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One of the best things about dogs is that they are incredibly affectionate and loyal companions. If you want someone in your life who will follow you to the end of the earth and back, then dogs are the right animal for you!
But why are they so loving and loyal? In this article, we’ll go over the reasons why your dog loves you so much, and why he would do (almost) anything for you.
Here’s a quick summary: There are 3 main reasons why dogs are so loyal. First of all, dogs are pack animals and their social structure makes them loyal towards the pack leader, aka you. Other than that, dogs have also specifically been bred to be loyal. And lastly, dogs depend on us for food, shelter and love.
Why Are Dogs So Loving and Loyal?
Let’s get right into the actual topic. There are a number of reasons why dogs are so loving and loyal and a lot of it actually has a historic background.
Social Structure as Pack Animals
Dogs are descendants from wolves, who operate as pack animals. Although many of these pack instincts have, over time, been bred out of dogs, there are many that still remain.
For dogs, the social structure inside a home is in some ways similar to the structure of a wolf pack. Dogs will look up to their humans as the pack leader. Because we are their pack leaders and in charge of keeping them safe and happy, dogs have a loyalty to us.
They Were Bred this Way
When humans first started domesticating dogs, dogs didn’t act the way they do now.
Although it’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment in history when humans began to successfully domesticate dogs, we know that wolves would have been very wary around humans initially.
Over time, however, as dogs continued to be bred, they became more loyal to humans. Many dogs were bred initially as working dogs on the farm or in the home.
Because they had jobs to perform humans depended on, the dogs themselves had to be bred to be loyal to us.
In order to achieve this, humans would simply take the most loyal and best behaving dogs and continue to breed them.
The sad part about this is that more aggressive or disloyal dogs were either killed or definitely not kept for breeding…
They’re Dependent on Their Owner
The fact of the matter is that dogs need their humans to survive. Although there are probably some breeds and individuals that could likely make it on their own, at this point most dogs have become too domesticated.
If you took your Pomeranian, who’s used to living a comfortable and cushy life, to the woods and told him to fend for himself you can bet he wouldn’t do well! The same definitely also goes for Baloo! He would probably just bark at that passing deer, because he’d be afraid of it;)
Dogs are dependent on their owners for food, shelter, and love. That’s part of why dogs are so loyal to us.
Why Are Dogs So Loyal – Related Questions
So, as you can see, there are 3 main reasons why dogs are so loyal.
In my opinion, the breeding aspect plays a big role here. This becomes even more apparent if you look at different breeds. Some are definitely more loyal than others.
We’ll get to that in a minute.
But let’s look at a few other related questions first.
Why Are Dogs More Loyal than Cats?
At first glance, it might seem like cats are less loyal than dogs. You might think that because cats seem less inclined to turn to us for help that they don’t love us as much as dogs.
The reality is that cats are loyal, they just have different priorities. They also have different ways of expressing their love and loyalty.
As this article in The Guardian explains, cats tend to be more loyal to places than to people.
Cats will be loyal and show you affection, but first cats need to feel secure in their environment.
Dogs, on the other hand, are far more dependent on us than cats. When faced with something new and unfamiliar, dogs will usually turn to their humans for help. Cats, on the other hand, will try and find a location that’s more familiar to them.
Another big reason dogs are considered more loyal than cats is because dogs have been bred to look more expressive. You’ve probably noticed your dog gazing lovingly at you from across the room.
The same won’t be true for your cat, but that’s just because a cat’s face isn’t as expressive as a dog’s. Instead, a cat will show you their love and loyalty in other ways, for instance by meowing. That’s something they only do to humans, but not to other cats.
Do Dogs Really Love Their Owners?
We know now that dogs behave the way they do mostly because that’s the way we bred them to behave. They’re loyal to us because they depend on us, and we’ve bred them specifically to be this way.
But do dogs really love us?
The short answer is—yes!
The long answer is that there is plenty of evidence to support that dogs love us. When dogs look at you, a hormone called “oxytocin” is released in their brains. Oxytocin is also called the “love hormone,” because it’s released when we create or strengthen social bonds.
