图片 1

Myth #1: Dogs have a human appreciation of sharing

Man’s Best Friend: The Science Behind the Dog and Human Relationship

 

It’s been a long day at work. You’re exhausted and ready to crash. You
open the door, and suddenly there’s a wet nose, wagging tail, and
slobbery kiss to greet you. It would seem that your arrival is the
highlight of a dog’s day, and it very well might be. You greet your
friend and look into his happy face, grateful for the companionship.

 The bond between humans and dogs has lasted thousands of years and has
even shaped the way our brains have developed. Our canine companions
affect us in a surprising amount of ways, from boosting our immune
systems to staving off dementia. With everything that dogs do for us,
it’s no wonder they’ve been nicknamed “man’s best friend”.   

图片 2

Our history with dogs goes farther back than our history with
domesticated livestock, including sheep and cows. Evidence has been
found that supports dogs and humans living together as far back as
13,000 years. Initially, packs of wolves would follow humans, looking
for food scraps. At some point the friendlier wolves approached the
humans, who in turn took them in as companions. The bond was mutually
beneficial in that humans could provide shelter and protection, and
wolves could help bring down prey. Friendly wolves were bred with other
friendly wolves, to eventually become dogs. What’s interesting about
this, is that dogs evolved alongside humans, so they are able to connect
with us on a deeper level than many animals today.  

Research conducted by Emory University sought to find out if dogs
preferred receiving treats or praise. Scientists began by training
thirteen dogs to associate three different objects with different
outcomes. A blue toy knight signaled verbal praise, a pink toy truck
signaled a treat, and a hairbrush signaled no reward, and was a control.
Each dog was tested 32 times using an fMRI machine to scan their neural
activity. All of the dogs showed more neural activation for the reward
stimuli over the control hairbrush. Four of the dogs showed a stronger
activation for the praise over the treat stimulus, and nine showed
similar neural activation for both the praise and the treat
stimulus. “Dogs are hypersocial with humans,” says Emory neuroscientist
Gregory Berns, “and their integration into human ecology makes dogs a
unique model for studying cross-species social bonding.”

图片 3

This isn’t the only evidence of human-dog bonding. Dogs are one of the
few animals that understand abstract thinking, such as looking at an
object a human is pointing to rather than looking at the finger
itself. A recent
study conducted
in Hungary suggested that dogs process language the same way that humans
do, and that they are able to distinguish significant words from
insignificant. Dogs are also able to recognize human faces both in
photographs and in person, processing the images in the part of the
brain that deals with communication, emotional expression, and storing
memories. None of these traits are present in wolves, which suggests
that human influence has gone a long way in the development of the dog.

While it is interesting to note the evolution from wolf to dog, the
effect dogs have had on humanity could be considered just as
fascinating. Recent research has found that looking into a dog’s eyes
activates the same hormonal response that bonds us to human babies.
Scientists at Azabu University in Japan brought in 30 dog owners and a
few wolf owners for the experiment. Owners were asked to stare into the
eyes of the animals for a set period of time, with urine samples
collected from all participants before and after the study. The result
was that the dogs who stared the longest into their owner’s eyes
experienced a 130 percent rise in oxytocin levels (a chemical associated
with the feeling of happiness), with the owners experiencing a 300
percent rise in oxytocin. None of the wolf-owner duos experienced an
increase in oxytocin. This could explain why we feel so attached to our
furry companions, even going to far as to treat them like children.

Today, as it was thousands of years ago, dogs are not just companions.
Service dogs, therapy dogs, herding, and police dogs are everywhere in
Western society, with new positions evolving constantly. More than 2,300
reading education assistance dogs around the country are helping
children to improve their literacy skills by simply being present.
Children who are uncomfortable reading aloud to people are able to
practice with a nonjudgmental companion, and are more likely to practice
words they do not immediately recognize. In one study, children who read
to dogs over the course of 10 weeks exhibited a 12 percent improvement
in reading skills, while those who did not read to a dog showed no
improvement.

图片 4

Dogs can have a huge impact on the development of children, both
physically and mentally. A 2012 report in the
journal Pediatrics states that children who grow up in home with a pet
are less likely to get sick than children who live pet-free. Researchers
believe that by exposing children to pet dander and other microbes
brought in from outside, children’s immune systems get an early boost in
development. This early exposure helps them fend off illness later on in
life, and results in less use of antibiotics that could cause bacterial
resistance.

