It appears man’s best friend used evolution to their advantage to create a love bond similar to what humans experience. Oxytocin is a chemical in your body known as the ‘love hormone.’ It regulates our behaviors by releasing immediate feelings of personal satisfaction. A mother and her newborn infant or two people falling in love experience increased oxytocin levels, which is a driving force in creating emotional bonds.
What about those feelings of love when gazing into the eyes of your furry companion? It turns out that canine’s coexistence with humans evolved to take advantage of oxytocin to mimic the shared relationship similar to a parent and child. Those loving looks between you and your dog create feelings of affection similar to that felt between humans. While oxytocin is a human hormone, dogs learned to manipulate it by being so darn cute.
Experiments on dogs found that interactions between a dog and its owner caused some increase in oxytocin levels, but eye contact significantly increased those hormone levels. Interestingly, people who owned wolves did not see their oxytocin levels increase in the same studies.
Read HERE to learn about the science of that special relationship we have with our dogs. ‘Puppy love’ is not just for humans!