Why Dogs Love Us and Why We Love Our Dogs

Couple with cute dog spending time on the beachThe relationship between man and the domesticated dog has a long history going back an estimated 18,000 to 23,000 years. Humans are the only animals said to keep other animals as pets. Have you ever spent much time thinking about our relationship with dogs?  Why do we enjoy our furry friends so much? Do dogs enjoy our company as much as we enjoy theirs? How has this relationship lasted for thousands and thousands of years? In this article, discover how it all started, and why it is that humans and dogs have had such a long-standing relationship.

 

The Roots Of The Relationship

Did you know that there have been many scientific research studies researching the relationship between dog and man? Of course, it is not exactly clear how long ago man began a domesticated relationship with dogs. One study that was published in May 21, 2015 by scientists at the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School reported that it appears that today’s domesticated dogs have ancestral roots to multiple wolf populations. One idea of speculation is that our ancestors may have first domesticated wolves because they were useful when it came to hunting. The wolves may have gradually became companions as humans tamed them, and then they eventually evolved into dogs.

 

Why Do We Love Our Dogs?

Besides the obvious reasons of adoration that include words such as “cute”, “fluffy”, “tail wagging”, and “cuddly”, what are the deep-rooted reasons that humans love dogs? Scientists in Japan have learned that there is actually a scientific explanation for why we have loved dogs for thousands of years.

 

The Science Behind Our Love Of Dogs

The Azabu University School of Veterinary Medicine in Sagamihara, Japan discovered that when humans gaze into the eyes of dogs, a “love hormone” called oxytocin spikes in humans. Oxytocin is considered one of the most important bonding mechanisms in humans. Without oxytocin, evolutionary bonding, trust, and affection would not be possible. One study had dogs and their owners interact for 30 minutes. After this time, the researchers tested oxytocin levels in both the dog’s and human’s urine. Surprisingly, it was found that the oxytocin levels in humans increased.

 

Do Dogs Love Humans?

We already know that dogs enjoy the companionship of humans, but did you know that dogs enjoy gazing into the eyes of humans?  The study revealed that the more dogs gazed into the eyes of humans, the more pleasure and feelings of adoration the dogs experienced. The scientists tested the dogs by spraying either oxytocin or saline into their canine subjects. Each dog was placed in a room with its owner and 2 strangers. The study found that dogs who were sprayed using oxytocin spent significantly more time gazing into their owner’s eyes than they did the others. Consequently, the level of oxytocin increased in the owners.

 

The Future For Dogs And Humans

These studies open the door to further research about topics such as, why dogs are useful as therapy dogs. Could it be due to the oxytocin connection? And why is it that the oxytocin reaction has not been observed between other species? As far as the dog/human bond goes, if you’ve ever wondered how your dog truly feels about you, now you know: dogs really do love humans as deeply as we love them.

 

Dogs Rule At Evolution Dog Wash

At Evolution Dog Wash we know that dogs are important family members. And now we know the science behind understanding how important we are to our dogs as well! When you think about how much we care about and for our dogs, and just how much the pet care industry offers for dogs, did we really need science to prove that to us? Probably not, but it’s good to know that our dogs truly do love us back!

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