Dog-human relationships have become an integral part of today’s world, and it goes without saying that dogs are widely regarded as man’s best friend.
So, why do dogs love humans? It is difficult to state with certainty why dogs love humans, but an argument can be made that this is due to the presence of special socialization genes within the canine body, as well as the centuries’ worth of interaction that exists between dogs and humans.
The question of whether the love that exists is purely unconditional or due to the symbiotic relationship that exists between both species is one that continues to linger. There’s substantial scientific evidence to prove that canines truly adore their owners, and you can read on to find out more in this article.
That said, if you’re unsure of whether your canine buddy really loves you or is just looking to secure its next meal, this article details behaviors exhibited by dogs when they’re in love with their human owners. But before we go into all these, let’s see how we can be sure that dogs really love us.
Do Dogs Really Love Humans?
Yes, dogs love humans, and this fact has been established by much scientific research, as well as by observing daily interactions between dogs and humans.
The relationship between dogs and humans is one that tends to defy logic, which is why several attempts have been made by science to ascertain whether or not our canine buddies are really in love with us.
Much research has been carried out to ascertain the reaction of a dog’s brain to exposure to its favorite human scent so as to understand the love dogs have for humans. The scent was the driving force behind these experiments due to a dog’s strong sense of smell.
These researches showed that, upon exposure to a piece of clothing or an item that contains their favorite human’s scent, the reward center of the dog’s brain, containing dopamine activators, becomes activated. Dopamine is a hormone contained within the canine body, and it is typically released when a dog is engaging in pleasurable activities.
To further cement the results of the human scent test on dogs, scientists also carried out research to observe what goes on in a pooch’s brain when it hears its favorite human speak.
And the result of these tests showed that the canine brain activates the auditory cortex when exposed to its favorite human’s voice, thereby validating the human-dog bond.
Also, apart from the scientific research, we live and are surrounded by dogs, and by the various actions outlined in subsequent sections of this article carried out by our canine buddies, it isn’t hard to tell that dogs, indeed, are man’s best friend.
Why Do Dogs Love Humans?
Dogs love humans because it’s in their genes to do so, and also largely thanks to the thousands of years that have been spent perfecting the canine-human relationship.
It is rather unclear as to why dogs can’t help but fall in love with humans, and of all the animal-human relationships that exist, dog-human relationships are the most commonest and arguably, the strongest of the lot.
The relationship between dogs and humans dates back thousands of years, when humans adopted dogs to assist in hunting activities. And as the years passed by, the need to hunt game with dogs reduced, but the relationship between dogs and humans had been forged, and it developed beyond a need for each other’s services to displays of love.
It’s In The Genes
It was relatively easy for humans to adapt and socialize dogs, compared to wolves, due to the hyper-sociability genes located within the canine body.
It is these genes that made dogs responsive to human attempts at domestication and socialization, and by carefully breeding dogs that boast these genes, humans have successfully managed to raise an army of canine buddies.
That said, dogs are pretty straightforward animals, and they will bond most with the person that provides the most time, care and attention.
How Do You Know That Your Dog Loves You?
Dogs show their love for humans by constantly seeking physical interaction with their humans, maintaining eye contact with their favorite humans, showing off their favorite toys, an inability to contain their excitement at the sight of their favorite humans, carrying out random, constant checks, and stealing their favorite human’s clothing.
Now that we’ve shed more light on why dogs love humans as much as they do, it is equally important to note that our canine buddies show love to us in multiple ways. And outlined below are some of the ways that dogs show their love for humans:
Constantly Seeking Physical Contact
Dogs thrive off physical contact, and there’s nothing a fido wants more than to be gently held, cuddled, and petted by its favorite human. And as a result of this, you can occasionally find dogs seeking out these physical interactions with their favorite humans.
Additionally, you can also find a dog constantly leaning into its favorite human. But you should be very careful, as leaning against humans can signify that a dog is suffering a loss of body balance due to an ear infection.
Maintaining Eye Contact
Another way dogs show love for humans is by holding long and sustained eye contact with their favorite humans. Staring at their favorite humans triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin (commonly referred to as the love hormone) in dogs, and it is this that makes your dog fall in love with your smile.
The willingness to maintain eye contact with their favorite human can be a useful tool in doggie training, and apart from that, it can also help you create a deep bond of trust with your canine buddy – on one condition, though, eye contact has to be natural and not forced.
Your Dog Brings Its Toys To You
Most times, by bringing its toys to you, a dog is signaling its desire to play. But if your dog is constantly showing off its favorite toys to you, then congratulations, your canine buddy is in love with you, and it regards you as its pack leader.
Your Dog Can’t Contain Its Excitement When It Sees You
Another telltale sign by which you can tell whether or not your pooch is deeply in love with you is the pooch’s reaction when you return home from a prolonged absence.
Dogs typically can’t contain their excitement at seeing their favorite humans after being away all day. And they usually display this excitement in various ways, such as showing off their favorite toys, letting out excited barks, licking your hand and your face, and sometimes, peeing (although this is more common with puppies).
Your Dog Constantly Checks Up On You
Dogs can’t tolerate being away from their favorite humans for extended periods; Hence, if your dog loves you, then such a dog will randomly check up on you to ensure that you’re still nearby.
Some dogs will prefer to be right by their favorite human’s side all the time, while other pooches are okay with carrying out these ‘random checks’ on their favorite humans.
Your Dog Carries Your Shoes And Clothes Around
Dogs have a powerful sense of smell, and as a result of this, they are able to pick up and store the scent of their favorite humans.
Consequently, if you have a fido that won’t stop carrying your shoes and dirty socks around, it may be that the dog smells you on these items, and by taking them everywhere, the dog can achieve its desire to be constantly near you.