There are many ways that humans tell their dogs they love them. We know without a doubt that we love our dogs and that our dogs love us in return. But how do they show their love? Every dog parent might have a slightly different answer to this question, but as it turns out, there are plenty of correct answers.
Canine Cottages, a company with a series of dog-friendly cottages in the UK, recently conducted a study that measures a dog’s love. So, now there’s solid proof that our dogs truly love us.
How Do Our Dogs Show Us They Love Us?
This study used special collars that track the heart rates of the dogs wearing them. They gave collars to four different dogs and tracked their heart rates throughout a period of seven days. They observed what specific events caused each dog’s heart rate to increase or decrease.
During the study, they discovered ten different ways that dogs show their love for us based on their heart rates:
- Licking or kissing
- Curling up on you or next to you
- Greeting you with a wagging tail
- Begging for attention, such as pawing at you or resting their head on you
- Bringing their favorite toy to you
- Showing their belly or sleeping on their back
- Protecting you
- Jumping up on you
- Chewing on your belongings
- Approaching you when they’re in pain
Not all of these are desirable behaviors. In fact, actions like chewing and jumping are often corrected with training. But dog behaviorists discovered that these regular dog habits are ways that canines express their love. But how can they be so sure? Well, the answer is in the heartbeat.
The Study Results
Over the seven-day period, the average dog heartbeat was 67 beats per minute (bpm). Whenever a dog would get excited, their heart rate would greatly increase. On the other hand, when they were feeling calm, it would decrease significantly.
The researchers found that when each dog’s human said “I love you” to them, their heart rates would skyrocket by an astounding 46%, reaching about 98 bpm. They also found that cuddling with their loved ones caused each dog’s heart rate to decrease. Cuddling caused a 23% decrease, reaching an average of 52 bpm.
The dogs weren’t the only ones in love though. Each human’s heart rate was tested as well. When the humans saw their dogs after a long period of time apart, their heart rates increased by an average of 10%.
“It’s amazing to see that our dogs’ heart rates increase when they are told they are loved, showing excitement, and decreases when having cuddles, showing contentedness,” said Shannon Keary, the campaigns manager at Canine Cottages. “It’s also interesting to see all the weird and wonderful ways our pets show their love for us. From this data, we can now officially say that our dogs really do love us!”
This wholesome study has confirmed that dogs show their love for us in nearly everything they do. So, now you have an excuse to say “I love you” to your dog more than you already do.
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