We see the way they gaze at us—heads cocked, their big brown eyes intensely focused on our faces as they're cuddled up on our laps or by our side. Could this be the look of love?
A researcher at Claremont Graduate University in California thinks so. According to Paul Zak, in an article published in The Atlantic, dogs may be capable of feeling love and kindness towards humans and other animals. Zak reported the results of a study he completed in which he studied the levels of oxytocin—a hormone associated with bonding and endearment—in a dog while the dog interacted with another animal (a goat). He found that in the dog, levels increased 48% (indicating he viewed the goat as a friend), and the goat’s levels increased more than 200% (suggesting the goat had even stronger feelings—similar to love—towards the dog).
Well, isn’t that just sweet?