Just the sound of your dog’s paws on the floor makes our hearts happy.
When we see their smile, all of our worries go away.
But have you ever wondered why we feel this way about our furry companions?
Is there a reason why we have such a strong bond with them?
Continue reading to find discover:
- 11 weird reasons why you love your dog so much.
- What science has to say about our relationship with our canines.
- Why you can communicate with your fur babies and understand them.
- And this is just the beginning…
Table of contents
- Why do I love my dog so much?
- 11 reasons why you love your dog so much (that it hurts)
- #1: Oxytocin is released in your brain
- #2: You went through a lot of things together
- #3: They are good for your mental health
- #4: Because our ancestors had a long-standing bond with dogs
- #5: Because we can “speak” their language
- #6: You are more empathetic to dogs than adult humans
- #7: They always protect us
- #8: They pull you away from danger
- #9: They sleep near you
- #10: They bark when a person gets near you
- #11: You’ve grown with them
Why do I love my dog so much?
You love your dog so much because of the oxytocin in your brain. This chemical helps you bond with your fur baby. The presence and comfort your dog brings when you’re down is also another cause for this love. A further reason for your love towards canines is due to your ancestors’ bond with them.
11 reasons why you love your dog so much (that it hurts)
#1: Oxytocin is released in your brain
When humans form bonds with other people, our brains release chemicals. It’s partly the reason why we create lasting relationships with our loved ones.
This hormone is also released when we bond with other beings. This includes our pet, the beloved, treat chomping, furry companion.
The chemical I’m talking about is Oxytocin. You probably have heard about this in your science class.
Most people already know that the mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. Well, Oxytocin is another science term you can add to your vocabulary. Unless you’re already familiar with it.
I’ll just discuss a quick explanation as to what Oxytocin is and its role in our bodies.
This hormone is a neurotransmitter. And is mainly included in breastfeeding and giving birth.
“Wait… how is my relationship with my dog connected to this?”
According to research, Oxytocin increases when we interact with people we love. In the study, 129 couples were observed.
They then had one partner of each couple say words of gratitude towards the other. Now, prior to this activity, the couples were tested first. Those who had higher oxytocin in the prior 24 hrs., perceived their partner’s gratitude well.
They also reported increased feelings of being loved.
This effect on humans can also be transferred to dogs. Higher levels of oxytocin in your body will also increase and improve your bond with your pooch.
That’s why the more interaction you have with your canine, the more you’ll love them, too. Have you noticed how you gradually increase your affection towards your pooch?
At first, of course, you’re overjoyed at how cute and cuddly they are. But later on, these can turn into real, raw, actual love towards them. It’s fascinating how brains work, right?
#2: You went through a lot of things together
Have you ever heard of the saying, those who struggle together bond better? Or something along those lines?
It’s like when you went through difficult times with your loved ones. When you do conquer it, you come out stronger together. Whether this happened with your family, your partner, or even your friends.
I saw my friend having a better relationship with their siblings after the death of their dad.
And this kind of reaction can also happen between you and your pooch. Was your dog the one who comforted you during hard times?
Maybe when you lost your job? Or when a partner broke up with you? Whatever happened in your past, your fur baby was there to help you.
They may not show it through words, but they know when you’re sad and stressed. After all, dogs can match our cortisol levels.
This hormone is released in our bodies when we encounter events that trigger our fight or flight. According to research, dogs can detect the cortisol in our system.
And when they do, their behavior changes. In the study, the dogs who were frequently touched by their owners got more stressed.
The canines’ cortisol levels got higher when they had interactions with their parents. And the dogs showed it by standing a lot.
“This is interesting. What other things I do could make my dog stressed, too?”
Here are a few:
- Getting scared.
- Experiencing dangerous incidents.
- Having a stressful day at work.
But when you and your pooch stick together through all these things, you build a better bond with them.
You might also be interested in: Why Does My Dog Always Look Sad? 7 Real Reasons + 3 Tips
#3: They are good for your mental health
There are a lot of things happening in the world right now that can affect our minds. And when it does, our mental health is in danger of getting damaged.
This especially happens when we don’t have a lot of people in our circle we can vent to. Or maybe someone who can relate to us and give us advice.
A visit to the psychiatrist can improve the state of our minds but it’s not accessible to everyone. Some people could have financial restrictions. Others may not be able to physically go to a psychiatrist.
However, if you have a dog, it can lessen the burden you have on your mental health. Their presence has a positive effect on our lives.
Research even indicates that people who have companion dogs become less lonely.
One reason this happens is that canines can help you interact with other people. Have you ever had strangers strike up conversations with you asking about your dog?
Some may even go beyond hellos and schedule joint playtimes with other dog parents. Even if you don’t have people in your immediate circle you can talk to, you’ll meet new friends.
It’s like your fur baby’s friendliness affects you positively, too.
