15 Sweet Signs Your Dog Thinks Of You As Their Mom Or Dad

The same way you love your dog like your child, they love you like their parent!

woman kisses dog affectionately bodnar.photo / Shutterstock

Pet parenting has evolved beyond just owning an animal, it has become a distinct form of parenting. While traditional parenting typically involves human children, research suggests that the concept of raising and caring for pets has gained prominence in recent years. 

Dogs are known for their loyalty and strong bonds with their human companions. If you’ve ever wondered if your pup views you as more than just a caregiver, you’re not alone. Many pet owners are curious about the depth of the connection they share with their dogs. 


Here are 15 signs your dog views you as their mom or dad.



1. Your dog follows you around the house.

There can be many reasons why your dog might follow you around, ranging from separation anxiety to just a curious nature. Dogs have a tendency to stay close to their pack, especially those they trust. If your pup follows you around the house, this is an indicator they have imprinted on you and you both share a deep attachment. Your dog views you as a trusted member of their pack and wants to always be close to you.


Dogs are curious and social creatures that crave new experiences, so if your dog follows you around frequently, they are likely hoping to find something exciting to do with you

On the flip side, if your dog keeps a significant distance from you, they might not feel comfortable around you.

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2. Your dog surveys an unknown area before you.

If your dog likes to lead when going for walks or exploring new areas together, this is because they want to ensure the area is safe for you both.

According to Front of the Pack, dogs have much sharper senses than humans do. Their sense of smell is reportedly 10,000 to 100,000 times more powerful than a human's sense of smell, and they can hear sounds up to 65,000 Hz.


15 signs your dog thinks of you as their mom or dadPhoto: Oleksii Boiko from Valeriia Boiko / Canva Pro

You may have noticed that when in new environments together, your dog will stand still ahead of you with their ears perked and nose sniffing actively. This is your furry friend paying close attention to your surroundings and making sure you are both safe. They will sprint back to you once they realize the area is safe to proceed.

This is a sign that you are important to them. 


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3. Your dog follows your commands easily.

A well-trained dog naturally listens to commands, but a dog with a true bond to their owner understands that they must always follow commands from you This is your dog exhibiting high responsiveness, and it is a sign your dog shares a deep connection with you.



Alternatively, dogs will not take commands from their owners if they do not trust them. This is because it takes more than just authoritativeness to delegate commands. It takes a loving, trusting bond between you and your dog.  


4. Your dog stays close to you in new environments.

Your dog likely cuddles and leans its body against you frequently, offering you their emotional support. This is how they show you their love and affection; many would call it a doggy hug.

If you take your dog to a new and unfamiliar environment, like a friend or relative’s house, they might clean against you for comfort. These dogs are sometimes referred to as "velcro dogs" because of their attachment to you, according to the American Kennel Club. They stay close to you because they crave your protection and security.



This means your pet considers you a reliable figure in their life, and they view you as their safe space. 


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5. Your dog mirrors your behavior and mood. 

Your dog feels everything you feel. They can sense your emotions through your body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions, according to Wag. When you cry, your dog will also feel your stress. Dogs who share a deep emotional bond with their humans will mirror their mood.



If you're having a rough day, your pup will likely come up to you and nuzzle you for affection, sensing something is wrong and wanting to cheer you up. This is their way of showing empathy and comfort. Dogs can read humans better than humans themselves; this is why we form such deep connections with dogs.


6. Your dog snuggles with your belongings.

You may notice your dog cozied up in your sweater or blanket, or maybe you’re constantly finding missing socks in their bed.

signs your dog thinks of you as their mom or dadPhoto: TatyanaGl from Getty Images / Canva Pro

Dogs have a heightened sense of smell, so they like to snuggle anything that carries your scent for comfort, according to Hunter and June.


Dogs especially do this when you’re away. It’s their way of wanting to feel close to you. 

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7. Your dog checks on you frequently.

Have you ever noticed your dog glancing at you, and when you meet their eyes their tail gives a little wag? Your dog likely checks on you frequently, usually in new environments, to make sure you are nearby. 


