Let’s face it. Not everyone looks forward to Valentine’s Day. But there is one being you can count on for love and affection on Valentine’s Day and every day… your dog.
You may wonder, how do I know if my dog loves me? After all, he can’t talk. Well, there are several studies that reveal scientific evidence of dog love. This article will present some to consider.
Understanding Dog Behavior
Your dog’s behavior is a sure sign that they love you. Here are some of the ways they show affection:
- Being excited to see you: If your dog jumps on you, wags their tail, and licks your face the moment you come through the door… it’s dog love
- Seeking physical contact: Your dog may seek physical contact by nuzzling, cuddling, leaning against you, and sleeping with you.
- Giving you puppy eyes: Dogs may hold eye contact with other dogs as a way of showing aggression, but when they do it with their owner, it’s dog love and affection all the way
Humans and canines have had a special relationship since the beginning of time. Many consider it a bidirectional attachment like the one that forms between an infant and its caretaker.
Studies and Research That Show Evidence of the Bond Between Dogs and Owners
Your dog’s behavior is a strong indicator of the love they show for their owners. But there are also several studies that back this up. Examples include:
- A 2019 review of several studies show that when dogs and humans interact in a positive way, both exhibit an increase of oxytocin, a hormone linked to positive emotional states and feelings of love.
- A 2014 study showed that the canine brain lights up differently when it sniffs its owner. The study monitored the caudate nucleus, a part of the brain that coordinates the ‘reward system’. When dogs sniffed their owner’s hand, the caudate nucleus lit up. The effect wasn’t as strong when it sniffed a stranger’s hand.
- A 2016 study involved test dogs looking at pictures of humans with happy, sad, and angry expressions while playing voices corresponding to those emotions. Dogs were more likely to look at the happy face when the happy voice played and at the sad face when the sad voice played. Even though this does not establish a love connection, it shows dogs recognize human emotions.
- A 2020 study by Canine Cottages looked at four different dogs who were fitted with special heart rate tracking collars to show what excited them when interacting with their owners. Their average heart rate was 67 bpm, but when their owner said, ‘I love you’, it skyrocketed by 46%.
- A 2015 study showed that when dogs and owners look into each other’s eyes, they form a bond similar to when a mother looks into its baby’s eyes.
- 85% of dog owners think of their pets as family.
How K9U Services Can Further Strengthen the Dog-Pet Owner Bond
The dog-owner bond is so important. And there are plenty of things you can do to strengthen it. For instance, you can enroll your dog in classes such as the ones offered by K9U Chicago.
K9U Chicago offers several classes that promote socialization bringing out your dog’s loving affectionate self. They include:
- Puppy socialization: Our Puppy Socialization classes teaches puppies to socialize with other dogs and people.
- Obedience Training: We offer Basic Obedience and Intermediate Obedience These classes teach your puppy to obey your commands promoting nothing but positive loving behavior.
- Agility Training: Agility training involves the dog and owner navigating through a series of obstacle course-like challenges. It’s an excellent way to build a bond with your dog.
Dog love is more than just a notion, it’s a scientific fact. It’s been proven by multiple studies, and if you’re a dog owner, you’ve got to feel it.
So, enjoy Valentine’s Day with your pooch. They will provide you with unconditional love through thick and thin.