If you have ever owned a happy dog you would have experienced the pure joy they have when you come home from a long day away. However, what do dogs really think of us? Do they consider us to be part of the pack?
Adaptability of Dogs
Thousands of years ago dogs were no more than courageous wolves who sought out human companionship. Since then, they have adapted so well they are able to interact with us using our own communicative signals, including gazes and gestures. They are also less fearful than they were thousands of years ago. Although wolves can be very dangerous to humans, they are afraid of us, which means they are more likely to use their teeth and protect themselves. Happy dogs are a lot less likely to do that. The sociability of dogs has made them so adaptable that they can be found in almost every corner of the world.
It’s astonishing but dogs are able to tell the difference not only between dogs and humans but also between smells they recognise and smells that are unfamiliar. For example, the scent of a human that they know would evoke a reward response in the brain. This does not happen with any other scent, not even that of a familiar dog. This means that they know that we are not dogs and that we are something different but it also means that there is a special place in their brain for us.
What They Think of UsIt has been found that dogs don’t just love us because we provide them with food but they truly enjoy our company. Since our scent activates the pleasure and reward regions of a dog’s brain, this feeling can be compared to the same way we react when we see a good friend. This means that dogs may think of us as their very best friends. Also, when they see us it is pure happiness as they won’t be thinking about the time we got mad at them for having an accident in the house.
It is very unnatural for a dog to abandon the pack unless they are motivated to do so as they always know they can rejoin at any time. However, when the owner is separated from their dog it is involuntary. This can create an extremely hyper and exaggerated greeting as they have not yet accepted how to be apart. Dogs may also feel some relief when you get home as they may be bored and lonely all day.
Tastes and SmellsYour dog may also be very keen on jumping up and licking you in the face. There is a reason for this as they are trying to taste and smell what you have been up to all day. Don’t get us wrong they like to show you affection but they are also very curious.
So just remember if you are feeling down after a long day of work or just a bad day in general, your happy dog will be waiting for you to get home to give you lots of licks and attention. Just don’t forget to return the love.
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