New research says it may haver pinpointed why humans get on better with dogs than any other animal, why we suffer so much from the puppy love. The hormonal response we have to our dogs is actually the exact same as the one we have with our babies. So hormones are responsible for the puppy fever.
Oxytocin seems to be the hormone responsible for this, released by the pituitary gland, it is potentially the biggest biological factor in our everyday relationships. Oxytocin secretion helps us feel safe and secure, it stimulates contractions during childbirth and affects both sexes especially when it comes to newborn babies. But how do dogs factor into this?
Dogs Release Oxytocin Too
According to a Japanese study, both dogs and their owners were found to release oxytocin when making eye contact with one another. They also found that owners who made more eye contact with their dogs released more oxytocin, and so did their dog. These same researchers discovered that when giving dogs an artificial boost of oxytocin and placing them back into the room with people and even strangers, the dogs would stare into their owners eyes for a while, and at the end of this the owners oxytocin levels had also increased.
This research also found that none of this was the case with wolves or wild canines. They even tested some wolves that had been held in captivity their whole lives but they didn’t respond to the experiment in the same way as domesticated dogs. This research only proved further than dogs really are man’s best friend, having evolved alongside us for our entire history.