love your dog, I am sure you will understand each other easily.