A recent study from a Japanese university has reported that the bond between dogs and owners is similar to the bond of a mother and new baby.
The researchers found that just by looking at each other, humans and dogs experience a spike in the “Happy Hormone” or “Bonding Hormone”, oxytocin. It’s the same hormone that surges in mothers and babies when they exchange looks and has a role in maternal bonding and creating trust.
To find out what the hormone did, the researchers watched 30 owners play with their dogs for half an hour, with a mix of breeds.
As the dogs gazed at their owners, the owner’s oxytocin levels increased. The outcome was that the owners wanted to touch their dogs more and their nurturing and attachment behaviour got stronger. That in turn led to the dogs’ oxytocin levels to also increase, and the outcome was that the dogs gazed at their owners more and more.
For many years the activity of oxytocin in males was discounted and it was generally believed that oxytocin was primarily a female activating hormone.
When your dog gives you that melting look that says it wants a walk or dinner, it may be triggering the same chemicals that help you bond with a new baby.
Dogs become our allies; companions to the blind, partners to the police and man’s best friend.
The hectic lives that most humans in the modern world face every day, creates in most cases, a top heavy release of cortisol which causes nasty health problems.
If stress is a problem that is haunting you in your life, you may want to explore adding a loving, friendly dog to your family unit.