Ever since I can remember, I always loved pet animals and loved to surround them. Caring for pet animals is my ambition.
Everyone knows that dogs are loyal creatures. Moreover, they are man’s best friends. This is not just for this era, but a story that goes past ages to the beginning of life on earth. Many people will say, that it is a genetic quality. Some say that humans have dominated and changed their characteristics. Few others say it is the environment that has changed them. You must have also heard of some line incidents where dogs have not accepted the dominance of humans. So, is it right to just typecast them in a single role? You will definitely get to know about it here.
Top Reasons Why Dogs Are Loyal
There are some very practical reasons as to why dogs are so loyal to us.
- You act as your dog’s provider. So, do they really have a choice? Pet animals like dogs get their shelter and food supply from you and us. So, they are heavily reliant on humans. Apart from food, water, and a protected place to sleep, we also provide them with a good quality of life. Most Of us play with them and also love them like our own children. We are responsible for sustaining them. It is much different for strays and wild dogs, but this is the truth in the case o domestic dogs. You will find some dogs taking food and titbits from strangers, but ultimately, they come back to us.
- Dogs consider us as family. Dogs in the wild are used to living in packs. So, they consider you as a part of their pack. Dogs in the wild have an Alpha male, who dominates them. In the very same manner, you will find the dogs in your house giving you the status of an Alpha male, if you cater to their needs and demands. There is a profound display of love and affection on a constant basis, and that has led to the building of love, trust, and bonds. Dogs are intelligent creatures; who can sense all these feelings. Moreover, just you would protect your family from an intruder, dogs will do the same. That is the sole reason why dogs bark at strangers knocking on your door.
- Dogs develop an inherent friendship with you. You will often notice that dogs love some people in the family more than others. Yes, they also have preferences. Every dog has a distinct personality. That is the reason that differentiates one from the other. Even if you have more than one dog, you will often find that one is shy while the other is more outgoing. Some dogs love to cuddle all the time, and these are the same ones who get attracted to people who stay home at all times.
- So, you can say that they are more attracted to introverts. Additionally, there are extrovert dogs who love to go for long walks and also love to play around the house. These dogs get attracted towards extroverts in the house.
- When dogs come in touch with complementary personalities, they form strong bonds. You can also develop strong friendship with your dog, through dog training professional like petsfolio, petnpro and others. It mainly depends on the amount of time you spend with your dog.
- Now, we will go back to something, which relates to scientific evidence. Here we are with Genetics. So, most of you would probably bank on this aspect. Published works in Science Advances state that dog’s genetic makeup makes them easily domesticated and also has an impact on their social behavior. They are basically in a child-like state with heightened social and cognitive development status. Some of the recent works in this segment have stated that there is perhaps some kind of molecular mechanism that influences a dog’s social behavior. Scientists from Oregon State University have taken samples from various dog breeds and wolves, to study their genetic features in more details. At least four different mutations have come up, which point towards the social nature of dogs.
- You will be amazed to know that coyotes are more vicious in nature. Some dogs have wolf-like qualities, and some wolves may have dog-like qualities. Centuries ago, the latter had started staying close to human communities, which led to more social development. Some of these social wolves passed on their genetic makeup to their pups. And these pups eventually got domesticated, with a ready source of food, water, and shelter in such human communities.
- Both dogs and humans share history. Moreover, from times immemorial, wild dogs and humans have co-hunted. Both are exhaustion hunters. Both hunt in packs with group strategies. Moreover, both humans and wild dogs combine aggression with tactical abilities to attack unsuspecting prey. As time passes, humans found their confidante in dogs. So, both started hunting together.
- Both the humans and wild dogs started hunting together, and also formed close bonds. In some time, the smarter of the lot, we humans started cross-breeding the wolf-dogs and already-domesticated dogs to produce breeds that could benefit the human community in different ways.
- Thus, this lengthy history shows that both humans and dogs have evolved together. It is sort of a symbiotic relationship. The times that both the humans and dogs have spent together have led to a natural sense of loyalty between the two.
- Dogs need us, and that is another reason, why they stay with us. After domestication, dogs have become reliant on humans for various things. This reliance often shows a sense of trust. This has also led to the development of certain instincts in dogs. Thus, today you will find the dogs looking up to you for problem-solving or for the removal of obstacles. Both have an undefined trust and belief in one another.
- The more time, each one spends with the other, the more profound it gets. The domesticated dogs have lost their wild instinct, which makes them more submissive towards the human community.
