Is your relationship with your pup missing that old spark? Do you feel like strangers when you once were so much more? Then try giving them some of that sweet eye-to-eye contact. Eyes are the windows to the soul — and may be the key to your dog’s heart.
A recent Australian study at Monash University found that when a dog’s brain is flooded with oxytocin, they are able to follow humans’ social cues better. One of the things that may cause such a flood is eye contact.
Not only will this strengthen your bond with your pup, but they’ll be more obedient. Well, they’ll follow social cues at least.
Dogs who maintain a long gaze with their owners have elevated levels of oxytocin, and oxytocin is better known as the happy or love hormone. It’s the chemical in the brain that makes mother-baby bonding so powerful. Scientists are also beginning to suspect it plays a much bigger role in the dog-human bond as well, with both species.
In the study, 31 male and 31 female dogs were given either a nasal spray dose of oxytocin or a saline placebo. The dogs were then tested on whether they could pick up on the clue of a human pointing at where a treat was hidden.
The results? Those given oxytocin performed far better than those who were not.
This seems to give a boost to positive reinforcement training techniques! Hey, if love can move mountains, it can surely get your puppy potty trained. Right?
To watch a breakdown of the study, see below!
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