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Our Greyhounds are some of the most loyal family members we could ever ask for. They love us no matter what kind of job we have or how much money we have in the bank. And while their love and loyalty is unconditional, there’s another emotion that is a little harder to secure⁠—trust. Just like with people, dogs expect us to earn their trust.

If you’re curious to know whether or not your dog trusts you with their life, all you have to do is pay attention to their everyday behavior. Dogs show their emotions through body language and actions. While some displays of affection seem pretty obvious, even seasoned dog lovers sometimes misread canine cues.

Though they can’t put their love into words, dogs have an unexpectedly large number of ways to show they care. From subtle body language to over-the-top displays of affection, your pooch is probably showering you with love in many of these ways:

#1: They run to greet you when you come home.

Happy reunions when you get home are a must. There’s nothing like a happy dog to brighten up your day. It’s understandable that their full body is wiggling with excitement and happiness. When your dog sees someone they trust, they overflow with joy. Your presence just makes them delighted and it shows. A dog will not be able to contain their excitement when they see you. Especially after a very long day of you being gone (or even if you just went to the mailbox).

#2: They follow you anywhere you go.

Have you ever felt like you’ve got a furry magnet attached to you? They’re not called “Velcro Dogs” for nothing! There’s no such thing as privacy when your Greyhound trusts you completely. They see you as part of the family, and that means you’ve earned both their trust and attention. When your dog follows you around, you know he or she feels safe with you. You represent security, which makes your dog feel calm and at peace. As your dog gets older, this turns into a sense of devotion and love. It doesn’t occur to your dog to want to be apart from you. They love you and want to keep you safe. Consider it your dog’s way of returning the favor for all the ways you take care of them.


#3:  They will lean on you – literally.

Not every dog is a leaner, but a lot of dogs show their trust by leaning hard into a person’s legs. As social animals, dogs crave comfort and attention. They feel safe and content when they’re with the people they love and trust. And by leaning hard into your legs, they’re telling you that they love and trust you to always watch out for them. Some Greyhounds only lean on their trusted humans when they’re feeling nervous, but other dogs do it every time they get the chance. In your dog’s mind, it’s a sign of affection, like a hug. It’s a way of showing you love as well as asking for your attention.

The closer to you they are, the better in their minds. So don’t be surprised if your houndie is initiating cuddle time everytime you sit down on the sofa. If they can’t be right next to you, they might just lie down near your feet. It’s because they trust you. Your fur baby wouldn’t get near anyone if they didn’t trust them. They might even avoid those they see as a threat.


#4: They want to sleep near you.

Being able to relax and rest near you is a strong sign that your dog trusts you. When they’re asleep, it’s their most vulnerable state. Your pooch’s eyes are closed and their alertness level isn’t as high, compared to when they’re awake. In the wild, wolves in packs sleep curled up together. Dogs curl up with each other too. Since you are your dog’s best friend and family, it’s only natural they will want to sleep near you (and next to you if you let them). The fact that they want to sleep near you shows a deep bond of love and trust. Since they trust you with their life, your pooch can sleep well because getting hurt is the least of their concerns.

#5: Your routine is something they know.

Dogs love routine. Dogs take note of the time of the day and what activity they usually do with you. If it’s playtime, they’ll initiate it. Resting time? You’ll just see them curl up in their corner. Without fail, they remember their routine. And when they have built a bond with you, they try to learn yours, too. This is a huge sign that your dog trusts you. If you feed him every day at 8 a.m. or take him for a walk as soon as you get home from work, he becomes conditioned to expect those things at those designated times. Once a routine is set, he’ll be on time to get that food or that walk, and he’ll trust you’ll hold up your end of the arrangement. They wouldn’t do this for someone they don’t love and trust.

#6: They show you their belly or lay on their side.

A relaxed body indicates that your dog is comfortable. Sleeping on their side requires a dog to slip into a deep sleep. The belly is one of the most vulnerable spots in your dog’s body. And when they show it to you, it means that they trust you will not hurt them. Dogs know that by exposing their undersides, they’re putting themselves in an extremely vulnerable position. All of their vital organs are left unprotected. Rolling over to show you their belly is a sure sign that your dog trusts you with their life. Maybe they’re asking for a belly rub, or maybe they’re too warm! Either way, when your dog flops over and wags their tail, they’re telling you they love you and trust you – a lot. When Greyhounds become comfortable with you, they sometimes sleep in weird positions. Ones that make them look like acrobats (or roaches).

#7: They seek comfort from you when they are uncomfortable or scared.

Those fireworks and thunderstorms suck for your hound, but if they're coming to you for guidance, that's a good sign they trust you.  And when they get hurt, they’ll look to you for comfort. When there is a strong bond between you and your pup, they’ll look to you as the main provider. They know they won’t go hungry when you’re around. And getting hurt is also something that you can treat: they understand that they need you if they’re injured. Also, they trust you to fix what’s broken. Dogs will bring broken things such as toys to you. They trust that you will make everything better.

Greyhound and person

#8: They comfort you when you’re sad or don’t feel well.

If your pup senses you are unhappy, they may try to comfort you. Most dogs are very in-tune with our emotions and will often respond if something isn’t right. They read our body language and sense when we’re not feeling so great.  Recent studies have found that dogs know the difference between human feelings and seem to have empathy for us.

Dogs can innately sense when we are sad or struggling with something. They will often find a way to snuggle up to their people, rest their head on them, or generally find a way to be close during these times.

Dogs possess an instinct to care for their pack mates, just as wolves rely on the care their family provides. In the wild, wolves will often lick each other’s wounds and care for a sick family member. Your Greyhound’s need to care for you shows they love you and want to watch over you, just as they would a member of their pack in the wild.


Keep in mind dogs have been our constant companions for thousands of years. The history of dogs is closely tied to our own history, and no other animal shares as close a relationship with humans as dogs do. Dogs and humans trust and understand each other (or try to, at least); their undying love and loyalty for us is why we keep them at our sides.


  • Ann Mohr – bless you for your patience with your new greyhound. We never know what they experienced before life with us, and so all we can do is continue to love them. Eventually he will reciprocate. Best of luck.

  • This was a great article that explains a lot of my dog’s behavior. However, I’m having trouble really connecting to my new greyhound. His behavior. to me, indicates he was abused. I try every day to love on him but he still keeps his distance. We brought him home in May after losing the love of my life, Tatty, in March. I suspect it’s just going to take time. Thanks again for your insight.

    Ann Mohr

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