- You will be amazed to know that dogs also have a lot of empathy for us. They can understand us better than our human counterparts. You must have noticed, that an active pup or dog will act docile, when your mood is low. Most dogs can alter their behavior to suit yours. If you cry your dog will be more tolerant of you and try to nudge you and comfort you. And, when you are happy your dog will resonate the same feelings. So, it is a mutually-dependent relationship.
- Another amazing fact that has come up, is that dogs too, have a burst of happiness hormones. When dogs spend time with their owners, they experience a rise in Oxytocin levels or happiness hormones. It acts like a positive stimulus for them. The canine heart rate also tends to increase.
These are a generalized viewpoints on loyalty. You will come across more such factors, when trying to unearth the reason behind a dog’s loyalty.
Dog Psychology – How Dogs Perceive Humans?
Now, we have come to a juncture where dog psychology plays an important role. Complex social life and interactions are one of the driving forces that have shaped the personality of dogs today. Additionally, evolution has given all species-appropriate tools to engage in sophisticated interactions that include getting food, conflict management, and formation of bonds. It is very clear from the very beginning that the man-dog relationship is based on dominance hierarchy from the very beginning.
Man has domesticated dogs for his very own selfish attitude. In the past, we have used them as our assistants in hunting rabbits and badgers from their holes. As time passed, we have engaged them in various tasks, that suit modern life. One of them is guarding the house. We interact with dogs in multiple contexts. So, it is also every human’s social responsibility to nurture dogs.
Understanding a dog’s psychology is quite important for those who reside with them. It does not really matter why you need to know or understand this. Understanding the dog’s psychology can help us to make the pet’s life better. Have you ever wondered how dogs think? Animal behavior has been studied as a separate science since the 1800s. Dog psychology mainly involves how dogs think how they interact, and how dogs bond with one another.
- You have already got an inkling of the pack mentality. Let us find out more about it in detail, in connection to dog psychology. Pack Mentality or Dominance has come over from the wolves. It has been seen in the wild that a pack of wolves often form a social hierarchy within their group. A male-female pair of wolves mainly oversees all the operations of the pack.
They also exercise aggressive behavior to keep the pack in check. It is a known fact that dogs are genetically related to wolves. So, much of this pack nature comes from there. Dogs consider you as a member of their pack. In your home, if you do not pay proper attention, your dog could soon assume the status of an Alpha. So, it is important to keep restraint.
- Pavlov’s Dog Psychology is another theory doing the rounds today. It is also referred to as classical conditioning in psychological circles. The same applies to humans as well. Ivan Pavlov had conducted a series of experiments on this since the 1800s. He was, in fact, the first researcher who demonstrated that the mind of dogs could be conditioned to pair with two unrelated events. He had used this theory to make the dogs salivate.
He had sounded a buzzer and then given food to the dog. In this experiment, the dog starts salivating. However, after some time, Pavlov only sounded the buzzer and did not give any food to the dog. However, the dig still salivated at the sound of the buzzer. After Pavlov released the reports there have been numerous other experiments that aimed to weigh the pros and cons of this theory, in relation to others. This style of learning is often referred to as Pavlov’s Conditioning. It helps the dog to respond to markers.
- Operant Conditioning and Positive Reinforcement are the new-age theories that have evolved from the past theories. B.F. Skinner studied dog behavior in a more complex manner. He set up a series of experimental conditions for the same. He stresses operant conditioning, through which he claims has a more profound effect on animal behavior. Positive and negative influences stimulate dogs to display certain behaviors.
- When you provide a negative stimulus to any action, the dog stops displaying that behavior. And, when you give a positive stimulus, it leads to a repeat of that very behavior. So, you can connect this to your interaction with dogs. If you want the dogs to display some kind of behavior reward them. Do the opposite if you want it to refrain from certain activities.
- All of the above theories, have some pros and cons. However, animal behaviorists strongly believe in certain theories. The first one points to the adaptive nature of dogs. Dogs also tend to learn from various types of human gestures. Moreover, they also tend to copy other animal behavior. There are more and more studies on dog psychology like never before. Now, you have more access to understanding the psychology of dogs. You will see more such developments in this field in the times to come.
- A whole new world has opened up in front of dog behaviorists and dog owners. With more and more dogs being kept as pets today, it is all the more important that you closely study dog psychology. It will open up more such possibilities, to make the relationship even better. You have to understand that loyalty of a dog is decided by various factors. However, the breed is also one of them. So, you need to know about some of the breeds that are considered to be more loving and loyal than others. Read about them here.
