Pets have gained the upper paw over their so-called
owners宠物比它们所谓的主人的地位更高There is a range of theories about
how Homo sapiens came to rule the planet. Opposable thumbs, cranial
size, altruism and cooking all played a part, but central to the naked
ape’s success was its ability to dominate other
equids and, in particular, canids, were put to work by H. sapiens;
felids always took a slightly different view of the matter, but were
indulged for their rodent-catching
humanity has got richer, animals’ roles have changed. People need their
services less than before. Fewer wolves and bandits meant less demand
for dogs for protection; the internal-combustion engine made horses
redundant; modern sanitation kept rats in check and made cats less
longer necessities, domestic animals became luxuries. Pet-keeping seems
to kick in en masse when household incomes rise above roughly $5,000. It
trend is not a new one. Archaeologists have found 10,000-year-old graves
in which dogs and people are buried together. Some cultures—such as in
Scandinavia, where canines have long been both working dogs and
companions—have kept pets for
these days the pet-keeping urge has spread even to parts of the world
which have no tradition of snuggling up on a comfy chair with a furry
parts of Asia where people used to regard the best place for man’s best
friend as not the sofa but the stewing-pot, along with some onions and a
pinch of seasoning, and where cats were made into tonics, norms are
changing fast. The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, has a rescue
dog, and the mayor of Seoul has promised to shut down dog
where dogs were once rounded up and slaughtered on the ground that
keeping pets was bourgeois, has gone mad for cutesy breeds like
Pomeranians, whose wolfish ancestors would have swallowed them whole for
elevenses. Traditionalists attending the annual dog-meat festival in
Guangxi now find themselves under attack by packs of snarling
pet business is growing even faster than pet numbers, because people are
spending more and more money on them. No longer are they
food-waste-recyclers, fed with the scraps that fall from their masters’
shelves groan with delicacies crafted to satisfy a range of appetites,
including ice cream for dogs and foods for pets that are old, diabetic
or suffer from sensitive digestion; a number of internet services offer
bespoke food, tailored to the pet’s individual
the business this is called “pet humanisation”—the tendency of pet
owners to treat their pets as part of the family. This is evident in the
names given to dogs, which have evolved from Fido, Rex and Spot to—in
America—Bella, Lucy and
Fido、 Rex 和 Spot 到现在的 Bella、Lucy 和 Max。It is evident in the
growing market for pet clothing, pet grooming and pet hotels. It is
evident in the demand for breeds such as the French bulldog, which,
tellingly, looks a bit like a human
still assume that pets must be working for humanity in some way, perhaps
making people healthier or less anxious. But the evidence for that is
weak. Rather, new research suggests that canines have evolved those
irresistible “puppy-dog eyes” precisely to manipulate human emotions. It
species that once enslaved others now toils to pay for the care of its
pets, which lounge on the sofa waiting to be taken to the grooming
salon. Sentimental Americans often refer to themselves not as cat-owners
but as the cat’s “mommy” or
Koreans go one further, describing themselves as cat “butlers”,
pandering to every feline whim. Watch a hapless dog-walker trailing
“his” hound, plastic bag in hand to pick up its mess, and you have to
wonder: who’s in charge

Man’s Best Friend: The Science Behind the Dog and Human Relationship


澳门新普京下载 ,It’s been a long day at work. You’re exhausted and ready to crash. You
open the door, and suddenly there’s a wet nose, wagging tail, and
slobbery kiss to greet you. It would seem that your arrival is the
highlight of a dog’s day, and it very well might be. You greet your
friend and look into his happy face, grateful for the companionship.

 The bond between humans and dogs has lasted thousands of years and has
even shaped the way our brains have developed. Our canine companions
affect us in a surprising amount of ways, from boosting our immune
systems to staving off dementia. With everything that dogs do for us,
it’s no wonder they’ve been nicknamed “man’s best friend”.   

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Our history with dogs goes farther back than our history with
domesticated livestock, including sheep and cows. Evidence has been
found that supports dogs and humans living together as far back as
13,000 years. Initially, packs of wolves would follow humans, looking
for food scraps. At some point the friendlier wolves approached the
humans, who in turn took them in as companions. The bond was mutually
beneficial in that humans could provide shelter and protection, and
wolves could help bring down prey. Friendly wolves were bred with other
friendly wolves, to eventually become dogs. What’s interesting about
this, is that dogs evolved alongside humans, so they are able to connect
with us on a deeper level than many animals today.  

