People and dogs have been associated with each other for tens of thousands of years. Some researchers believe we’ve been hanging around with each other for over 15,000 years!

Of course, humans have long used dogs to help us do work by giving them important jobs such as guarding our homes and livestock and as hunting dogs. But there is more to the human-dog relationship than simply a boss-employer one. We humans love dogs and, we like to think, our dogs love us in return.

Here are the top five reasons human love dogs so much:

One – Dogs give us unconditional love. You only have to look at how your dog reacts when you come home to see that he is happy to see you! Tail wagging and sometimes whole body wagging, shows you his love for you. In fact, researchers have used an MRI machine to scan dogs’ brains and have found the part of the brain associated with positive emotion in dogs is the same area in humans.

Two – Protection. Nearly everyone feels safer when they are home alone with their dog close by their side. Dogs are quick to pick up on any unusual noises, movements or odors and will quickly alert their owners to possible danger. Our military and police forces use dogs in this capacity every day.

Three – Loyalty. Everyone has heard stories of dogs whose owners died and the dog was so upset he refused to eat, or in some cases would not leave his owner’s gravesite!

Four – Health. Dogs are good for us in more ways than one. People who have dogs in their lives live longer, on average, than people who don’t. Dogs have a calming effect on us, help to lower blood pressure and for many owners, increase the amount of exercise they get.

Five – Emotional Health. Almost every dog owner knows that if they are feeling down, playing with their dog or even just being in their presence will usually make you feel better. The fairly new field of animal assisted therapy with patients as diverse as those undergoing chemotherapy to veterans with war related PTSD.

Of course, we are sure you could list even more reasons why you love your dog so much. This quote from Josh Billings sums it up well:

A dog is the only thing on this earth that loves you more than he loves himself.

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