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Research reveals dogs are born to love

A small dog in the arms of its owner dog-wow
© Pixabay

New research attempts to uncover the truth about the relationship between dogs and humans, and suggests that a dog's love for its owner is in its DNA.

By Nick Whittle , 23 Feb 2020

 

The studies of Brit Clive Wynne, published in a new book, suggest dogs have an innate want to love and be loved; so much so that their logical intelligence comes second place to their emotional needs.

Founder of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University, Mr Wynne's studies take him beyond our current penchant for examining canine intelligence and into the realm of heart strings and wistful gazes.

DNA of love

Wynne suggests that before dogs turned domesticated they were hit by a genetic mutation which caused them to become gregarious and desirous of close relationships with other animals.

Wynne suggests the mutation took place between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago, when dogs and humans began regularly hunting together.

What are the oldest breeds of dog? Check out our list of primitive breeds.

In 2009, a UCLA geneticist discovered a genetic mutation in dogs similar to that of humans who possess the Williams Syndrome: a condition that affords the bearer the pressing need to form emotional attachments with people, as well as a mild intellectual disability.

"The essential thing about dogs, as for people with Williams syndrome,” Wynne writes, according to the Bangkok Post, “is a desire to form close connections, to have warm personal relationships -- to love and be loved.”

"All your dog wants is for you to show them the way.

"Our dogs give us so much, and in return they don't ask for much," Wynne adds.