- A new study has determined that dogs shed tears just like humans when experiencing a positive emotion such as a reunion.
- The tears are due to the release of oxytocin which dogs and humans share.
- Professor Takemi Kikusui first observed the oxytocin’s effect when his dog who just gave birth shed tears when nursing her pups.
Takefumi Kikusui, a professor at the Laboratory of Human-Animal Interaction Reciprocity at Azabu University in Japan, has published a study that oxytocin or the “love hormone” is shared by humans and dogs during interactions.
The tears that humans shed are due to the release of oxytocin. And dogs shed tears too when they feel positive emotions.
The study which was published by Current Biology found out that when dogs reunite with their owners after being separated for a long time or when they nurse their puppies after giving birth, they cry happy tears.
The release of oxytocin proves the bond between humans and dogs. Kikusui said, “Dogs have become a partner of humans, and we can form bonds. In this process, it is possible that the dogs that show teary eyes during interaction with the owner would be cared for by the owner more.”
This research result follows a 2020 Canine Cottages Study which determined that when owners say “I love you” to their dogs, the dogs’ heart rates increase by 46%. And when owners reunite with their dogs, their heart rates’ also increase by 10%.
And in April this year, it was determined by research that the phenomenon “puppy dog eyes” is a product of thousands of years of selective breeding.
Now there is a scientific basis for the bond between dogs and humans that makes it stronger and more understandable.