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Do dogs miss their owners?

07 Jun 2016 | by Ruchika Anand | Posted in: Wag News

We miss our parents when they are away. Seems like our lovely little furballs miss their parents too!

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For humans, we often say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. For dogs we would need to rewrite those literature books from scratch, or do we? What we often tend to overlook is that although dogs are animals, they feel the pain and anguish of separation, just like humans. Their evolution along with humans has somewhat brought about a change in their psychology and behavior. Dogs like human company, unlike many animals. It is only natural that they miss their owners when gone. Yes, your dog misses you when you are not around him!

There are tales abound of the loyalty of dogs. It is the same loyalty, which brings about the special attachment between a dog and his owner. There even exists a scientific reason for this attachment. Dogs have brain mapping similar to humans. In a recent study, a dog trained to lay still in an MRI machine was tested for its brain activities. The study involved testing the ability of the dog to follow the instructions given to him and exposing him to five different scents, to record its response. The theory whether dogs miss their owners was tested by exposing the dog in the MRI machine to five different scents - its own, the scent of a familiar and an unfamiliar dog, the scent of the owner and an unfamiliar human. The results of the experiment were quite obvious. A part of the brain called caudate nucleus was seen to be the most active when the dogs smelt a familiar human. Caudate nucleus in a dog’s brain is associated with positive expectations and rewards. This went on to prove the fact that dogs miss their owners when they are away, and their return makes them feel more desired and happy. However, no direct relationship exists between the period of absence of the owner and the intensity of the emotions shown by the dog on his return. It has been observed that dogs are more excited to greet their owner if they are left alone for two hours. Anything less than 30 minutes of absence does not stir up strong emotions but between two and four hours the difference is anything but noticeable.

Even if the facts of the research could be refuted, we have seen some great examples over the centuries of how a dog waits in anticipation for his master. Who can forgetthe Akita,Hachiko? He returned to the station where he used to meet a professor, for nine years, nine months and fifteen days, even after the professor had died and never returned. Truly, dogs are irreplaceable as friends and desirable as pets.

We miss our parents when they are away. Seems like our lovely little furballs miss their parents too!


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