Home Dog Adoption 6 Ways to Tell If You and Your Adopted Dog Are a...

6 Ways to Tell If You and Your Adopted Dog Are a Perfect Match

The 6 Ways to Tell If You and Your Adopted Dog Are a Perfect Match

If you’re planning to adopt a dog, here are a few tips that will help you detect if you’re perfect for each other.

Adopting a dog entails a lot of prep work, and if you're adopting one from a shelter, there's a good chance you may have your work cut out for you. Some shelter dogs might have a harder time adjusting to their new forever family but here are seven ways to tell if you've adopted a dog that’s your perfect match.

1. The dog greets you with enthusiasm

When you meet the dog for the first time, he greets you with an enthusiastic tail wag, as if he has known you all his life. There's an immediate connection right there because he may have sensed the goodness in your heart. A study in the Animal Cognition journal revealed that dogs are good at detecting if a person is trustworthy and untrustworthy, so if your first meeting was as positive as this, then it’s a good sign.

The dog makes eye contact with you

2. The dog makes eye contact with you

As with humans, making eye contact creates a deeper connection and bond. According to experts from the Azabu University in Japan via a report from CBS, puppies who gaze at their potential owners send out signals similar to the gaze that a human baby has for his mother.

In the relationship between a human and a dog, this gaze is so much more meaningful because there is no reproductive element to it and yet the pup feels bonded with his new forever owner or family.

3. The dog likes licking your hand or leaning on you

Licking in the world of dogs has several meanings, but it's also often a sign of affection, according to Animal Planet's Victoria Stilwell. Depending on the context, just like a kiss, it is how dogs show they love and enjoy being in the presence of their owners.

The dog offers his belly for you to scratch

4. The dog offers his belly for you to scratch

If the dog lies down and offers his belly up for a good scratching then it's a good sign that you and the animal are a match. If he is inviting you to pet him, it's because he's very comfortable with you.

But then, this body language is also the ultimate sign of submission, especially if it's your first few encounters with the dog. In this case, he might be saying that he doesn't want to upset you or that he's feeling a bit tensed but he doesn't want any conflict.

For good measure, always study the way the dog bellies up when you’re around. While it doesn't immediately mean that he will not enjoy getting a belly rub, try to carefully sit down next to him and see that he doesn't flinch if you get closer and closer.

5. The dog feels relaxed and content next to you

You’ve found your perfect match at the shelter if the dog’s body language is very relaxed and calm, peaceful when he’s around you. This means that he is comfortable with your presence.

A dog that's not comfortable will bend and cower his body, or stiffen at your touch, or remain motionless, according to the American Kennel Club. Sometimes, a dog may even be aggressive. His body language will convey he's scared and under stress, which are often signs of abuse the dog has experienced in the past.

The dog likes to cuddle next to you

6. The dog likes to cuddle next to you

Dogs from shelters often experienced so much hardship that they can't easily trust humans, let alone be near them or cuddle with them. But cuddling is bonding gesture for people and it's apparently the same for dogs. If your newly adopted pup likes to do this often with you, then it's also a good sign that he's slowly adjusting to his new life with you. He finally feels home in your presence. Some breeds are more cuddly than others, too.

READ NEXT: Science of Human-Dog Psychology – Are You and Your Dog a Good Match?

Camden Savage is a Phoenix based writer, vegan, cupcake addict and dog lover. Years in the animal rescue trenches have taught her every aspect of dog ownership from behavioral problems, personality and breed specific trait differences of all dogs.