WASHINGTON, USA – The idea that animals can experience love was once anathema to the psychologists who studied them, seen as a case of putting sentimentality before scientific rigor.The animal psychologist, 59, began studying dogs in the early 2000s, and, like his peers, believed that to ascribe complex emotions to them was to commit the sin of anthropomorphism – until he was swayed by a body evidence that was growing too big to ignore.
Titles like"The Genius of Dogs" by Brian Hare have advanced the idea that dogs have an innate and exceptional intelligence.Even wolves, dogs' ancestor species known for their ferocity and lack of interest in people, have shown the ability to follow human cues -- including, in a recent Swedish study, by playing fetch.
One of the most striking advances comes from studies regarding oxytocin, a brain chemical that cements emotional bonds between people, but which is, according to new evidence, also responsible for interspecies relationships between dogs and humans."The essential thing about dogs, as for people with Williams syndrome, is a desire to form close connections, to have warm personal relationships – to love and be loved," writes Wynne.
Magnetic resonance imaging has drilled down on the neuroscience, showing that dogs' brains respond to praise as much or even more than food.IT'S LOVE. File photo of a pet owner with her dogs as she returns to their house in Lemery, Batangas after staying for almost two weeks in an evacuation center in Nasugbu on January 26, 2020. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler
Wynne is an advocate for the trash heap theory, which holds that the precursors to ancient dogs congregated around human dumping grounds, slowly ingratiating themselves with people before the enduring partnership we know today was established through joint hunting expeditions.
Wynne guesses this happened 8,000 - 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, when humans began regularly hunting with dogs."All your dog wants is for you to show them the way," says Wynne, through compassionate leadership and positive reinforcement.
"You don't need to be buying all these fancy expensive toys and treats and goodness knows what that are available.
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Having her as a part of our family makes our daily life extra special.
What makes dogs so special? Science says loveThe idea that animals can experience love was once anathema to the psychologists who studied them, seen as a case of putting sentimentality before scientific rigor. “Our dogs give us so much, and in return, they don’t ask for much,” Clive Wynne says. The idea that animals can experience love was once anathema to the psychologists who studied them, seen as a case of putting sentimentality before scientific rigor.
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