Do Dogs Really Miss Us?

Dogs can have very expressive faces. But have you ever wondered if they really feel the way they look? For example, when we leave our dogs at home before going to work, their eyes contain a tinge of sadness. But do they really miss us?

Science Alert gives us an answer.

In a January 2015 episode of BrainCraft, this question was tackled and it was proven that our dogs really do miss us.

BrainCraft’s creator Vanessa describes a recent study where a scientist trains a dog to lay still in an MRI machine so they could study its brain activity. During the research, the team found that dogs really do understand what their owners are saying, despite the fact they cannot talk or speak the same language.

A test was also conducted to see whether dogs really do miss their owners. This was done by exposing the dog in the MRI machine to five different scents – its own, the scent of a familiar and unfamiliar dog, and a familiar and unfamiliar human.

When the dog smelled a familiar human, the caudate nucleus of its brain lit up. This is a region associated with positive expectations and rewards.

Another study also looked at how dogs behaved with people of varying levels of familiarity –their owner, a stranger, and a familiar human. It was found that dogs clearly miss their owners more than anyone else and will wait behind the door they left through, in an anticipation of their return.

Find out more on this study in the full article here.

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