Top Dog Breeds and Loyalty
- Labrador Retrievers rank on top when you are out there looking for the most loyal breeds. It is one of the first choices for families with kids. Moreover, they also tend to have guard dog abilities. So, you can make them multi-task a lot. Labrador retrievers get along with everyone. They are one of the most popular breeds today, globally. Labrador retrievers are fun-loving and caring as well. Despite being docile towards their family, they will fiercely guard your home. You will find certain hound-like characteristics as well, when they bark.
- Bulldogs are another breed that is considered very loyal and protective. You should know a few facts about bulldogs. They were originally bred for bullfights and dog fights. Moreover, you can easily understand from their strong and muscular bodies, that they are resistant to the core. They can also turn into a loving house dog if you can provide them that kind of environment. Moreover, they can act more like a guard dog. It mainly depends on how you train them or bring them up. You should get into more details like the physical qualities, mental qualities, and social abilities. Bull dogs can also turn territorial, when you have intruders in the house. Moreover, they have the ability to guard over your kids.
- Golden Retriever is another dog that ranks high on the loyalty list. You can call it’s a close cousin of the Labrador Retriever. They are friendly and devoted dogs. Throughout the times, they have always come up as the most devoted family dogs. Apart from being family-oriented, they also make very strong guard dogs. You will be happy to know, that they have a lot of energy and are very active as well.
- German Shepherds are also there, and can give tough competition to the dogs mentioned above. These dogs are a well-trained lot, and very intelligent, too. You will find them featuring in the army as well. They turn out to be great bomb sniffers. Most police personnel also utilize their services in sniffing our weaponry, drugs, and criminal trails as well. They have been domesticated as well. You will also find them as carefree family dogs today.
- The Irish Setter is yet another dog, that has been used by humans for hunting purpose since the old ages. You will find that the dog has some unmatched qualities. They have an athletic built, as well. The Irish Hunters move with grace and are focused as hunters. They are from the Sports dog group. Apart from been staunch hunters, they are great as family dogs as well. They are also quite amicable to other dogs and cats. So, if you have any other pet in the house, both can co-exist.
- Newfoundland is another dog breed, that is going to fool your in the beginning. It definitely looks like a large bear from a distance. However, beneath that fluffy black coat, is a calm dog. They are extremely friendly and loving. It is needless to say, that they are extremely loyal and devoted to their families. They were originally bred to help fishermen pull out nets from the rivers and streams. So, now you can gauge why they are so large and heavy.
- Beagles are also one of the most loyal dogs you can have in the family. You must have seen them in various movies. They seem to be quite intelligent, which they really are. This is another one of the most popular breeds, hailed as companion dogs. They are friendly and active as well. Moreover, they have a lot of energy and stamina as well. They make a very good family pet as well. Do not go by their size, as they make very good home guards as well. They will bark constantly, if anything goes amiss at your home.
- Boxers are another breed, that needs special mention here. You will find them to be very alert dogs. It is one of the most popular breeds, that you can lay your hands on today. Their short snouts and square heads, make them easily recognizable. They have been known to form powerful bonds with their families and kids. They have a natural intelligence that make them very great problem solvers. They sometimes use their paws when in defiance. That must have led to the name ‘Boxer’.
- Akitas are not as famous as the others above, but they are definitely worth some attention. They are a part of the working breeds. You will see them performing a variety of tasks for you. They have a compact body, that make them agile to the core. The dog has served many Japanese families. It is a good guard dog and a family dog as well. Akitas are quite popular in Japan and are regarded as one of the country’s treasures. So, you should see it as one of the best loyal guards around.
- Dachshunds are small dogs, who were used to hunt rabbits and smaller rodents. They are often referred as sausage dogs. Although they are small, you need not go by their size. They are from the hound group. You will be scared by their distinctive bark. It can surely make a thief or burglar back off. They are very persistent and curious in nature, too. You will find them as good lap dogs as well. They come in several colors, and coat types. And, needless to say, that they are one of the best and loyal dogs around.
- Great Danes also make great pets. Do not be fooled by their size, as they are gentle giants. Robbers often get intimidated by their sheer size. However, they are real people pleasers. You will find them, to be very effective guard dogs. The dog is of the same size as a miniature horse, and that makes it all the more interesting. You will find them low on energy, but they are quite alert. They have to put very little effort on their part, while guarding spaces. Their sheer size, is enough to send intruders packing off.
So, these are the top breeds that are loyal to the core. You can delve deeper in this subject and still be in awe, with the discoveries. There is a lot more that you can unearth today.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Nikhil