Hate, Devotion, but Does Your Dog Love You?
The other day I was holding a loving Belle in my lap and she was looking so happy when someone told me, “Dogs aren’t smart enough to love. All they care about are basic needs.”
I disagree… In my mind dogs can love! I have seen how ashamed my dogs are when they KNOW they have done something to disappoint me. The favorite part of my dogs day is when I’m with her!
The Australian shepherd I had as a child would do just about everything in her power to do what she thought I wanted. Of course this breed naturally wants to please their owner whereas my Boston terrier does not always care.
The Rat terrier that I had as a child could care less what I thought. All that mattered to him was a treat. Although none of this proves love…
Do your dogs!?
Maybe I’m wrong… What does the literature say?
I searched google scholar. There wasn’t a relevant article until page two. How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain. Here is the link.
This book includes a Chapter devoted to our question. Unfortunately, it isn’t available in the free version. Their are about 48 pages available online, and they include lots of data. This led me to Amazon. The reviews of this book make it sound like he proved what we KNOW to be true! (How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain, 2013, Berns, Gregory)
My husband found this article which talks about a study that investigated humans, and dogs releasing the same love chemical. (Dogs Release Same “Love Chemical” as Humans, So The Feeling is Probably Mutual, 2014, Messenger, Stephen, The Dodo)
Modern Dog Magazine mentioned that when your dog cuddles with you its a sign of being more than a friend!
Sometimes my dog wants to be right next to me, and follows me everywhere. The magazine also mentioned that when your dog wants to be within your vicinity its a sign of more than just dedication! (5 Signs Your Dog Loves You, Campbell, Lisa, Modern Dog Magazine)
I mean us dog lovers already knew the answer… but sometimes its nice to find facts that back up our assumptions!