Many dog owners wonder if dogs can fall in love. The first association to “dog love” is the cult cartoon “Maza and Luna” in which they romantically watch and share spaghetti.
However, it is a cartoon, and the reality is a little different according to the opinion of many. Many people think that dogs do not feel like humans and that they cannot fall in love, but is that so? According to experts, the most correct answer is yes and no. Dogs do not have words so that they can express their feelings to us in words. If they had them, it would be much easier for us to understand them. This of course does not mean that after many centuries of learning their habits and body language, as well as many types of research, we are not able to recognize many of their feelings.
According to Dr. Gregory Burns, the biggest difference between human and canine emotions is in language. We express feelings like fear, sadness, guilt, and love in words, and dogs have no words for that. After researching magnetic resonance imaging, Dr. Burns concluded that dogs have parts of the brain that correspond to humans. Even if we speak different languages dogs have their version of human emotional experiences.
What does love mean to dogs?
As an animal behavior expert, Mark Berkoff argues, “If you define love as a long-term commitment, which means that two individuals seek each other when they are long separated, happy when they reunite, protect each other, eat together, raise children together then it is clear that animals are also loved. ” According to him, therefore, connection and devotion are proof of love. If your pet has decided to spend time with you, it’s not just because you feed him regularly, he loves you!
Dr. Berkoff sees the proof of this in his research in which people from his team only fed one group of dogs, and praised and petted another. When they compared the reactions of the dogs to the presence of people from the team, they claimed that the dogs reacted well or positively to both. It was concluded that dogs equally love people and the food they give them, even a large number of dogs were more excited about people than about the offered hamburger.
Can dogs fall in love?
Dogs have emotions and depending on how we define those emotions, they demonstrate their love. The question remains, can dogs fall in love the way it is portrayed in movies and cartoons? There is confusion here because the answer is not simple. They do not know our definition and notion of romantic love, but they can demonstrate the passion and devotion that comes from feeling the love. At the physiological level, dogs also have the hormone oxytocin, which is better known as the hormone of love or happiness. Numerous studies have proven that this hormone is secreted in dogs when they have had a positive interaction with other dogs, but also with humans. Your pet may not dream of a romantic spaghetti dinner, but with the help of oxytocin, he is more than able to establish lasting and strong bonds with other animals.
The excitement and joy that a pet shows when the owner returns home after a short or long absence are more than enough proof to all owners that the dog loves them, and if we consider other signs we see in our life together, hardly any dog owner will say that dogs do not feel love.