Secrets about the Friendship Between Man and Dog

Everyone's heard the saying dogs are man's best friend. But do you know why they say it? Today we'll tell you about the true friendship between man and dog.
Secrets about the Friendship Between Man and Dog

Last update: 05 April, 2019

Scientists from all over the world have researched just when the beginning of the close friendship between man and dog started. They believe that they were the first animals that man domesticated. However, we don’t really know how man was able to transform a wild wolf into a nice, friendly pet. 

According to Greger Larson, at Oxford University in England, it’s an enigma that still puzzles experts. It wasn’t one specific event, instead it was a generational change that took several years. This means that it wasn’t a simple task. Dogs didn’t just become man’s best friend overnight.

The latest theory states that the first domestication of wild wolves took place in Asia, two thousand years ago at most. To reach this conclusion, experts analyzed canine fossils and then compared them with modern DNA samples. Although this is when these animals ‘started’ to be more sociable with humans, they were first used for work, not as pets.

Secrets about the friendship between man and dog

Research carried out at the University of Azabu, in Japan, tells the story of the friendship between man and dog. It explains that we both have a hormone that triggers when we see one another. This is the same hormone that activates when we see our children or our parents.

After studying 30 people playing with dogs for a half an hour, the experiment showed that both the dogs and the owners increased their levels of the hormone oxytocin. This is secreted during labor and lactation, as well as when mother and baby look each other in the eyes for a few minutes.

When they repeated the same research between men and wolves, the latter turned their eyes away and their levels of oxytocin didn’t increase. As a result, the experts concluded that the long coexistence between people and dogs created a hormonal development in both of them. For this reason, dogs are very loyal to their owners and love them unconditionally. 

This hormone makes us happy and plays a large role in our social lives. Without it, no one could be altruistic, affectionate or trusting. That’s why experts believe that dogs have more oxytocin in their bodies than humans.

This finding has also led us to think that our pets can be very useful in the treatment of autism. It can also be helpful for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress. Additionally, dogs can be the best treatment for loneliness, depression and other psychological disorders.

Life between dogs and humans

A dog is with his family.

There’s a cable channel called Animal Planet that’s completely dedicated to animals. Recently, it launched a series that tells the story of one of the most important relationships that some people have: with their dogs. This production will showcase some facts that explain how dogs have contributed to the advancement of societies (which went from hunters to farmers) as well as to the personal lives of human beings.

Our dogs’ loyalty, affection and interaction have undoubtedly made them our best friends. These animals, however, have not always been as friendly as they are today. The story begins when they were wild wolves. Then, little by little, they have forged a friendship with people that’s filled with trust and companionship.

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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.