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The bond between a dog and owner is similar to that of an infant and mother | Research

If you have kept a dog, or a puppy, who has grown up with you, chances are their attachment to you is similar to that of an infant and its mother. Hungarian researchers at the Department of Ethology, MTE-ELTE Lendulet Neuroethology of Communication Research Group and MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group, and Eotvos Lorand University revealed that there are a lot of similarities between that of a dog and owner, and an infant and mother.

Dogs are known to develop a loving and deep bond with their owners. Not only do they have deep admiration for their humans, but they form bonds of attachments with them. For them, their owner is a safety net from unsafe places. This is exactly how the bond between a child and a mother works.

Researchers combined brain data and behavioral data of pets. To measure how attached dogs are to their owners, the Strange Situation Test was used, and the brain activity was measured through functional magnetic resource imaging (fMRI).

During the research, dogs were made to listen to two kinds of comments by their owners, this was in the MRI. Data was collected of their sentiments towards praising sentences spoken by someone they know, and neutral, or meaningless, sentences said by their owners.

The results showed that the reward center of the canine’s brain was vulnerable to the owner’s praise. Also, the dogs that were more attached or affectionate towards their owner showed more mental reward-response to the owner’s voice.

From the discoveries, it was concluded that dogs recognize the voice of their owners and their voice is more rewarding, even if they are saying neutral sentences.

It was concluded that just like infants, dogs felt rewarded listening to not only praise but also neutral sentences. This showed that they are attached to their owners, and love them a lot too.

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