According to previous studies and the psychologists and scientists behind them, mixing animals with the idea of love is something that sounds good on paper, but not much else. This is because the idea itself is seen as placing sentimentality over scientific rigor, which is a no-no in a field that thrives on facts and the scientific method.
A new book, however, says otherwise, arguing that when it comes to dogs, the only word that can explain the relationship between us and this loyal animal species (and our best friends) is love.
The book, aptly titled “Dog is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You” was written by Clive Wynne, founding director of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University. Currently 59 years old, the animal psychologist spent most of his life studying dogs and, much like his peers in the field, believes that ascribing an emotion as complex as love to dogs is simply an act of anthropomorphism.
He was, however, swayed by a growing body of evidence that all point to that direction.
“I think there comes a point when it’s worth being skeptical of your skepticism,” Wynne said .
And it’s not a new study as well since other researchers already made dog love a definitive topic for their writings, leading to canine science (specifically the one that involves their smarts) experiencing some sort of reignited resurgence during the last two decades or so.
Per Wynne, he believes that one of the most striking evidence behind comes from a study that showed the role that oxytocin, a brain chemical, plays between the interspecies relationship between dogs and humans.
As to where he thinks dog science will go next, Wynne believes it’s to better understand how domestication happened thousands of years ago.
An advocate of the trash heap theory, Wynne doesn’t believe in the popular theory of humans catching wolves and domesticating them, which is why he doesn’t agree with pain-based training methods such as shock collars.
“They just need our company, they need to be with people,” he added.