It’s important to know the love languages of those closest to you. You already that know your mom appreciates when you help her check chores off her to-do list and that your S.O. especially enjoys a good snuggle before bed, but what about your furry BFF? You make a point to learn how to best show affection to your human companions, and you should afford your canine ones the same courtesy. (After all, there’s a chance you love them more anyway.) Angela Hughes, a veterinary geneticist for leading canine genetics company Wisdom Health, explains that despite the across-the-board tail wags and licks, different breeds of dogs display varied preferences for how to lay on the puppy love. “Breeds were created to have different behavioral traits and to serve various roles,” Hughes explains. “Therefore, each breed group can have innately unique ways of showing their love and affection.” Read on to find out how just your fido shows affection.

A woman and her dog take a rest together during a hike

1. Asian Breeds: Breeds that originated from Asia, such as Akita, Chow Chow, and Shar-Pei, were bred in part to guard and protect people and property. For this reason, you might have noticed your pup is reserved when meeting new people and exhibits an inordinate amount of independence. Based on their background, these dogs display love by attentively sitting near — not on — their humans. To please your pet, give them space and let them come to you. “They like to give an receive love on their own terms,” says Hughes.

2. Arctic Breeds: When it comes to showing your Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed, or Siberian Husky love, plan for a workout. These highly active and social dogs especially express love during playtime through friendly roughhousing, excitedly jumping and tossing around toys. Spoil your dog through exercise; they thrive while horsing around with their human, Hughes tells us. “They can have a stubborn streak,” Hughes warns, “but you can get around this with motivational tools such as treats and their favorite toys in reward-based obedience training.”

3. Companion Breeds: The breeds in this bougie group, such as Pomeranian, Pug, Maltese, and Shih Tzu, all have royal lineages and served as lap dogs and companions to the upper class. Characteristically intelligent and friendly, these dogs share the love in ways similar to many Asian breeds. “[They] show their affection by being with you,” Hughes confirms. “Because we tend to hold them close, they often also share their love by ‘kissing’ your face.” Get their tails to wag by letting them sit on your lap for extended periods of time — and don’t forget to pet them, of course.

4. Guard Breeds: Often stereotyped as scary, these cuddly buddies, including Boxers, Bulldogs, Mastiffs, and Rottweilers, are the smiliest of all the breed groups and well known for their fearlessness and devotion to their companions. Unsurprisingly when you consider the “guard” label, these dogs show their love through loyalty — but also playfulness. Hughes points out that these pups, especially Boxers, like to jump up to meet people at eye level. “Guard dogs are often big softies with the humans in their pack,” Hughes says. “They tend to enjoy belly rubs and just hanging out.” And don’t be surprised if they try to sneak onto your bed with you.

A dog relaxes on a beach at sunset

5. Herding Breeds: These fur babies quite literally run circles around other dogs. When they’re not herding just about anything that moves, these breeds, such as Australian Shepherd, German Shepherd, Border Collie, and Pembroke Welsh Corgi, enjoy learning new things. “You will make them happiest by giving them a job to do,” Hughes encourages. “Many of them can be described as ‘Velcro dogs,’ because they will stick with you wherever you go, waiting on your next command.” Hughes recommends you devote quality time to your pooch and mentally and physically exercise them.

6. Sporting Breeds: Friendly, happy, and active, this dog group contains ultra-popular breeds such as Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, and Poodle. Expect puppy love from these pets in the form of loyalty and an unparalleled eagerness to please. “Their ability to read our moods shows their empathy and why they can make great therapy and guide dogs. They can lean into you or just put a nose or paw in your lap to let you know that they are there.” Keep your outdoorsy hound happy with lots of play (especially fetch!), cuddles, and belly rubs.

7. Terrier Breeds: These little guys show their love in big ways. When they’re not on the move, Chihuahuas, Russell Terriers, Schnauzers, and the like just want to be with their people. “They love to play with you, toys, and squirrels,” Hughes says. “And they generally want to be in your space — if not on top of you!” Show them how much you care by giving them a mixture of mental and physical exercise and then some much-needed downtime together afterward.

If you have a mixed-breed dog, Hughes suggests finding out what breeds make up your dog through a DNA test, which can ultimately “unlock your dog’s secrets and help you identify their unique love language.” Or you can simply experiment with a variety of affectionate activities — such as a game of ball, a belly rub, a quiet afternoon on the couch, or a walk together — and then evaluate which left your pooch the happiest.

How do you dote on your doggo? Let us know @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)