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Do Our Dogs Love Us?

This past Sunday, The New York Times published an Op-Ed piece entitled Dogs Are People, Too. While am I sure that the title achieved its goal of enticing people to read the article, it is certainly exaggerated when taken literally. However, the author goes on to share some fascinating research results in his quest to answer the questions: Do our dogs love us?


Starting with his own adopted shelter dog Callie, Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns has been training dogs to get into an MRI machine and then scanning their brains. His findings are coming out in his new book: How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain. What he has discovered is that:

Although we are just beginning to answer basic questions about the canine brain, we cannot ignore the striking similarity between dogs and humans in both the structure and function of a key brain region: the caudate nucleus.

The New York Times piece contains some more medical details – but I got a lot more out of viewing the video below, where you can not only hear professor Berns explain his goals and findings, but you can also get a good peek and understanding of how the tests were carried out. Please watch the video and then share your thoughts in the comments area below.


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2 Responses to Do Our Dogs Love Us?

  1. pafowelr October 18, 2013 at 3:36 AM #

    I know I loved my female Lab, Molly Bloom, and believe she loved me. But I have witnesed great love between dogs. When Molly was fifteen I brought another,younger dog, Sanch Panza, into our house, the idea for her to train him.
    It worked wonderfully. I didn’t do a thing, but he was trained. They seemed to be very fond of each other, Molly being the alpha bitch. Two years later I had to take beloved Molly to her vet and have her put down because of a large malignant tumor on her femur. Her vet cried more than I did as we embraced.
    After calming myself enough I drove home and began walking to the back gate I heard Sanch begin to cry, and cry more loudly. On opening the gate I saw him in dispair, crying, curled up by me. He refused to eat for three days, and then I got him to eat my hand feeding him. If this was not a display of love I don’t know what is. I tear up a little as I write this.

    • LAdogs October 18, 2013 at 10:19 AM #

      Beautiful.. Thanks for sharing.

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