Do dogs love you the same way you love them?
I watched Dr. Dolittle the other day with Romeo, and we were quite entertained to say the least. In fact, it’s what inspired me to write this article. It got me thinking: wouldn’t it be amazing to live in a world where humans and animals could understand each other?
I bet you’ve wondered on more than one occasion what your dog is thinking and feeling, and if he loves you the same way you love him. From a dog’s point of view, I can tell you the answer is yes.
Research confirms it too. Dr. Gregory Berns, neuroscientist and Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University, used brain scans from MRI machines to study human and canine decision-making. Berns found humans and dogs experience similar emotions, and dogs have the ability to empathize with humans.
Berns studied the behavior of his dog Callie, and found her to be “a sentient being who understood, at some level, what I was thinking and reciprocated by communicating her thoughts within her behavioral repertoire.”
Here are 5 signs your dog loves you:
1. Eye Contact
In a 60-Minutes segment, Anderson Cooper talked to dog expert Brian Hare about how a dog loves. Hare explained that when your dog gazes into your eyes that is his way of giving you a hug. When your dog makes eye contact, this triggers the release of oxytocin, which is the same “feel good” hormone we experience while bonding with humans.
2. Cuddles with you after eating
It’s natural for dogs to be in your space when they’re hungry, but if they want to be close to you even after being fed, this is a sign of love.
3. Yawns after you yawn
According to a recent study, dogs yawn contagiously, and dogs that feel a close connection to their owners are more likely to yawn after they do.
4. Likes your scent
Berns presented dogs with the scents of different people, scanned their brains and found they reacted strongly to scents of humans they knew.
“Dog owners’ aroma actually sparked activation in the reward center of their brains, called the caudate nucleus, according to a neuroimaging study. “Of all the wafting smells to take in, dogs actually prioritized the hint of humans over anything or anyone else.”
5. Smiles at you
If you’re unsure what a dog smile looks like, it’s when your dog’s mouth is slightly open and relaxed. This indicates he is happy around you.
There is no bond quite as special as the one between man and his best friend. Your dogs really do love you the same way you love them – great news for dog lovers everywhere!