Crufts: Why do dogs and humans bond so well? Bedford News

Dogs and humans have a special bond

The large number of dogs participating in this year’s Crufts is a testament to the special bond we have with ‘man’s best friend’.

Over 20,000 pooches join the world’s most famous dog show in a variety of competitions and shows over four days at the NEC Birmingham from March 10-13.

Crufts also celebrates the many diverse roles dogs play in our lives and includes competitions such as the Kennel Club Hero Dog Award.

Anyone who has a dog in their life knows how much comfort and joy they can bring.

But how do dogs really improve our mood?

Dog-friendly vacation rental specialist Canine Cottages worked with Sarah-Jane White, animal behaviorist at Ruffle Snuffle, and Dr. Deborah Lee of Dr. Fox Pharmacy to reveal how dogs can help improve our mood; from how we are affected by spending time with them to the science behind human-dog interactions.

How is human mood affected by spending time with dogs?

It’s no surprise that dogs make us happy.

According to recent research, 51% of dog owners said their dog makes them happy; 47% said their dog brought them love and affection; and 35% said the dog was a source of companionship.

“Spending time with pets has been shown to have a positive effect on mental health,” Deborah said. “Dogs can reduce levels of stress, anxiety and depression. They also help with loneliness which is now a recognized major risk factor for heart disease.

Sarah-Jane added: “Dogs are great at providing companionship. They are always happy to see us no matter what kind of day we are having.

“They also encourage us to get outside and exercise, which is great for our physical and emotional health. They help us bond with others and reduce stress levels.

“Not only do dogs improve our physical health by encouraging us to be active; they also support emotional well-being.

“They also provide an opportunity to take time out of our busy days and appreciate all the simple things in life – a great way to lift our spirits no matter what kind of day it’s been.”

Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” for good reason.

How is a dog’s mood affected by spending time with humans?

It’s not just us humans who are positively affected by spending time with dogs – their mood changes when we spend time with us, too.

“Dogs will naturally mimic the moods and emotions of those around them,” Sarah-Jane says. “For example, if your dog sees you laughing, chances are he’ll start to be happy too.

“Dogs are also great at reading our body language. If you cry, your dog will know something is wrong and will try to comfort you by snuggling up to you or licking your tears away.

“Like humans, dogs can also be affected by depression, anxiety and fear. It’s normal for some pets to become clingier than usual while others might retreat to their own space during times of crisis in an unhappy human home.

Deborah added: “Dogs are very perceptive and show great empathy with human emotions – something called emotional contagion.

“If their owners show distress and burst into tears, the dog often reacts by jumping up, rubbing its nose and licking the owner sympathetically. These observations lead animal psychologists to believe that dogs can connect to human emotions.

“Observations of dog behavior also show that dogs read expressions on human faces. They watch our eyes very closely, following the direction of gaze to help them judge a situation.

“They can intelligently recognize facial features, as they always recognize their owner regardless of hair color, scarves, hats and makeup. They are also, of course, very sensitive to their owner’s voice and commands. , which convey feelings and emotions.

Are there any scientific/hormonal changes when we spend time with dogs?

It’s not just our moods that change when we spend time with dogs, there’s the science behind it too.

Dogs can smell oxytocin, which is the “love” or “feel good” hormone that you release when you interact with something that makes you happy.

“Dogs have been shown to lower cortisol levels, which helps reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and cardiovascular strain,” Sarah-Jane says.

“Dogs decrease depressive symptoms such as unhappiness, feelings of worthlessness, and insomnia. Dogs increase levels of oxytocin, which also increases optimism, self-esteem, and the ability to handle stress. stress.”

“Research has shown that when we spend time with dogs, it has beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk,” Deborah said.

“In a 2017 study, more than three million participants who had no risk factors for cardiovascular disease were followed for 12 years.

“It was found that dog owners had a 33% reduction in the risk of death and a 17% reduction in the development of cardiovascular disease, compared to those who did not own a dog.”

To find out which dogs cost the most to insure, visit:

To learn more about improving your dog’s mood and helping him feel extra special, visit:

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This notice was published: 2022-03-10 18:09:42

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