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Its all in the eyes; new study shows why dogs fall in love with humans

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Don’t be baffled by how scientists show the transformation of wolf – from wild beast to an adorable, friendly canine companion. Because, a new study, headed by Takefumi Kikusui of the Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology at Azabu University in Japan, puts forward a new theory that dogs and homo sapiens progressed together and became ‘buddies’ over the centuries through the mutual eye contact and the higher level of oxytocin (sometimes known as “love hormone”). This, in turn, cultivated the faith and emotion between the two.

It is noteworthy that previous researches suggested that a similar behavior in mother and her child leads to long lasting love and protection. When a mother locks gaze with her baby, it stimulates production of oxytocin, resulting in an outflow of love, strong bond and a sense of protection.

The study, published in the US journal Science, unveiled  that, “Dogs are more skillful than wolves and chimpanzees, the closest respective relatives of dogs and humans, at using human social communicative behaviors.”

The group of researchers observed 30 dog owners communicate with their canine pals for half an hour, and then measured the oxytoxin levels in dogs and their owners, revealed the first part of the study.

The second part focused more on finding out whether the oxytocin actually led to the prolonged stare. The researchers administered oxytocin to a new pack of dogs, and then observed how they communicated with their owners. On a strange note, oxytocin administered to female dogs drew higher levels in both the dogs and their owners when compared with male dogs. However, researchers failed to prove why this happened.

In a nutshell, this interesting research implies that over time as we tamed dogs, they might have evolved with a mutually benign ability to connect with humans exactly the same way that we bond with each other.

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Even Your Dog Has Its Own Personality Traits

Dogs' personalities can also predict many important life outcomes suggesting that canines' personalities influence how close they feel to their owners, biting behaviour and even chronic illness.

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The findings showed that dogs and owners share specific personality traits indicating that extroverted humans rated their dogs as more excitable and active. Pixabay

Not only humans, but their canine friend too have moods and personality traits that shape how they react in certain situations, says a new study.

The study revealed that, like humans, dogs’ personalities are likely to change overtime.

Dogs’ personalities can also predict many important life outcomes suggesting that canines’ personalities influence how close they feel to their owners, biting behaviour and even chronic illness.

“When humans go through big changes in life, their personality traits can change. We found that this also happens with dogs and to a surprisingly large degree,” said lead author William Chopik Professor from Michigan State University in the US.

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Exposure to obedience classes to dogs and training were associated with more positive personality traits across the dog’s lifespan, Chopik suggested. Pixabay

“We expected the dogs’ personalities to be fairly stable because they don’t have wild lifestyle changes humans do, but they actually change a lot. We uncovered similarities to their owners, the optimal time for training and even a time in their lives that they can get more aggressive toward other animals,” said Chopik.

While older dogs are much harder to train, the right time to teach a dog obedience is around the age of six when it has crossed the puppy stage, but before it is too set in its ways, Chopik noted.

Exposure to obedience classes to dogs and training were associated with more positive personality traits across the dog’s lifespan, Chopik suggested.

The study, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, surveyed owners of more than 1,600 dogs, including 50 different breeds.

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A Cape Cod-style home, a simple, rectangular structure, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. (Photo by Carol Highsmith). VOA

The findings showed that dogs and owners share specific personality traits indicating that extroverted humans rated their dogs as more excitable and active.

Also Read: Virgin Galactic Takes Crew of 3 to Altitude of 55 Miles

Owners high in negative emotions rated their dogs as more fearful, active and less responsive to training.

Further, owners who rated themselves as agreeable rated their dogs as less fearful and less aggressive to people and animals. (IANS)