Are dogs capable of loving us or are they just being nice because we provide for them?

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There are many theories regarding dog’s behavior and their capacity to love humans. What we know is that dogs and people are able to form very close bonds. We also recognize that dogs act a certain way for very specific reasons, and are sensitive to some emotions. The bonding process most likely begins when an owner provides food and a comfortable place for their dog to sleep. Bonding continues when owners consistently take care of a dog’s basic needs such as providing a place to go to the bathroom and delivering refreshing drinking water. After all of this, many dog owners continue to bond with their dogs on more intimate levels, as their level of trust increases.

Depending on how a dog is treated, he can have the capacity to understand and act in certain ways that could be interpreted as love. A dog will wake his owners out of a deep sleep if a fire has started in the home, or seek help when his owner is in imminent danger of death. There are plenty of documented stories where dogs have acted in remarkable ways to assist or help their owners. However, dogs do not possess the ability to love unconditionally or fully understand the wide range of emotions contained within the idea of love.

Dogs are able to understand simple emotions and conditions, such as sadness, happiness and sickness. They are able to pick up on these emotional cues from their owners, and are also able to respond to them accordingly; however, it is more likely that dogs are forming deep social bonds with their owners, rather than expressing authentic feelings of love.

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