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Hormone Oxytocin In Dogs, Is Responsible for Sensitivity which Makes them Man’s Best Friend

Dog-Human relation as we know is far different from other animals, A new study speaks what's the reason behind their friendly and loving nature toward humans.

hormone oxytocin
Dog's hormone oxytocin sensitivity study. Pixabay

London, September 20, 2017: Ever wondered why some dogs are so friendly with their owners? It’s because of an association with genetic variations in sensitivity for the hormone Oxytocin, reveals a new study.

Since their domestication from their wild ancestor the wolf to the pets we have today, dogs have developed a unique ability to work together with humans.

One aspect of this is their willingness to “ask for help” when faced with a problem that seems to be too difficult.

However, there are large differences in the willingness to ask for help and to collaborate with humans, between breeds and between dogs of the same breed, according to the researchers.

This ability is associated with variations in sensitivity for the hormone oxytocin — known to play a role in social relationships between individuals.

The effect of oxytocin depends on the function of the structure that it binds to, the receptor, in the cell, the researchers said.

“Oxytocin is extremely important in the social interactions between people. And we also have similar variations in genes in this hormone system,” said Per Jensen, Professor at the Linkoping University, Sweden.

“Studying dog behaviour can help us understand ourselves, and may in the long term contribute to knowledge about various disturbances in social functioning,” Jensen added.

ALSO READ: Dogs can recognize human emotions: Research

For the study, published in the journal Hormones and Behavior, the team examined 60 golden retrievers whose levels of oxytocin in the blood was increased by spraying the hormone into their nose.

The results showed that some dogs with a particular genetic variant are more sensitive to the hormone oxytocin, making them more likely to seek help from their owners.

These results help us understand how dogs have changed during the process of domestication.

Analysing DNA from 21 wolves, the researchers found the same genetic variation among them.

This suggests that the genetic variation was already present when domestication of the dogs started 15,000 years ago.


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Man’s Best Friend: How Do ESAs Make You Feel Better?

Emotional support animals are a natural way to feel better

Pets give us the love and support we need to help cope with psychological conditions.

Emotional support animals improve the lives of those with mental conditions like anxiety,
depression, PTSD, and OCD.  ESAs increase well-being and mental health and help people
cope with their disabilities.  Animals provide unconditional love and support.  No matter
how bad your day was, your dog will always be happy to see you when you come home.
Even just petting an animal reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and is good for
heart health.  Learn more about how ESAs make you feel better.

You Feel Less Alone

Many people suffering from psychological conditions feel isolated and alone.  Those with
autism may have trouble connecting to other people.  When you’re depressed, it’s hard to
leave the house and have the energy to hold a conversation.  Dogs, cats, and other animals
ease the feelings of isolation without judgment or demanding questions. Your ESA ( maybe
you have heard the term emotional service dog?) is right there by your side no matter what, giving you love and support even if you feel like you don’t deserve it.

The results showed that the pups' attractiveness was lowest at birth and increased to a maximum before 10 weeks of age before declining and then levelling off.
Representational Image. Pixabay


Having an emotional support animal like a dog or cat helps keep you in a routine.  Dogs
require daily walks, forcing you to get out of the house even if you do not want to.  Find out the best dog breeds for social anxiety disorders. Dogs can help you interact with other
people and are great conversation starters.  Keeping a routine is great for stability and
reducing anxiety.  If you have depression, you have to put your ESA first and give them
exercise and attention.  Learn about the best ESA dog breeds for depression.

Stress Reduction

Animals make you smile, laugh, and reduce stress through happy brain chemicals like
oxytocin and reducing stress hormones like cortisol.  Dogs encourage exercise which helps
decrease stress and boosts mood.  Playing or just petting your pet is a natural stress
reliever.  Ever notice when you get home from a long, stressful day, you start to feel better
as soon as you give your pet some attention? It’s not magic; it’s science.

Also Read- Men Do Not Forget Pain Easily as Compared to Women

Emotional support animals are a natural way to feel better.  Pets give us the love and
support we need to help cope with psychological conditions.  This love and support
increase mental health and well-being.  Emotional support animals help people feel less
alone and isolated from the world.  It can be easier to connect with animals than people
when you’re feeling down or have a condition that makes it hard to communicate your

” Common Questions on how ESAs make you feel better? ”
” What does an ESA do? ”
” Do ESAs reduce stress? ”
” Why do ESAs make people with mental conditions feel better? “