Why do Dogs love humans. As I was looking through the channel guide last night I saw a new Nova episode on Dogs. I have seen many other shows that try to determine why wolves became dogs. There is a general consensus that humans did not domesticate wolves. The wolves domesticated themselves. Specifically all dogs evolved from the grey wold. It is thought that the wolves that were the least afraid of humans gradually changed into what we call a dog over a period of about 5000 years.
The episode went back to the Russian research facility that 70 years ago accidentally created fox-dogs. The women at the facility identified a number of foxes that were the least afraid of humans. They breed male and female foxes for their temperament. In just a few generations the offspring of these first foxes-dogs developed traits that humans associate with dogs. These foxes craved human attention, became passive and most interesting lost their natural fur camouflage. The Russian researchers showed that the fox with lower levels of adrenal gland hormones were the most likely to be domesticated.
This still did not explain why dogs have such a close relationship with humans. A chance discovery of people who suffer from William’s syndrome may explain why humans think dogs love them. William’s syndrome causes higher levels of oxytocin in the brain. Researchers found that dogs have the same mutation on the same chromosome as people with William’s syndrome. The discovery of the influence of adrenal hormones coupled with the mutation that causes William’s syndrome go a long way in explaining why dogs and humans have such a close bond.
Why do Dogs love humans. It is a complicated evolutionary story that changed human history. Could humans have been successful hunters and animal herders without dogs? We will never know. What we do know is that dogs made everything easier for their humans.
Pets are good for you. Who doesn’t like puppy kisses and soft kitten purrs. Your pet dog and cat seem to be always happy to see you. If you had a stressful day at work your pet just wants to be near you. Unconditional love is something we all need.
As a dog person I was never exposed to cats until I married my wife. She grew up on a farm with barn cats and a dog. The dog was her fathers pet. The cats were there to keep the barn free of mice and other vermin. She and her sisters were given the task of finding all of the female cats who had given birth to kittens. They did this to acclimate the kittens to humans. Other wise the kittens would become feral.
I began to understand cats once we adopted our first two kittens. One was a male orange cat she named Garfield. The other was a female calico I named Furgey. Having a kitten curl up in my lap and purr until she fell asleep was an emotional experience. Since that moment we have always had at least two cats in the house.
It is a myth that only women like cats and men only like dogs. When we lived back east I had a dog and my wife had three cats all living together. The one of our male cats would antagonize the dog. The dog would chase the until the cat would jump through the cat door I had installed in the basement door. The cat door was too small for the dog to fit through. The cat would sit on the other side of the door while the dog barked at him knowing the dog could not got to him. All I could do was laugh at the situation thinking cats are much smarter than humans give them credit.
This past year our female “mommy” cat passed away. She raised all of the kittens we brought into the house. To keep the make cats from fighting we found a new female kitten that looks to be part bengal. She has bonded with our part Bengal male. He seems happier to have another cat who can keep up with him. The balance to the universe has been restores at least in my home. Pets are good for you