Another study found that children who owned a dog were more empathetic
and pro-social compared to children who grew up without a dog in the
house. Children also reported higher levels of positivity about their
home and family when they had a strong bond with the dog. Children can
greatly benefit from the love given and received by four-legged family
members who provide unconditional comfort.

The benefits boosted by our furry friends can be observed in both
children and adults alike. Dog owners, on average, have lower blood
pressure, lower cholesterol levels, fewer hearts attacks, and suffer
from less medical problems on average. This could be in part because dog
owners typically take their dogs on walks, which is part of a healthy
lifestyle. Dogs also encourage humans to be more
social. Studies have
found that 40% of people reported making friends much easier as the
result of owning a dog. And you know that happy feeling you get at the
end of a long work day when you see your furry friend? People who own
dogs have the lowest response to stress. It really does seem like dogs
make us better people!

The bond between dogs and humans is a truly special thing. Not everyone
can own a dog, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy quality time
with a canine companion. Shelters all around the country are always in
need of volunteers to help with the dogs. Fostering a dog can be a
rewarding and temporary opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the
canine-human relationship. Working with dogs can develop social skills
in children and can be therapeutic for adults. Dogs bring so much joy to
people and it’s so easy to return the favor. They are man’s best friend,
and as of yet, there’s no competition for the title. Just keep all of
this in mind when Fido tears up your new sneakers!

Man’s Best Friend: The Science Behind the Dog and Human Relationship

 

It’s been a long day at work. You’re exhausted and ready to crash. You
open the door, and suddenly there’s a wet nose, wagging tail, and
slobbery kiss to greet you. It would seem that your arrival is the
highlight of a dog’s day, and it very well might be. You greet your
friend and look into his happy face, grateful for the companionship.

 The bond between humans and dogs has lasted thousands of years and has
even shaped the way our brains have developed. Our canine companions
affect us in a surprising amount of ways, from boosting our immune
systems to staving off dementia. With everything that dogs do for us,
it’s no wonder they’ve been nicknamed “man’s best friend”.   

图片 2

Our history with dogs goes farther back than our history with
domesticated livestock, including sheep and cows. Evidence has been
found that supports dogs and humans living together as far back as
13,000 years. Initially, packs of wolves would follow humans, looking
for food scraps. At some point the friendlier wolves approached the
humans, who in turn took them in as companions. The bond was mutually
beneficial in that humans could provide shelter and protection, and
wolves could help bring down prey. Friendly wolves were bred with other
friendly wolves, to eventually become dogs. What’s interesting about
this, is that dogs evolved alongside humans, so they are able to connect
with us on a deeper level than many animals today.  

Research conducted by Emory University sought to find out if dogs
preferred receiving treats or praise. Scientists began by training
thirteen dogs to associate three different objects with different
outcomes. A blue toy knight signaled verbal praise, a pink toy truck
signaled a treat, and a hairbrush signaled no reward, and was a control.
Each dog was tested 32 times using an fMRI machine to scan their neural
activity. All of the dogs showed more neural activation for the reward
stimuli over the control hairbrush. Four of the dogs showed a stronger
activation for the praise over the treat stimulus, and nine showed
similar neural activation for both the praise and the treat
stimulus. “Dogs are hypersocial with humans,” says Emory neuroscientist
Gregory Berns, “and their integration into human ecology makes dogs a
unique model for studying cross-species social bonding.”

图片 3

This isn’t the only evidence of human-dog bonding. Dogs are one of the
few animals that understand abstract thinking, such as looking at an
object a human is pointing to rather than looking at the finger
itself. A recent
study conducted
in Hungary suggested that dogs process language the same way that humans
do, and that they are able to distinguish significant words from
insignificant. Dogs are also able to recognize human faces both in
photographs and in person, processing the images in the part of the
brain that deals with communication, emotional expression, and storing
memories. None of these traits are present in wolves, which suggests
that human influence has gone a long way in the development of the dog.

While it is interesting to note the evolution from wolf to dog, the
effect dogs have had on humanity could be considered just as
fascinating. Recent research has found that looking into a dog’s eyes
activates the same hormonal response that bonds us to human babies.
Scientists at Azabu University in Japan brought in 30 dog owners and a
few wolf owners for the experiment. Owners were asked to stare into the
eyes of the animals for a set period of time, with urine samples
collected from all participants before and after the study. The result
was that the dogs who stared the longest into their owner’s eyes
experienced a 130 percent rise in oxytocin levels (a chemical associated
with the feeling of happiness), with the owners experiencing a 300
percent rise in oxytocin. None of the wolf-owner duos experienced an
increase in oxytocin. This could explain why we feel so attached to our
furry companions, even going to far as to treat them like children.

