EverythingDogBlog #158: The Canine-Human Bond Abounds
In my Social Psychology class at Howard (Maryland) Community College, students write a term paper and present it to the class in a short oral presentation. Two students this year explored the same topic: the bond between human and canine.
I was so proud of Mattie and Taylor for doing such a great job. (Thanks, ladies!) It is evident that they both love dogs and found the best experts in the field to learn from. Here is what we learned from them.
Did You Know?
Did you know that dogs possess three traits that make them able to bond more closely to humans than other species? These traits are contact, greeting rituals and timing.
Dogs lick us, they jump up on us or even lie on us to sleep or snooze, they rub against us and sometimes love to lean touching us. We pet them, we massage them. Both of us seek warm, comforting touch with both species.
Fish and cats greet us differently when we return home after a long day at work or school than dogs do. Dogs wag their tails, jump around and, in other ways, show their excitement that we are home - at last.
Mutual acknowledgement of our arrival reassures both of us of our love for each other, which bonds us emotionally.
Dogs develop emotional ties at rates similar to humans, making it easier to bond with us.
So, What Good is the Human-Canine Bond?
Dogs can improve our physical, mental and emotional health. Dogs need to be walked and exercised and so, play the role of our personal trainers. The presence of a dog also increases interactions between humans – when out with your dog, you are more likely to be approached by a friendly face for a short conversation (about your dog, of course!)
The bond between ‘man and dog’ cannot be replicated with other species: it is unique due to our similar traits as well as the unconditional love and loyalty that dogs shower us with.
And “…no other species is as loyal to the human race as a dog.”*
Read more about it:
*Hare, B., & Woods, V. (2013). The genius of dogs: How dogs are smarter than you think. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
Horowitz, A. (2009). Inside of a dog: What dogs see, smell, and know. New York, NY: Scribner.
(This article first appeared on ColumbiaPatch.com on 5 May 2014.)