National Puppy Day Celebrates Unconditional Love
Puppy Love is a Proven Phenomenon…Does your doggie gaze at you with puppy love eyes, ears tilted forward and panting that sweet puppy breath? Scientists have proof that dogs and humans share the oxytocin hormone reaction when they look at each other with love and affection.
Our fearless owner, Rachel, added a new puppy to her pack last summer. Kya, an Australian Shepherd, is little sister to Rain, another Aussie,, and they both are extremely well-trained companions and even TV personalities!
My two dogs are mature now, but when they were puppies, we have such great memories! When I first took possession of Sophie, my white Labrador Retriever, I hired a professional trainer to help me make her my “service” dog because I have low vision issues. The first thing the trainer taught both of us was to “Target” which meant that Sophie would look at me and hold my gaze anytime I got her attention by calling her name. It turns out that her instinct to do so has foundations in real scientific evidence that dogs and humans who bond, will activate the oxytocin hormone to express their emotional attachment. The hormone actually has its roots of discovery in the maternal reactions between moms and their babies.
Our male dog, Shiloh, our first-born, was not trained as stringently as Sophie was. However, he can stare at us with a look that melts us to the point of giving him anything he wants (or as my husband says, “confessing” everything he ever did wrong!)” Shiloh can exude as much love and affection as Sophie, even without the specific training to “target.”
Here are three articles, among hundreds, about the proof and effects of the Oxytocin Hormone between humans and dogs. Next time you and your furry best friend look into each other’s eyes, just bask in the good thoughts and loyalty you are feeling. It is mutual!
The first article gives the scientific experiment, result and hypothesis behind the human and dog connection through eye contact and affection.
1. “Puppy Dog Eyes Explained by Science”
Written by David McNamee
Source and Copyright: Medical News Today
The second article addresses the future possibilities of the Japanese animal behavior scientists’ findings, along with sociological benefits of the Oxytocin Hormone. (Think about why service and therapy dogs are so beneficial for children with autism, returning soldiers and hospice care.)
2. "Dogs have learned look of love to make humans care for them"
By Hannah Osborne
The third article is a list of amazing stories about dog loyalties for their masters who are miles away and in hospitals. (Get out your tissue box!)
3. "5 Incredibly Loyal Dogs"
By Bonnie Brae
Source: Dog Time News
Author's Note: The way to teach your pup to “target” is to hold a treat in your hand, order your dog to “sit” and say his name while holding your hand with treat up to your nose. When he looks up and holds your look, say “good” and give him the treat. Repeat several times, until your pup responds to his name by looking into your eyes without the treat and hand at your eyes motion. Sophie learned this quickly as an 8-week-old pup. Now she shows her puppy love readily to everyone close to us…especially the new baby in the family who stayed with us during Christmas!
- Audra P