Exercising can also improve your overall well-being. Since canines require activities throughout the day, you’ll become active, too.
Here are a few exercises you can do with your pooch:
- Playing frisbee.
All thanks to your pooch, you’ll have a better state of mind. And this can improve your relationship with them.
#4: Because our ancestors had a long-standing bond with dogs
Can you imagine a world without dogs? It’s hard to do so. These loyal and furry creatures have been around for such a long time.
They descended from their bigger cousins – the ever majestic wolves. I mean, it’s pretty obvious in the way they look.
Research shows that canids have similarities in the genes of wolves. 58 canines and 12 wolves were included in the study.
But a long time ago – 33,000 years to be exact, canines started to evolve. And they grew to be the ancestors of the modern dogs we have today.
Then during 13,000 to 10,000 B.C., humans interacted with dogs. Scientists think that dogs are the first animals that we domesticated. And that says a lot about our relationship with them.
“How did humans domesticate dogs before?”
Well, there were alien veterinarians who went to Earth and taught our ancestors.
What our ancestors did was take care of doggie cubs. Or they just let weaker and tamer wolves stay and eat with them in their camps.
Later, our ancestors realized that dogs can help them survive. And because of this, they accepted canines into their groups.
One of the main tasks that dogs did with humans was hunting with them. When our ancestors went out to look for food, their canines went with them. And help them gather the meat.
When it’s time to rest, dogs were also helpful in guarding the food they got. As “payment”, canines received food, shelter, and companionship from humans.
Thousands of years later, we still have the bond we’ve built with dogs. And our relationship goes beyond mutualism. We grew to love, understand, and truly care for them.
#5: Because we can “speak” their language
One important aspect of building relationships is communication. Through this, you can relate, and say whatever is in your mind to the other person.
And conversely, miscommunications can also damage relationships. When you can’t properly tell what the other person is feeling, you can’t build a bond with them.
Luckily, because of our history with dogs, in a way, we can talk to them. And we understand them, too.
“Uhm… no, I don’t understand why my dog stands in front of me and barks.”
What I mean by communicating is that you can know what they’re feeling. Fur parents somehow have an idea what an angry or playful bark is.
We can also distinguish a “Hey, you’re back hooman” kind of bark from, “LEAVE ME!” And don’t even need professional training to understand basic things like these.
Try imagining a lion. Without any prior knowledge, would you know the difference between a happy roar and an angry “I’m gonna eat you” one?
I’m guessing no. Or even something way less harmful like a bird. There are only a few people who can understand bird body language immediately.
But when it comes to dogs, we already know that smiles and wags are signs of love. That when your pooch leans on you, it’s because they trust you.
“You know what, you’re right… but does my dog understand me though?”
Yes, they do. According to research, human words are something that dogs learn. A few simple phrases and using your hands to point is an effective way to talk to your pooch.
#6: You are more empathetic to dogs than adult humans
Showing empathy is a normal human emotion. Especially if we can relate to the things that happened to other people.
Like when someone’s loved one passes away and you see them struggle and cry. Or even when a friend gets promoted and you also feel happy.
Empathy also plays a role in building relationships with your peers.
Have you ever seen a person who can’t easily relate emotionally to other people?
You can already imagine how hard it is for them to make friends.
Sharing emotions and feelings is one way for humans to bond. But this isn’t just something that happens between people.
Your feelings of empathy can go beyond humans and can transfer onto your pet. In fact, you’ll feel it more towards your pooch rather than other people.
“Wait, did you just say I can feel more empathetic towards canines?”
You read that right. Research backs this claim up. In the study, there were 240 people were observed.
They were each given news articles containing news about a vicious attack. Now the victim in the fake newspaper was either:
- A puppy.
- A 6-year old dog.
- A 1-year old baby.
- A 30-year old adult.
Results show that their empathy towards the dog, puppy, and baby was almost the same. And the empathetic feelings for the adult human… eh… not so much.
The respondents looked at the victim’s vulnerability. And empathized more for those that were young.
The next time you feel sorry for your pooch and not towards an adult person… it’s normal. After all, you’ve probably built a close and more loving relationship with your pooch.
#7: They always protect us
Our dog’s love for us is unconditional. Doesn’t matter what we look or smell like in the morning, they’d still love to kiss us.
On some days, we might not even love ourselves when we look at the mirror. It could stem from insecurities and other issues.
But our dogs? They’ll always love us no matter what. They stay loyal and caring. And because of this, dogs will always protect and steer us away from harm.
Some dogs are so loyal they would even protect people from their partners.
Another way your dog guards you is by always being in your presence. Your pooch becomes much more comfortable when they see you. And run to you when they sense danger.
Have you ever heard stories about dogs who fight off animals? Especially those that pose threats to their hooman?
Just watch this pooch looking out for their dad:
This isn’t surprising to us fur parents. After all, it’s common knowledge that dogs are pack animals. And when they trust you, it means that you belong to their group, too.
