It is common knowledge that dogs are of human species. From being domesticated, they have been loving and companionable toward man, as they have always responded with playfulness and have shown great ability to retrieve. They have also been trained and groomed for show. However, recently, there has been growing speculation among dog enthusiasts, about the species of dogs themselves and their possible connection with humans. There have been many theories that the canine mind works in much the same way as the human brain, and the evolution of dogs could be explained through an analogy with people. The theories go on to state that once humans started interbreeding with canines, a different set of evolved traits was introduced to the canine species.
The theory goes on to say that once these interbred canines accumulated enough genetic traits, the result is a canine society that forms close, loving and emotional bonds with each other. If the theory is correct, one could say that the species of pet dogs have been evolving toward a very specific goal – to create humans’ personal best friend. The study further suggests that these characteristics are the result of the natural occurrence of oxytocin in humans.
Oxytocin is a chemical found in humans and is said to act as a natural, biological morphine. This chemical acts in our brains as a neurotransmitter that allows us to experience and remember human emotions. The theory proposes that through natural breeding, canine species have developed an affinity for human companionship that continues throughout their lives. The higher amounts of this chemical that are present in a dog’s brain, means they are more inclined to form stronger and closer emotional bonds with their owner, and this bonding translates to their being affectionate toward their owner. Therefore, the theory states that the species of dogs love humans because they unconsciously use oxytocin as a neurotransmitter when they are enjoying their human-dog relationship.
Another study on the subject matter found that laboratory dogs were more likely to remember and learn from the lessons their trainers gave them than were non-bred dogs. It also found that pet dogs had a longer life span when cared for correctly and that they formed fewer behavioral problems if they were raised by their own families. Additionally, if they were exposed to different people and different situations while they were alive, the more socialized they were as puppies, the less likely it was that they would develop behavior issues as adults. In a word, the more they were able to experience human interaction and learn how to interact with humans as people, the better chance there would be for them to develop strong bonds and be loyal members of the family unit.
These theories all make sense to experts who study dog behavior. However, what is not common knowledge to many dog owners is that studies have found evidence to suggest that dogs enjoy human contact so much that they will actually attempt to form bonds with their own kind. When they do this, they become very good at it! This is what makes dogs so unique in the animal kingdom. They have been placed into a category all their own, apart from wolves and other species which do not enjoy human contact.
The emotional bonds formed between dogs and their human companions can last for several years. And this, ultimately, is what leads to the question as to whether dogs love humans or not. With the answers to these questions, hopefully clearer understanding will be gained and better canine care practices can be implemented to ensure that the canine bond is as strong as possible.