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Sunday, July 20, 2014

How To Greet Your Dog

               Beautiful illustration by Jackie Clark Mancuso

This wonderful article from Modern Dog Magazine discusses in great detail what so many of us (both humans and dogs) have known in our hearts for eons—that touching is good for our souls, and that in turn, is good for our happiness. Science continues to show us what wonderful things can happen when humans and dogs interact, but according to recent studies, this mutual love-fest benefits our canine companions even more than we might have realized. In fact, "there are now methods to determine...[a dog's emotional state] scientifically," by measuring the amounts of oxytocin (that feel-good hormone) released into the bloodstream. Researchers also measured the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, which "often appears in times of unease, fear, tension and anxiety."

The bottom-line from these studies is that when you greet your dog after an absence (no matter how long or short the absence), the greatest level of the dog's release of oxytocin is when you use both your voice and touch.  Conversely, "...the drop in cortisol levels was sharpest when the person used both voice and touch in their greeting." The cool part is that when both voice and touch were used together, the pooch seemed to remained happier for a longer time after the greeting, than when the human used just voice or did not engage at all with the dog.

So you know what this means, don't ya? Say "hello" and pet your dogs lavishly each time you return home...even if you're just returning from getting the paper or taking out the trash—it will be good for both of you and strengthen the beautiful bond you already have.

Speaking of touch...I certainly engaged Parental Unit's weekend houseguest, her former college roommate. Good thing she loves dogs!


Unknown said...

Pawsome we so love a meet and greet and nothing is nicer than a welcome home even if the peeps has been gone for even a short time. We have missed you.
Have a marvellous Monday.
Best wishes Molly

Duke said...

We love it when our peeps come home and say our names and smile at us and give us loving pats! It makes us very happy ☺

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

Unknown said...

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