We all know that the human — canine bond dates back centuries. Together we’ve evolved and grown closer and closer. If you’re like me, more often than not you’ve felt insanely and perfectly in sync with your pup. It’s like you can read each other’s thoughts! What’s more? People have probably commented on how you guys were practically made for each other. Well, science can explain ALL of this.
In a recent study conducted by the Department of Psychology — Neuroscience & Behavior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, researchers found that dogs’ hormones synchronize to match the hormones of their owners/handlers.
Lead author Alicia Phillips Buttner told Discovery News why this happens:
“Given that both humans and dogs are such highly social species, synchronization of hormonal states could aid in social communication and cooperation.”
The researches tested the saliva of 58 dogs and their handlers before and after an agility contest. They found that in both humans and their dogs cortisol levels matched each other’s.
It’s already known that dogs and humans affect each other’s oxytocin levels (love hormone levels) to a certain degree. This research moves forward in supporting the deeper impact pup and pup parent seem to have on each other.
“Since we know that positive contact between dogs and owners results in lower cortisol levels and higher oxytocin levels in both species, it would be interesting if this effect becomes a stable, long-term trait of both the dogs and their owners,” said Buttner to Discovery News.