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dog hugging human

Unraveling your dogs love language

As a dog photographer in Syracuse, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the heartwarming moments between dogs and their owners or even their caretakers. Working with rescue animals, I have seen some strong bonds between those caretakers/fosters and their charges. In fact, we have had many fosters “fail” because they fell in love with these adorable fur babies. Capturing the bond between human and pet is what I strive for in my sessions. This is the best memory: Capturing those connections.

In 2015 Dr Gary Chapman came out with a book exploring five love languages for humans. Do you think our furry friends have those same love languages? The AKC and Rover seem to believe that our dogs love languages correlate nicely with the human ones. Here are some breakdowns of the categories. if you wish further information – go to one of the sites above to take a quiz.

Physical Touch – A nuzzling heart:

Many dogs are known to be affectionate. For these dogs, a warm hug, a gentle pat on the head, or even a belly rub speaks volumes. If your dog nuzzles close or curls up in your lap, this may be his love language as he is expressing his desire to be close.

dog hugging human in the snow
dog hugging human

Words of Affirmation – A tail wagging connection:

i would beg to differ with some experts saying that dogs do not human language. I believe they learn certain sounds and what they mean- like “walk,” “outside” or “squirrel”. More than words though, they do respond to our tone and energy behind the words. Praise, encouragement, and a cheerful voice can make their tails wag with joy. Telling them they’re a “good boy” or “good girl” reinforces their sense of belonging and connection.

Receiving Gifts – Thoughtful Tokens of Love:

A new toy, a tasty treat, or a cozy blanket can symbolize your love and devotion. Does your dog cherish those little tokens of love that you bring home. These little tokens can ingratiate your dog and strengthen your bond. Declan is truly motivated by treats. He will truly do most anything for a treat so I am thinking this is his love language. The AKC quiz seems to come up with the same result.

Husky playing with tug
Husky playing with tug toy

Quality Time – Cherishing Moments Together

Spending quality time with your furry friend is perhaps the most precious gift you can offer. Going for walks, playing fetch, or simply snuggling on the couch are moments that create an unbreakable bond. Midnight definitely fit in this category. I swear when I wasn’t working, we were always doing something together. We would play ball or frisbee incessantly and I would walk for hours with him.

Acts of Service – Showing Love Through Actions:

Do you prepare your dog a delicious meal? Are you very attentive to take him to the groomers and taking him to his vet visits. These gestures demonstrate your commitment to their well-being and happiness which communicates your love to your pet.

For my Shamus- I can’t seem to place him squarely in any of these. He was my velcro dog- so wished to be with me and would be physically attached (leaning on my leg, on my lap (all 90lbs) and lived for belly rubs. yet words of aspiration would get that tail wagging hard and boy he loved receiving gifts, he was always so excited when i would bring him a new toy. The AKC quiz leans toward physical touch, but i am not sure.

What is your dogs love language?

Understanding your dog’s love language is a beautiful way to strengthen your bond and celebrate the unconditional love they bring into your life. Just like Dr. Gary Chapman’s concept for humans, recognizing your dog’s unique love language can lead to a deeper connection and a lifetime of cherished moments.

Do you wish to capture your dogs love language and the bond you share? there are still a few spots available this coming weekend for our Christmas tree farm experience. Join us to capture the love, joy, and warmth that you and your canine companion share this holiday season. We can’t wait to create magical memories with you and your furry friend!

Book your session now


pit bull brown and white, low rider
pit bull brown and white, low rider

This cutie is Humphrey and he’s around 1-2 years old. Humphrey is a cuddly and sweet boy who gets very excited to spend time with his human friends and he’s done well meeting other dogs, too! He is a low rider who loves his walks and belly rubs. 

Please contact Friends of Second Chance.

Friends of Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter
6660 E. Seneca Turnpike
Jamesville, NY 13078

Capture your journey with your pet. Nancy Kieffer is a pet and nature photographer serving  Central New York, the Adirondacks and Beyond.  Capture how you share your life with your pet! It may be a vacation adventure or curled up on the couch. Travel assignments welcomed.