You perhaps already know your dog feels and shows love towards you. People magazine reports on a study by Canine Cottages measuring changes in heart rate when interactions between owner and pet dog occurred.
Heart rate findings between dog and owner
A heart rate monitor equipped collar was attached to the dog. It detected increases in heart rate by 46% when the owner said “I love you” to the dog. A good cuddling session with the dog also saw heart rates reduce on average by 23%.
Owners also had their heart rate monitored. They had an increase of up to 10% in heart rate when seeing their dog after time apart.
Do the words: ‘I love you’ hold any magic power?
This study leaves us curious to know if different results could be achieved by saying a different set of words, or saying them differently?
When we speak to a dog and use a higher pitch with an upwards inflection at the end, it’s often more excitatory – an anticipation of what comes next like when going for a walk. Ending the sentence on an ‘up’ rather than a ‘down’ sound may change the response.
Do you see the same heart rate changes with a different human subject (not the owner)? Does anyone saying “I love you” have this effect? It wasn’t clear from the results provided.
Those questions aside, this study will bring a smile to every dog owner and confirms the real love they feel. The study also lays out the ways a dog shows its affection to us in their infographic.