Wednesday, February 11, 2015

We as humans see our dogs as family but what about the other way around?

The Bark Post recently did an article that really spiked my interest on the fact that we, as humans, see our dogs as family but what about the other way around?

The article shows the findings of several studies that have been done to see if dogs consider their humans family. 

As a new puppy owner establishing a bond with the newest pup I have often wondered just how deep a dogs love is for its person and if they would even notice if someone else came home to feed them other than us. It is obvious that our dogs love us by the way they look at us with their big eyes and in their actions towards us but I often wonder if their feelings are the same for me as mine are for them. 

You can read the article here or follow the hyperlink for Bark Post to view the entire article at The Bark Post itself.

"According to a recent piece by Mic in partnership with GE, “Not only do dogs seem to love us back, they actually see us as their family. It turns out that dogs rely on humans more than they do their own kind for affection, protection and everything in between.” 

 Dogs understand the world through their noses. So, scientists at Emory University conducted a neuroimaging study about odor processing in dogs’ brains. They trained dogs to stay very still so they could do an MRI of their brains while presenting them with smells, both strange and familiar.

 What they found was that dogs’ reward centers lit up like fireworks on the 4th of July when presented with their owner’s familiar smell. It turns out that in the barrage of smells they are presented with on a daily basis, they filter out and prioritize their human’s smells above all.

Another study (conducted by the Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest) that researched vocal communication between dogs and humans found that emotionally heavy vocal sounds are processed similarly in both species.

Lead author of this study, Attila Andics told Mic:

“It’s very interesting to understand the tool kit that helps such successful vocal communication between two species. We didn’t need neuroimaging to see that communication works [between dogs and people], but without it, we didn’t understand why it works. Now we’re really starting to.”
Andics also pointed out something that pup parents everywhere will find extremely interesting and reassuring:

Dogs are the only species that when frightened, worried, or anxious, run to their humans for comfort, just like children do. They are also the only species that seek eye-contact with their humans.
Humans have always seen dogs as family, but now there’s definitive proof that dogs truly think of us as family as well."

This article has brought me to believe that there is definitely a bond stronger than we know that is between us and our furry family members. That if someone else came in to care for our sweet pups they would know the difference. This just goes to show that dogs are capable of knowing who their people are, loving them and in turn, feeling.