The 5 love languages for dogs

I'm a dog lover. I know there are cat people and dog people in this world. I am a dog person. Our golden retriever Sophie came into our lives almost five years ago. We adopted her as a 12 week old puppy the week after we moved into our new home. Our kids were all switching schools mid year and we all had to make the transition to a new home and to a new town. I had no idea how much it would help to have Sophie as an ice breaker.

We moved less than a mile from the elementary school, so when classes resumed after the Christmas break holiday, the kids and I started walking to school. People stopped to ooh and ahh over how darn cute she was, and we had a chance to meet so many new friends because of her.

Sophie continues to make friends everywhere she goes because of her constant smile and her sweet personality. She is such a treasured loyal companion to all of us which is why we like to do what we can as her dog family to speak her love language.

Back a zillion years ago when my husband and I were first married, we did a book study by Gary Chapman together called The 5 Love Languages.  It was a fantastic book for us as newlyweds.  One I have referenced many times in our nearly two decades of marriage. The author went on to write a book that looked at the 5 love languages as they relate to children. 

We all know how our sweet fur babies become like one of our children {though Sophie keeps me up far less and is the most low maintenance of all the ladies in our home} so I thought I would write a spin off myself and create the 5 love languages for dogs.

Gary Chapman lists the 5 love languages as words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.  Right away, you can probably think of how each of these love languages could apply to your furry friend.  

My daughter and I immediately go into mommy speak when we see Sophie. You know that high pitched sort of baby talk that you do.  You don't have to speak in that tone to give words of affirmation, but think of when your dog comes barreling up to you after a long day. My guess is you have a string of words and a tone of voice saved up for those reunions.  Sophie has what we call her happy tail. If she is sleeping and hears us talking her tail starts thumping against the floor as it wags. We could be saying that she stinks worse than a boys locker room, but if we say it in that sing songy way, those words of affirmation get her every time.

Sophie loves physical touch. She leans into us and will even nudge us if we are busy doing anything other than petting her. I don't know too many dogs that won't lie still for a good rub down!

As parents we all know how important quality time is to our kids.  It's just as important to our furry children as well. We try to do dog friendly activities so that Sophie can join us.  If we go on a hike, we make sure it's dog friendly.  A day at the beach? Only if it's pet friendly. She loves spending time with us, and we love spending time with her.  If I'm working at home, you can usually find Sophie sitting under my feet. She likes to be right there next to me when she can.

The last two for me tend to go hand in hand when you are talking about dogs {people, not so much}. Acts of service and receiving gifts are the final two love languages.  While Sophie responds to all of the five, she tends to respond most to these two.  We joke that Sophie is the most well trained dog....when there are treats. 

An act of service for a dog usually involves receiving a gift or treat of some kind. She is so highly motivated by food {aren't all dogs?}, that usually a special treat is all it takes to help fill her love tank.

I know Sophie isn't the only dog whose love language is acts of service and receiving gifts.

What is your dogs love language?  I would love to hear about it!

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