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We all want our dogs to love us. Why wouldn’t we? We love them! But how do you know if your poodle really does love you, or if they’re just coming along for the ride… and treats!

Being a poodle owner, you no doubt already have a good understanding of your poodle’s temperament. There are some behavioral differences between the types of poodle breeds, but for the most part they are similar.

You could say the larger they get, the more reserved they become. Of course, each dog on its own, no matter the breed, will still have their own personality traits.

On the whole, poodles are highly intelligent, easy to train, and alert. But the trait we’re most interested in today is their loyalty.

But does loyalty translate to love? We’ll soon get to that!

The Human Poodle Connection

When someone gets a poodle, they’re not getting a dog, they’re getting a family member.

Poodles adore your time and attention. They’re not called Velcro dogs for nothing.

They want nothing more than to be surrounded by their loving humans and to have all eyes on them!

This extroverted trait makes them a joy to be around. But if you’re not around, and they don’t get the companionship they thrive on, they can become a tad bit neurotic.

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Poodles are highly sensitive dogs and become in tune with their family members.

They’ll often follow their owner around the house, one step behind the whole way. This by no means excludes the toilet!

Empathetic poodles

A poodle will often sense when their owner is depressed, ill, or stressed, and will be found spending more time with their owner to offer comfort.

It’s also been observed that a poodle will mimic their owner’s emotions.

This of course has ramifications. If the people in a poodle home are living with stress and anxiety, then the poodle of the house surely feels that too. They will then respond with their own stress.

A poodle that has a peaceful home full of love will surely flourish!

This sensitivity also means that when they’re scolded or yelled at, they can become easily traumatized.

Because Poodles have this sensitive and empathetic side to them, they can seem more in tune with humans than some other breeds. And because of this they can have a profound connection with their owner.

Therapy love

This profound connection between poodle and owner is the reason why they make such good therapy dogs.

They can sense their owner’s needs and want to respond with comfort. And the fact they are super dooper intelligent means they can be extremely well trained to offer specialized support.

Does your poodle really love you? Here’s the science

I won’t delay the answer any longer. Resoundingly, yes, your poodle absolutely loves you!

Of course, like all loving relationships, love forms over a period of time. If you own a new poodle puppy, they are no doubt fond of you. But once they learn your smell, the sound of your voice, and look into your eyes, then the human/dog love connection will strengthen.

A 2015 Japan study found the level of oxytocin (the love chemical) rose in dogs when they looked into their owner’s eyes. Awww!

Another study by Doctor Gregory Berns in 2014 found that a dog’s brain will respond to their owner’s smell.

The study tested 12 dogs with the smells of a familiar human, a strange human, a familiar dog, a strange dog, and their own smell.

Only upon smelling their owner their brain activated the caudate nucleus.

This part of the brain is responsible for the following: Learning, memory, reward, motivation, emotion, and romantic interaction.

What is of interest is the fact that the dogs didn’t have this response to dogs they knew. The fact they only had this response to their owner suggested an emotional reaction.

And another study undertaken by researchers from the University of San Paulo in 2016 tested how dogs reacted to emotional expressions and voices of dogs and people.

The 17 dogs that were tested showed they understood which facial expression matched an emotion. Meaning your poodle can read your facial expressions and understand what they mean!

If you’re smiling and happy, your poodle will pick up on that and know you are in a good mood.

And lastly a study by the researchers at the University of York found that dogs respond better to positive “doggy talk” than to normal conversational tones.

The dogs overwhelmingly preferred the high-pitched talk, especially when coupled with “dog relevant” phrases, such as “Who’s a good boy?!”

This led the researchers to compare the dogs to the way people speak to babies.

9 ways your poodle says “I love you”

Nosing

Has your poodle ever placed their nose on your leg, or arm? This is especially adorable when they look lovingly into your eyes.

Eye contact

Remember the love chemical, oxytocin, in the scientific study?

When your poodle looks into your eyes, they’re having an emotional response. Just like you would be when you look into their beautiful eyes!

Following

Poodles love to follow their owners around, and it’s because they just want to spend every minute with you.

Leaning

Just like nosing, a poodle will often lean into you because it makes them feel secure and close to you.

Bringing toys

If your poodle is one to bring you toys, then they’re saying let’s play together. But they’re also saying, I trust you with this toy – it’s important to me.

Licking

Who doesn’t want a dog kiss?! When your poodle licks you it’s a sign of affection, and releases endorphins, giving them a sense of comfort.

Welcome home greeting

We all know this one! Your dog loves being with you and when they can’t be they can feel lonely. This can become a problem for poodles as they’re loyal and have a strong bond with their owners.

A poodle who is left alone too much can adopt behavioral problems related to separation anxiety.

Smelling and chewing

If you’ve found your poodle with their nose in your slipper, they’re breathing in your smell, which gives them comfort and a sense of closeness.

Wagging

And of course, you can’t forget the wagging tail! When you talk to your poodle in doggy-talk they’ll be sure to start wagging their tail to show you they love the affection you’re giving them.

Final word

You probably didn’t need the science to answer this question for you, but it’s interesting to know anyways. It’s fair to say that your poodle loves you in the same way you love them.

I will leave you with this quote by American critic, George Jean Nathan:

“Love is the emotion that a woman feels always for a poodle dog and sometimes for a man.”