Please see the NY Times piece “The Science of Puppy – Dog Eyes” from the 4/21 issue in the Science section. The article claims that dogs have acquired the uncanny ability to gaze at humans in a manner which causes the release of an attachment hormone called oxytocin in humans. This hormone, produced by the brain, is associated with nurturing and attachment, similar to the feedback between a parent and a child.
The dog’s gaze cues connection and response in the owner, who will reward the dog by gazing, talking, and touching, all of which helps form that connection between the two. According to researchers, what makes this study interesting is that it helps demonstrate that oxytocin can boost social interaction between two very different species.
So there now exists a scientific basis for what all of us dog lovers have known for years. Dogs love to connect with us, forming meaningful and long-lasting bonds with their “key social partners.”
–From our friends at Le Pet Spa, be sure to check them out at 300 Rector Place!