Latest Breaking News & Hot Updates Around USA OR All Over World

Dogs cry with joy when reunited with their owners as the blast of oxytocin causes their eyes to well up

0 109

After a long day, coming home with a tail wagging and some puppy love can be just what it takes to put a smile on your face.

And it turns out that our dogs are just as happy to see us again — so much so that they howl with joy.

Researchers at Azabu University in Japan found that puppies experience such a surge of oxytocin — the “love hormone” — that it causes tears in their eyes.

They measured the tear volume of dogs before and after reuniting with their owners and found that it increased.

Oxytocin was also added to their eyes to confirm that it stimulates the release of tears.

The study shows that people experience more positive emotions regarding dogs with wetter eyes, suggesting that their response helps them contact us.

Professor Takefumi Kikusui said: ‘We had never heard of the discovery that animals shed tears in joyful situations, such as reuniting with their owners, and we were all excited that this would be a world first!’

Researchers from Azabu University, Japan found that puppies experience such a surge of oxytocin – the ‘love hormone’ – that it causes tears in their eyes

Professor Takefumi Kikusui was inspired to investigate the reaction when his own poodle was given puppies six years ago and saw her rise while nursing her babies

Professor Takefumi Kikusui was inspired to investigate the reaction when his own poodle was given puppies six years ago and saw her rise while nursing her babies

The animal behavior expert was inspired to investigate the reaction when his own poodle had puppies six years ago, and he saw her rise while nursing her babies.

“That gave me the idea that oxytocin would increase tears,” says Professor Kikusui.

Dogs can produce tears, but they don’t fall like humans do and have not been associated with an emotional response until now.

Previous studies have shown that oxytocin is released in both dogs and their owners during interactions.

In their study, published today in Current Biologythe researchers wanted to know whether this hormone was related to tear production.

WHAT IS OXYTOCIN?

Oxytocin, known as the ‘love hormone’, inspires confidence and generosity.

The chemical is released naturally from the brain into the blood of humans and other mammals during social and sexual behavior.

It is produced by women during labor to help them bond with their babies and stimulate breast milk production.

The chemical is also released during sex, earning it the nickname “the cuddle hormone.”

Other loving touches, from cuddling a teddy bear to petting your dog, also trigger the release of the hormone.

First, they measured the tear volume of dogs before and after reuniting with their owner, as well as a known non-owner, after being separated from each other for more than five hours.

The volume appeared to increase with their owner, but there was no change in the person they did not know.

To investigate the relationship of this reaction to oxytocin, droplets of the hormone were added to the dogs’ eyes, which also increased tear volume.

This finding suggests it plays a role in tear production when dogs and their humans get back together.

In the third part of the study, the researchers asked people to rate photos of dog faces with and without artificial tears in them.

Each participant gave each photo a score, with a higher number meaning they had a positive reaction to the dog and wanted to touch or care for it.

A lower score would indicate a negative reaction if they found the dog scary or wanted to avoid him.

It found that respondents rated the dogs higher if they had wetter eyes, suggesting that the tears help foster a stronger bond between people and pets.

The researchers wrote, “Their tears may play a role in eliciting protective or nurturing behavior from their owners, resulting in the deepening of mutual relationships and leading to interspecies bonding.”

Tear volume (STT values) during the reunion with the owner and with the known non-owner.  Pre-volume (Pre) was measured before the reunion and post-volume (Post) was measured during the first 5 minutes of reunion after owner separation for more than 5 hours.  The volume appeared to increase with the owner, but there was no change in the person they did not know

Tear volume (STT values) during the reunion with the owner and with the known non-owner. Pre-volume (Pre) was measured before the reunion and post-volume (Post) was measured during the first 5 minutes of reunion after owner separation for more than 5 hours. The volume appeared to increase with the owner, but there was no change in the person they did not know

Positive emotion scores given to photos of dogs with (tear photo) and without (normal photo) sterile saline added to their eyes.  It found that respondents rated the dogs higher if they had wetter eyes, suggesting that the tears help foster a stronger bond between people and pets.

Positive emotion scores given to photos of dogs with (tear photo) and without (normal photo) sterile saline added to their eyes. It found that respondents rated the dogs higher if they had wetter eyes, suggesting that the tears help foster a stronger bond between people and pets.

While the results confirm that dogs do well when they see their owners again after a long period of absence, the researchers have yet to investigate whether the reaction is also related to negative emotions.

Future research will look at whether the tearing response is elicited when they reunite with other dogs, and whether it has a social function in the canine world.

Professor Kikusui added: ‘Dogs have become partners with people and we can form bonds.

“In this process, it is possible that the dogs that show watery eyes while interacting with the owner are more likely to be cared for by the owner.”

HOW IS YOUR DOG CHANGING YOUR BODY AND MIND?

Dogs have been shown to trigger the release of the ‘cuddle hormone’ oxytocin in their owners.

The chemical lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and relieves stress.

Our canines also cause our brains to release the “pleasure hormone” dopamine, which boosts your mood and long-term memory.

Eye contact and touch are powerful triggers of oxytocin and dopamine

This means that the more sociable dog breeds like Labradors and golden retrievers are more likely to have illegal oxytocin release.

Breeds that are more independent of humans, such as the Pyrenees, may cause a lower oxytocin response.

Dogs that we consider aggressive initiate the fight-or-flight response and trigger the release of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

These increase blood pressure and heart rate and can suppress the immune system for a long time.

Source: Meg Daley Olmert

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.