We’ve often found ourselves wondering do dogs really love us. I mean, it’s only logical, right? Imagine someone waiting for you to walk through the door. Or jumping with excitement every time you enter a room. No, not your better half. This sincere and unbiased response can only be from a man’s best friend — your dog.
But, the question comes to mind: does my dog actually love me or is this behavior only because I provide him food? Many pet parents ponder over this very dilemma. Some believe that canines exhibit such behavior only as a survival mechanism as dogs depend upon humans for survival. There’s no doubt in our mind that our dogs are the dearest to us. But is the feeling mutual? Let’s find out.
Does Your Dog Really Love You? What Science Says
There are evident signs your dog loves you and is not just doing it for the attention and care you provide. Yet, it is unproductive to argue the case based merely on instinct. Research conducted at Emory University in Atlanta studied dogs. Here’s what they had to say:
Dogs' Response to Human Odor
The study was to understand the relationship of a dog with its owner. The study showed that the “dog’s caudate nucleus was activated most significantly when the dog actually smelled someone they knew.”
Dogs understand the world around them more through their olfaction sense. Hence, when studies involve dogs, it is often their sense of smell that is observed. The manner in which our canine friends process smell and respond to it says a lot about their feelings. You see, the ‘reward center,’ also known as the caudate nucleus, in the brain of dogs, contains dopamine receptors. These receptors light up in reaction to any smell that is most favorable to them. In dogs, the research found that the reward centers lit up most when a canine came to sniff its parent’s odor.
In conclusion, when a dog smells its guardian or family member close by, its response is one of happiness and joy. Also, since canines are more olfactory than humans, their reactions to familiar scents are more emotional than cognitive. Therefore, research reveals that dogs do not associate any gain with the human odor. They are simply pleased to be close to a loved one.
Dogs' Response to Human Voice
Another related study was conducted in Budapest. Researchers monitored dogs’ brain activity concerning the human voice. The research showed that when a canine hears the parent’s happy or familiar sounds, the auditory cortex lights up, very much the same as it does in humans.
In short, the studies validate the human-canine bond. Clearly, science proves dogs respond with joy to their loved one’s scent, as well as to the sound of their parent’s voice. That dogs do, in fact, feel love for their family as human beings do.
What Do Dogs Do When They Love You?
Okay — so dogs are capable of loving their human companions. But that does not mean all dogs love all humans. This leads us to another interesting question: how to tell if a dog loves you? If you happen to be a new pet parent, it is understandable to feel a little unsure about your dog’s bond with you. However, if your dog wants to cuddle with you after being fed, know for sure your dog is showing you love.
If you’re interested and do a bit of research, you’ll find some exciting dog and human relationship facts. If your doggy likes to share your bed with you, it means it trusts you. Hence, it answers another question: does my dog know I love him? When you come home after a long and tiring day, you will always find your furry friend waiting to greet you with much enthusiasm. You will never see your dog whining and complaining about its problems.
Not only can canines alert their parents of danger, some dogs even can sense tumors in their parents and warn them. If you are uncertain about your dog’s feelings towards you, then you have only to take a good look at its tail. Because the most telling sign of your dog’s affection towards you is that your doggy is going to wag its tail endlessly when it sees you. If you see these gestures, you will no longer have to ask how do I know if my dog has bonded with me?
Whether Your Dog Loves You – FAQs
Several pet guardians feel more at ease about their pet’s emotions. Many people claim to understand their pets perfectly. However, many new pet parents do not experience the same assurance for many years. So, here are a few queries answered to help strengthen the bond between two friends.
Your pooch does look contrite when it soils the carpet. But, is it due to actual guilt? Scientists claim that regret is not a simple emotion and not one they can prove dogs feel yet. Instead, it is a cognitive process. An emotion too complicated for your doggy to undergo. So, when you see your dog hang its head after naughty behavior, it’s trying to avoid the negative reaction it knows to expect from you.
A study published in PLOS ONE supports the theory that dogs demonstrate jealous behavior. If a dog feels that its pet parent is showering extreme care upon another creature (it could be another dog, another human, or another pet), it will bark or snap to divert attention towards itself.
Many researchers have proved that dogs can pick up on the slightest nuances in their human parent’s emotions. The reason for the development of such behavior is that your dog adores you 100%. It’s little wonder that canines are called man’s best friend.
Many pet parents wonder why dogs love us unconditionally. Not only do pet guardians provide for the basic needs of their pets, but they also offer care and attention. Thus, it makes sense for your dog to love you. Unlike humans, dogs do not love in degrees. So, they adore everything about you.
If you want to let your dog know you love it, then all you have to do is continue to show it care and attention. Spend time with it, give it the random cuddles it so craves, and make it a point to give extra attention to its health. You can even talk to it, saying how much you love it. They will, and do understand.
When you enter your home, do you find your dog jumping up and down with joy? If yes, know that your dog has missed you and is now happy to see you again. Hence, the excitement.
If you ever wonder things like – why do I love my dog more than other humans – you’re in luck! You see, dogs don’t love their pet parents or their families because of food or shelter. Dogs are intelligent creatures that show loyalty and love to anyone they feel connected to. You could be Jack The Ripper, and your dog will still love you as dogs don’t judge their humans.
It is not in a dog’s nature to love within any measure for their love is unconditional and immeasurable. As a pet parent, you need to appreciate the gift bestowed upon you and value your pet companion. It is incumbent upon you to care for all of its needs and make sure it feels love.