Any dog owner can tell you that there is a unique bond between a dog owner and their dog. Many dog owners are so close to their dogs that they see them as part of their family. The extent of this bond has long fascinated scientists and has been the focus of many studies. A new study has shown that dogs experience a physical reaction when they hear their owners tell them that they love them.
A UK vacation rental study called Canine Cottages conducted the study. They are a vacation company that specializes in dog-friendly rentals. Due to the company’s strong focus on animals, they decided to research the impact of a human’s presence on a dog to learn more about what makes dogs happy. In the study, they attached heart monitors to the dogs before running them through various scenarios. The heart tracings were then studied to find out if the dogs experienced a physical reaction to different situations. According to the rental company, the results of the study were surprising, heartwarming, and in some cases, unexpected.
The Findings of the Study
In an article on The Ron Project, it was reported that one of the most unexpected findings was the extent to which canines react to hearing their owners say ‘I love you.’ It was these words that caused the biggest physical reaction in the dogs participating in the study. While the researchers expected that the dogs hearing their owners come home would evoke a significant response, the tracings showed that their heart rates increased by just 10 percent when they were reunited with their owners after a short separation.
In contrast, the dogs’ heart rates increased by a whopping average of 46.2 percent when their owners offered words of affection. This surprising statistic shows just how much words of love from their owners mean to dogs. Another interesting finding from the study was that some scenarios could decrease a dog’s heart rate. For example, when their owners cuddled the dogs in the study, their heart rate decreased by an average of 22.7 percent. It is an indication that dogs find cuddling with their owners a calming and relaxing experience.
Sharing the Findings
Canine Cottages was both pleased and surprised by their study’s findings, and they wanted to share what they had learned with other people. Therefore, they shared the outcome of their study with their social media followers via their Facebook Page. In their Facebook post, they declared that it is now official that dogs love their humans. They described the study and told followers about the huge increase in a dog’s heart rate when they were told their owners said ‘I love you.’ The results may have surprised many of their followers, as many dog owners assume that telling their dogs that they love them is more for their own benefit than that of their dog. These findings show that dogs clearly have a good understanding of what their human is saying and when their owner is saying something positive and affectionate.
The Role of Voice Tone
Further findings of the study showed that a dog owner’s tone of voice also plays a significant part in the physical impact it has on their pet. According to the results of the study, the impact on dogs is greater when love and affection are evident in their owner’s voice. The findings show that there was a bigger increase in the dogs’ heart rates when their human used a high-pitched tone or talked to them like humans talk to babies. On the other hand, the effect was less when the same words were spoken using a low-pitched tone.
The Impact of The Study
So, you may wonder if there is any significance to these findings and whether it is possible to apply them in life. The researchers believe that not only are the findings significant, but they can also help dog owners to give their pet the best life possible. Now that dog owners officially know that their dog will have a positive response if they say ‘I love you’ to them, they can enhance their dog’s life by saying these words more often. Similarly, knowing that the dog will have a greater response when using a higher-pitched tone will encourage dog owners to speak to their dog in this way to make their dog feel as good as possible. The finding that cuddling a dog helps it to relax and remain calm is also useful information. Now that it is proven that cuddling has a calming effect, dog owners can use it as a strategy to calm their dog if it is feeling anxious, stressed, or over-excited in any way.
Benefits for Humans
Having dogs and humans spend time together is not only good for dogs, but it also has benefits for humans. Just like a dog has a physical reaction to their humans, studies also show that human experience similar effects when they spend time in the company of dogs. It is proven that being around dogs can benefit a person’s physical and emotional wellbeing. It is for this reason that many organizations use dogs for therapy purposes. The purpose of a therapy dog is to help those who are struggling mentally or emotionally. Some dogs have a working role in visiting schools, hospitals, and nursing homes, due to the positive impact that they have on people who spend time with them. They are also used by some police services to support victims of crime. Many people in stressful situations find that the presence of a dog has a calming effect and that stroking dogs can help them calm down. Therefore, there are clear benefits for both dogs and people from the unique bond between humans and canines.