How do they make us love them?

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The bond between us humans and our doggy friends is a special one. If you put the time and effort into building up a relationship with your dog, you’ll be rewarded exponentially with a friend who’s always there for you, who’s always ready to listen, and is always ready to do whatever it takes to make you smile. When you listen to some people describe their dog it’s clear that they’re every bit as close to them as they would be to a human child.

As it turns out, that closeness has a biological basis.

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Researchers have shown time and time again have shown that, when dogs look at their human that means the most to them.  And if their human looks back, it releases a chemical called oxytocin in both parties. Amazingly this is exactly what occurs when mothers look into the eyes of their biological children.  The same thing happens when we build a relationship with our dogs, and it’s a weirdly specific, special sort of reaction. Researchers have also tried the same experiments with wolves (even those raised by humans from puppies), and didn’t get the same chemical connection.

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Researchers also looked at just what goes on in human brains when owners who are closely bonded with their dogs were shown pictures of any old dog, and the results were not the same until they were shown pictures of their dog. The images showed similar patterns to what happened when mothers were shown pictures of their children, and then other kids.  The studies also suggest that dogs know full well what they’re doing. Over the last few millennia, once we started keeping dogs as pets and companions, it’s thought that they’ve adopted more and more childlike behaviour’s, in an attempt to cement their role in a parent-child relationship.  It true let’s face it they’re amazingly smart because usually, it works.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. tippysmom2 says:

    Too cute. I agree with the research, if the dog is one that is loved by their owner. Unfortunately, too many are just “lawn ornaments.”

    Liked by 1 person

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