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- Can Dogs Feel Love?
Can Dogs Feel Love?
We all love our pooches to the moon and back. It's hard not to - they're adorable, slobbery, goofy little balls of love. Loving your pup is probably as easy as breathing. Dogs are literally the best creatures on the planet, and it's easy to fall in love with every ball of fur that walks by you on the street.
And we know that they feel at least something towards us. But is that really love? When your dog is looking at you with their puppy-dog eyes, it seems like you're the most important person in their world. Is that feeling something similar to love? The answer is yes!
Dogs absolutely have the capacity to feel many emotions, including excitement, disgust, fear, joy, and yes, love! So when your pooch is excited when you return home, or gives you slobbery kisses to wake up in the morning, or just seems to want to spend all their time with you, that's just your dog showing you that he or she loves you with their whole heart!
Signs Your Fur-Child Loves You!
We all wish our dogs could talk, but unfortunately, we haven't figured out the technology that allows that to happen (yet!). As a result, we need to look to our dog's body language to interpret their emotions, even for feelings like love.
There are several things to look for in your dog's behavior that represent their feeling of love towards you. For one thing, like in humans, dogs that care about their owners will make eye contact. It shows that they're engaged and paying attention to you. If your dog is comfortable with you, they'll have no problem making eye contact, especially because you're their favorite person in the world! Similarly, dogs that love you will also react positively to the sign of your voice. When you come home from a long day of work and call to your dog from the front door, a dog that comes running is a dog in love!
Another thing dogs will do if they love you is play with you! Dogs that feel comfortable around other people or animals will immediately make them their friend, and play with them as such. Dogs can sometimes play rough, wrestling, pawing, and barking at us while bouncing around. Take that as a good sign! They love you enough and find you so fun that they can't help but let out a joyful yip!
You can also look to your pooch's booty for signs of affection. A dog that loves you will wag their tail like crazy! Full-body dances are an even more conclusive sign of love, showing that they're super excited to see you.
Dogs that love their owners will often also snuggle with them, whether it be a day-time cuddle session, or sleeping in bed with you (if they're allowed on the furniture!). Dogs have the choice of curling up anywhere they're allowed in your house, so a dog that chooses you as what may seem like a piece of furniture may just be a sign of affection. If you want to feel the love, definitely invite your pooch up for a cuddle session!
History of Dogs Loving People
Research has shown that dogs were domesticated by humans as many as 38,000 years ago. New genetic evidence discovered in Siberia has shown that wolves and dogs split about 35,000 years ago.
While historians debate about whether humans actually domesticated wolves or they just started following us around and domesticated themselves, either way, that's a lot of time for dogs to learn how to love their owners!
Essentially, dogs have been man's best friend for almost as long as man has been around, so it's not surprising that our pups have developed a special way to show their love for us.
The Science Behind Love (And Other Emotions!) in Dogs
Studies have shown that our doggos basically have the mental and emotional understanding of a two-and-a-half-year-old toddler. In looking to little humans around that time, science has shown that these toddlers are able to feel the emotions of affection and love, suspicion and shyness, joy, anger, fear, disgust, contentment, distress, and excitement. Your dog has the capacity to feel and express these same emotions, though obviously in a different way than kids do.
By Katherine McCormick
Published: 03/02/2018, edited: 04/06/2020
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