Let’s say you're working or busy doing something on your computer. Your dog comes into the room to check on you, asks for some pets, and then goes back to their usual activities, like sleeping. 



The reason why your dog likes to frequently check in on you is because they are guarding you. Since dogs are pack animals, and you are their pack, your dog feels compelled to guard and protect you at all times. This is a sign of their strong devotion to you. 

8. You and your dog are sleep buddies.

In the wild, dogs and wolves will sleep huddled with the pack members they trust for protection against predators. If your dog creeps into bed with you at night, it's a sign that they trust you and consider you a part of their family. They want to cuddle and feel close to you as a way of showing their deep love. After all, sleeping next to anyone is a sign of true love and affection. 


signs your dog thinks of you as their mom or dadPhoto: erniedecker from Getty Images Signature / Canva Pro

Not only is sleeping with your dog a source of comfort for Fido, but it's also a sign of comfort for you too. Sleeping with your dog can help decrease stress and anxiety and improve your sleep.

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9. Your dog grooms you.

Also known as doggy kisses, grooming behaviors for dogs include licking your hands and face. Similar to how humans exhibit their grooming behaviors through stroking a dog's fur, dogs show theirs through licking.



Licking is a natural and instinctive behavior for dogs. It's their way of keeping you clean, offering you comfort, bonding, and showing affection.

10. Your dog gazes directly into your eyes.

Unfortunately, our dogs can't communicate with us verbally (although we all wish they could). But the beauty of their nonverbal communication is the deep love they express through their eyes.




Your dog likely gazes into your eyes longingly and affectionately. This is because the sight of you fills them with joy. In fact, dogs develop strong emotional bonds with humans through eye contact. This eye contact increases oxytocin levels by 130% in dogs and 300% in humans. It's the puppy eyes! 

11. Your dog can't contain their excitement when you come home.

What does your dog do while you're away? They wait for you to get home!



It's no secret that every dog freaks out when their owner finally comes home after being gone a few hours. And it's a heartwarming experience every single time. When your dog rushes to you with love and excitement when you get home, it's their genuine and wholesome reaction to seeing you and it's a sign that your dog is bonded to you. 


In fact, Science Daily reports the relationship between dogs and humans is very similar to that of babies and their parents

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12. Your dog has a preference for your company. 

Yep, you are your dog's favorite person.

signs your dog thinks of you as their mom or dadPhoto: Jasmina007 from Getty Images Signature / Canva Pro


If your dog focuses their attention primarily on you, this is a sign that they are imprinted on you. Your dog loves you more than anyone else, and they find comfort, love and safety in your presence.

Because of their deep attachment to you, they prioritize you above anyone else. There are many ways your dog might show you love to prove if you are their favorite human.

13. Your dog herds you.

Whenever wandering around a new environment with family, your dog may herd you and your family as if you are their pack.




Certain dog breeds possess herding instincts to move animals around. These herding breeds were developed to gather, herd, and protect livestock, so they will transfer this instinct to their human pack.

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14. Your dog lets you touch their head.

Dogs usually do not like others, especially strangers, towering over them and petting their heads because they perceive it as a threat.




If your dog allows you to pet their head and finds pleasure and enjoyment in you doing so, it indicates they love and respect you deeply. 

15. Your dog brings you gifts.

Does your dog like to bring you their toys? Let's say you're sitting in the living room, and they approach you with their favorite squeaky toy as their tail wags. 



This is your dog's way of offering you a special gift that holds meaning to them. Dogs are usually possessive of their belongings, so this is an adorable sign that they want to share their most prized possessions with you because they love and trust you! It's also a sign of their appreciation and respect for you.


Your dog is not only your best friend, but you are their best friend, too. In fact, you are the light of their life, and they are devoted to loving you. If that isn't a sign that they view you as a parent, I don't know what is. 

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Francesca Duarte is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team based in Orlando, FL. She covers lifestyle, human-interest, and spirituality topics.