Why do dogs love us? The special bond explained

The special connection between humans and dogs is not just a figment of our imagination. Extensive research reveals fascinating insights into the genuine adoration dogs have for their owners. As we delve into the science behind this bond, it becomes clear that their love for us is even more profound than we could have imagined.

Old companions

While the exact origins of the human-dog relationship remain uncertain, scientists suggest that our friendship might have begun as far back as 40,000 years ago. Throughout history, dogs have evolved alongside us, assisting in hunts and being our fierce protectors against predators.

The power of oxytocin

Both dogs and humans experience the release of oxytocin, a hormone associated with love and bonding, when they interact with someone they care for. This remarkable “love hormone” strengthens and deepens the bond between us. Interestingly, oxytocin is also responsible for the intense attachment new mothers feel towards their babies.

Your scent

Merely catching a whiff of their person brings immense joy to dogs. Research utilising functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans has shed light on how dogs respond to the scent of their owners compared to other scents. When exposed to their owners’ scent, a reward centre in their brains, known as the caudate nucleus, lights up. No other scent elicits the same response.

The power of dog-speak

We all find ourselves using that ridiculous high-pitched voice when talking to our dogs. Surprisingly, recent studies have shown that dogs respond more positively to dog-directed speech (DDS) than to normal human speech. Researchers discovered that when participants used a dog-speak tone combined with “dog-relevant” phrases (like, “who’s a good boy?”), the dogs exhibited a strong preference. It seems dogs appreciate being spoken to in a similar way to how we talk to babies.

The profound connection

While the mysteries of a dog’s mind may never be fully unravelled, one thing remains certain: dogs are undeniably good and our lives are enriched because of them. Their unwavering love and loyalty makes us better humans, reminding us of the profound bond we share.

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Donate Now

There are many ways you can help us. From covering medical costs and post-op care for animal rescues, sponsoring vaccination shots, celebrating an occasion by sponsoring a meal for our inmates at the animal hospital and at the animal sanctuary or even contributing to help us keep the facilities running , the choice is yours.
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