Today, as it was thousands of years ago, dogs are not just companions.
Service dogs, therapy dogs, herding, and police dogs are everywhere in
Western society, with new positions evolving constantly. More than 2,300
reading education assistance dogs around the country are helping
children to improve their literacy skills by simply being present.
Children who are uncomfortable reading aloud to people are able to
practice with a nonjudgmental companion, and are more likely to practice
words they do not immediately recognize. In one study, children who read
to dogs over the course of 10 weeks exhibited a 12 percent improvement
in reading skills, while those who did not read to a dog showed no
improvement.

图片 4

Dogs can have a huge impact on the development of children, both
physically and mentally. A 2012 report in the
journal Pediatrics states that children who grow up in home with a pet
are less likely to get sick than children who live pet-free. Researchers
believe that by exposing children to pet dander and other microbes
brought in from outside, children’s immune systems get an early boost in
development. This early exposure helps them fend off illness later on in
life, and results in less use of antibiotics that could cause bacterial
resistance.

Another study found that children who owned a dog were more empathetic
and pro-social compared to children who grew up without a dog in the
house. Children also reported higher levels of positivity about their
home and family when they had a strong bond with the dog. Children can
greatly benefit from the love given and received by four-legged family
members who provide unconditional comfort.

The benefits boosted by our furry friends can be observed in both
children and adults alike. Dog owners, on average, have lower blood
pressure, lower cholesterol levels, fewer hearts attacks, and suffer
from less medical problems on average. This could be in part because dog
owners typically take their dogs on walks, which is part of a healthy
lifestyle. Dogs also encourage humans to be more
social. Studies have
found that 40% of people reported making friends much easier as the
result of owning a dog. And you know that happy feeling you get at the
end of a long work day when you see your furry friend? People who own
dogs have the lowest response to stress. It really does seem like dogs
make us better people!

The bond between dogs and humans is a truly special thing. Not everyone
can own a dog, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy quality time
with a canine companion. Shelters all around the country are always in
need of volunteers to help with the dogs. Fostering a dog can be a
rewarding and temporary opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the
canine-human relationship. Working with dogs can develop social skills
in children and can be therapeutic for adults. Dogs bring so much joy to
people and it’s so easy to return the favor. They are man’s best friend,
and as of yet, there’s no competition for the title. Just keep all of
this in mind when Fido tears up your new sneakers!

误解1:狗像人一样,懂得分享。

Humans can rationalize and appreciate the benefits of sharing. In
contrast, among dogs, possession is ten-tenths of the law.

人类能够合理分析和重视分享的益处。相反,狗的世界里只有占领。

So we should not take toys, bones and chews away from dogs unless we
have trained them to accept this form of intervention.

所以,我们不应该从狗狗那里夺走玩具、骨头、咀嚼物等,除非它们曾接受训练,能够接受这种干预举动。

Myth #2: Dogs always enjoy common human physical displays of
affection

误解2:狗狗总是享受人类表达感情的举动。

Humans often show their affection for others by hugging and cuddling
them. Dogs simply do not have the limbs and joints to achieve this and
so have not evolved to give each other a loving squeeze.

人类通过拥抱和搂抱表达感情。然而,狗没有进化出相应的肢体结构。

When embraced by humans, many can find this uncomfortable or
threatening. The same goes for patting dogs on the head.

因此,被人类拥抱时,它们常常感到不适或受威胁。拍打狗狗脑袋也是同样的道理。

Myth #3: Barking and growling dogs are always threatening or
dangerous

误解3:叫唤或怒吠的狗一定具有威胁性或很危险。

These are distance-increasing behaviors. The dogs using these signals
are chiefly trying to buy space so they can feel safer. All dogs,
regardless of their temperament or training, can at times want more
space.

它们之所以叫唤,主要是为了获得更多空间,让自己拥有安全感。无论性情如何,无论是否受过训练,任何狗狗在有些时候都想要有更多的空间。

They usually try more subtle signalling first, but many dogs learn that
subtle signals don’t work and go straight for shouting.

它们通常会先尝试微妙的暗示。不过,很多狗狗知道暗示没用,所以就直接叫唤了。

Myth #4: Dogs will welcome unfamiliar dogs to their home

误解4:狗会欢迎陌生狗来家里。

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