iStock_000033362408SmallDo dogs really love us? Or are they, as some cynics say, just very good suck-ups who know how to get more food, comfort and anything else they want simply by tilting that adorable head and looking up at us?

Well thanks to recent research, that question can now be answered with some scientific accuracy: yes they do!

Recent developments in brain imaging technology have proven that dogs — the only non-primate animal to look us in the eye — can sense and process both our smell as humans and our sounds, and that this stimulus activates their brain’s reward centres. In fact, dogs will seek out eye contact with their humans, but not with their own dog parents!  So our dogs love us for much more than mere food and shelter.  They look to us for social comfort and bonding too.

Research has shown that our love for our dogs is reciprocal. (No morkie2_499_detailsurprise to Morkie owners!)  The solid evidence can be found in the higher levels of the “love hormone” – oxytocin – in our brains and in the brains of dogs when we’re together.  Scientists found that oxytocin spikes in both human and canine brains when a dog is gazing at its owner.

Some other signs your dog loves you:

  • he likes to snuggle up with you AFTER being fed
  • your Morkie loves being in your bed, to him your “nest”
  • when your dog is frightened by noises like thunder or fireworks, he runs to you. All other animals run away when frightened.
  • your Morkie looks you in the eye and can gaze at you for a long time
  • when you come home, your dog is happy, often running to meet you and jumping up
  • your Morkie has a loose, regular tail wag when she sees you
  • he follows you around

From psychologists studying dogs – a cool poster —  Enjoy!

The Psychology of Dogs

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