Research conducted by Emory University sought to find out if dogs
preferred receiving treats or praise. Scientists began by training
thirteen dogs to associate three different objects with different
outcomes. A blue toy knight signaled verbal praise, a pink toy truck
signaled a treat, and a hairbrush signaled no reward, and was a control.
Each dog was tested 32 times using an fMRI machine to scan their neural
activity. All of the dogs showed more neural activation for the reward
stimuli over the control hairbrush. Four of the dogs showed a stronger
activation for the praise over the treat stimulus, and nine showed
similar neural activation for both the praise and the treat
stimulus. “Dogs are hypersocial with humans,” says Emory neuroscientist
Gregory Berns, “and their integration into human ecology makes dogs a
unique model for studying cross-species social bonding.”

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This isn’t the only evidence of human-dog bonding. Dogs are one of the
few animals that understand abstract thinking, such as looking at an
object a human is pointing to rather than looking at the finger
itself. A recent
study conducted
in Hungary suggested that dogs process language the same way that humans
do, and that they are able to distinguish significant words from
insignificant. Dogs are also able to recognize human faces both in
photographs and in person, processing the images in the part of the
brain that deals with communication, emotional expression, and storing
memories. None of these traits are present in wolves, which suggests
that human influence has gone a long way in the development of the dog.

While it is interesting to note the evolution from wolf to dog, the
effect dogs have had on humanity could be considered just as
fascinating. Recent research has found that looking into a dog’s eyes
activates the same hormonal response that bonds us to human babies.
Scientists at Azabu University in Japan brought in 30 dog owners and a
few wolf owners for the experiment. Owners were asked to stare into the
eyes of the animals for a set period of time, with urine samples
collected from all participants before and after the study. The result
was that the dogs who stared the longest into their owner’s eyes
experienced a 130 percent rise in oxytocin levels (a chemical associated
with the feeling of happiness), with the owners experiencing a 300
percent rise in oxytocin. None of the wolf-owner duos experienced an
increase in oxytocin. This could explain why we feel so attached to our
furry companions, even going to far as to treat them like children.

Today, as it was thousands of years ago, dogs are not just companions.
Service dogs, therapy dogs, herding, and police dogs are everywhere in
Western society, with new positions evolving constantly. More than 2,300
reading education assistance dogs around the country are helping
children to improve their literacy skills by simply being present.
Children who are uncomfortable reading aloud to people are able to
practice with a nonjudgmental companion, and are more likely to practice
words they do not immediately recognize. In one study, children who read
to dogs over the course of 10 weeks exhibited a 12 percent improvement
in reading skills, while those who did not read to a dog showed no

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Dogs can have a huge impact on the development of children, both
physically and mentally. A 2012 report in the
journal Pediatrics states that children who grow up in home with a pet
are less likely to get sick than children who live pet-free. Researchers
believe that by exposing children to pet dander and other microbes
brought in from outside, children’s immune systems get an early boost in
development. This early exposure helps them fend off illness later on in
life, and results in less use of antibiotics that could cause bacterial

Another study found that children who owned a dog were more empathetic
and pro-social compared to children who grew up without a dog in the
house. Children also reported higher levels of positivity about their
home and family when they had a strong bond with the dog. Children can
greatly benefit from the love given and received by four-legged family
members who provide unconditional comfort.

The benefits boosted by our furry friends can be observed in both
children and adults alike. Dog owners, on average, have lower blood
pressure, lower cholesterol levels, fewer hearts attacks, and suffer
from less medical problems on average. This could be in part because dog
owners typically take their dogs on walks, which is part of a healthy
lifestyle. Dogs also encourage humans to be more
social. Studies have
found that 40% of people reported making friends much easier as the
result of owning a dog. And you know that happy feeling you get at the
end of a long work day when you see your furry friend? People who own
dogs have the lowest response to stress. It really does seem like dogs
make us better people!

The bond between dogs and humans is a truly special thing. Not everyone
can own a dog, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy quality time
with a canine companion. Shelters all around the country are always in
need of volunteers to help with the dogs. Fostering a dog can be a
rewarding and temporary opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the
canine-human relationship. Working with dogs can develop social skills
in children and can be therapeutic for adults. Dogs bring so much joy to
people and it’s so easy to return the favor. They are man’s best friend,
and as of yet, there’s no competition for the title. Just keep all of
this in mind when Fido tears up your new sneakers!


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