Frankie Lymon was wondering: "Why do fools fall in love?"
Well Frankie... I don't rightly know, but when it comes to our mutual love and bond between humans and dogs, it seams that a team of Japanese scientists have found the answer for us.
They found that cuddling, or gazing into your dog's eyes triggers a release of oxytocin in your brain, similar to what happens between parents and their offspring when bonding together.
The finding were reported in the journal Science. Dogs and their owners were put in a room and observed for half an hour. They created two groups: dogs that gazed at their humans for a short amount of time overall, and dogs that gazed at their humans for a long time overall. The dogs that gazed at their humans the most saw a significant increase in their oxytocin levels after the experiment; but what is even more interesting is that the level of oxytocin had also increased in the humans' brain. I knew it!
Also, it seams that wolves do not show the same response. "it can be said that dogs successfully cohabit with humans because they have been successful in adapting the bonding mechanism to relations with humans" says Dr Miho Nagasawa, from the School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University in Japan. "Dogs originally had this mechanism with the same species, but humans also went through some sort of evolution that allowed them to bond with other species, that is dogs."
Think about how this will help us understand, but also promote therapy dogs in hospitals and other care practices.
So as well as working on your Recall Training with your dogs, make sure to make eye contact with your dogs, have plenty of hugs and say: "who's a gorgeous doggie?" although the later has not yet been tested, but I'm working on this.
For more help in understanding and training your dog, get in touch.