Part of their responsibility is to protect you so you can survive with them. This is how their wolf cousins and ancestors live long in the wild.
They hunt and travel in packs. And true enough, they survived until this day.
Because of a dog’s loyalty towards us, we feel more bonded to them. We are more emotionally attached. And are also compelled to return the love they give us.
There are several ways our dogs protect us. And these could be reasons why we love them so much. I’ll discuss each in #8, #9, and #10.
Don’t forget to check out: 7 Weird Reasons Why Your Dog Barks When You Hug Someone
#8: They pull you away from danger
Have you ever seen your dog go full protective mode? They’d rush to you and try to keep you from harm’s way?
One method dogs do is to pull you away from what could harm you. And they grab you with their mouths to let you know you’re in danger.
Canines usually bite your pants or sometimes your hands to try and pull you. And there are a number of things that can trigger their protective nature.
An example would be wild animals. If you live somewhere that is close to a forest, then you’ll get a lot of “visitors” peeping on you.
Some of these creatures will look scary to your pooch. And not only that, others may even be harmful to you.
Some of these animals include:
Another cause why your pooch drags you is loud sounds. When canines hear disturbing noise, they tend to interpret it as a threat.
Loud sounds in your home include the following:
- Glass shattering.
- Kitchenware dropping.
- An object falling from a high place.
There’s no problem when your pooch pulls you. However, it’s a different case for gigantic dogs.
They can pull you with minimal effort no doubt. But there’s also a high chance that you’ll get injured.
If you notice that your pooch is dragging you try to look for an immediate threat. Or maybe something scared your canine.
If there’s none, then you can use vocal cues to stop them from pulling you. Here are a few ones that you can use:
- “Let go.”
- “Drop it.”
- “Stop that.”
- “Leave me.”
#9: They sleep near you
As mentioned earlier, dogs have the mentality to stick together. It’s a part of their instinct to be in a pack. So canines do a lot of things together.
Dogs also have the tendency to look out for you. Especially during times when you are vulnerable and open to attacks.
“Well, when does that happen?”
One of the times your dog sees you as vulnerable is when you’re sleeping. Are you a fur parent who has 2 or more dogs? Then there might be times that your pooches sleep together.
They cuddle up and be each other’s warmth. And another reason for this is protection from predators. I mean, any predator could just jump on them and do damage.
And even when your pooch is already safe at home, they’ll still have this instinct.
So don’t be shocked if they come to you when you sleep.
It’s a sign that they want to protect you.
And it’s not even because they think you’re weak. This urge to guard you comes from a place of love.
This is more evident in dogs who belong to the guard dog breed such as:
- Bull Terrier.
- Cane Corso.
- Giant Schnauzer.
- German Shepherd.
- Rhodesian Ridgeback.
However, you need to keep your dog clean if you do let them sleep next to you. We’ll never know who your canine interacts with. And they might get skin diseases from them.
And guess what? Those illnesses can transfer to you. Research shows that people who are always near canines had shown a difference in their skin.
The microorganisms in your skin could change and it can affect your body.
But, not to worry, as long as you give them regular baths, you’re safe. You can cuddle with them all day long
You may also wonder: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps So Close To You + 5 Dangers
#10: They bark when a person gets near you
Barks in dogs can mean a lot of things. It’s their way of communicating their emotions and thoughts.
But sometimes the way dogs perceive things can be different from us. There are some canines that get too suspicious of anyone in your circle.
Be it a partner, friend, family member, dogs can get riled up and protect you from them. One of the things your fur baby does is bark at them.
And this situation happens more often if they don’t know the person. Let’s say you have a friend who visited and rang the doorbell.
Normally, if the person on the other side of the door is familiar, dogs get excited. But when it’s not, they become curious or sometimes show aggression.
This behavior can be traced to a dog’s protection of their assets. I’m talking about their ancestors who lived in the wild.
Because supplies are low and scarce, they tend to guard their food and water. And this feeling of keeping things for themselves can transfer to you.
Some fur parents do find this behavior cute and adorable. And this could be the reason why you love your pooch so much.
Further reading: 25 Best Ways To Calm An Aggressive Dog (#1 Works Instantly)
#11: You’ve grown with them
It can be easy to dismiss the fact that your dog is growing old with you. Especially when they’ve reached their adult stage.
You no longer see visible changes in your canine’s bodies. Unlike when they were still pups growing into full-size doggos.
However, because of all the time you’ve spent together, it’s natural that you bond with them. This is even evident in people who had dogs when they were still young.
Going home from school is just waaay happier when you see a dog wagging their tail to greet you.
You’ve created so many memories that you can no longer imagine life without your dog. And this kind of experience can make some people increase their love for their dogs.
It’s like their fur babies are their first best friend – you don’t just throw that away, right?