This is true for your dog, too!
So next time you catch your dog staring, know that that love hormone is activating in his brain.
Make sure to check out my other article about why your dog is staring at you to learn more.
Why Are Dogs So Protective of Their Owners?
How do you feel about your family? Would you do anything to keep them from getting hurt?
Your dog knows that you’re their family. He loves you, depends on you, and wants to keep you safe. This kind of behavior comes from his ancestors, who would also do anything to protect the pack.
If your dog seems extremely protective of you, there could be a few factors at play.
One is the breed of the dog. Some breeds tend to be more protective than others. Dogs like German Shepherds and Boxers are often used as guard dogs because they have more protective natures. It makes sense—these breeds were bred specifically, or at least in part, to be guard dogs.
A dog’s past can also indicate why he’s so protective. If you adopt your dog and he comes from an abusive situation, he might tend to be more protective of you.
Can You Make a Dog More Loyal?
Yes, you can encourage your dog to be more loyal!
By socializing your dog, training him to know specific commands, or giving your dog a job or purpose, you can work with your dog to teach him to be more loyal to you.
A great way to combine dog training and making your dog more loyal is to use brain games to eradicate behavioral issues.
This is exactly what my favorite dog training course Braintraining4dogs does.
It’s based on positive reinforcement and focuses on improving your dog’s intelligence so that he can basically solve his own problems.
This is honestly the course I wish I had when I first got my dog Baloo. It contains everything you need to know to own the dog of your dreams! Make sure to check out Dogpackr’s review of the course to see if this is something that could help you and your dog too.
Can a Dog Become Too Loyal?
Having a loyal and protective dog can be nice, but if your dog becomes too protective of you, that can be a problem.
It’s normal for dogs to be protective of their owners, since they consider their owners to be family. But an overprotective dog can be dangerous, and can make it difficult for you to have guests, or even to just take your dog for a walk.
If your dog is overprotective, you’ll have to work with him to adjust his behavior.
Most Loyal Dog Breeds
As I’ve mentioned before, some dog breeds are more loyal than others.
So, here’s a list of the 10 most loyal dog breeds there are.
These happy-go-lucky dogs are incredibly loyal! Beagles love their families, and will follow you wherever you go.
2. Doberman Pinscher
If you’re looking for a loyal breed that loves adventure, Doberman Pinschers could be the right dogs for you.
3. Irish Wolfhound
Easy-going despite looking so rugged, Irish Wolfhounds are amazing companions. You have a faithful companion for life when you adopt one of these gentle giants.
Dachshunds are recognized by their long bodies and short legs. These dogs are friendly, playful, and very intelligent.
Boxers have often been bred to be guard dogs because they’re so loyal. Aside from that, they’re also very playful and fun-loving dogs who love their families.
6. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are probably one of the most well-known breeds. They’re often used as working dogs because they’re so loyal and easy to train.
Bred in Japan, the Akita used to be reserved only for the imperial family and members of their court. Today, Akitas are known for being loyal and loving family members.
8. Labrador Retrievers
Labs have always been known for their goofy, playful personalities and—that’s right—their loyalty. No matter what happens, you can always expect your Lab to go where you go.
9. American Staffordshire Terrier
These dogs get a bad rep because they’ve often been used in dog fighting rings. That says more about the people forcing these dogs to fight, though. American Staffordshire Terriers are smart, friendly, and protective of their families.
10. German Shepherd
Like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds are often used as working dogs. German Shepherds are known for being loyal companions, as well as being intelligent and extremely brave.
One of the reasons many people choose to get a dog is because dogs are so loyal and loving. There’s nothing like spending some time with your dog and knowing that you would both do anything for each other.
There are many different breeds of dogs, and some tend to be more loyal than others. There are also many reasons why dogs tend to be loyal in the first place. Breeding, their wolf ancestors, and their dependency on their owners all play a part in why dogs are so loyal.
But what it all comes down to is when you adopt a dog, you can expect a loyal, loving four-legged friend.
P.s.: Don’t forget to check out Braintraining4dogs if you want to take your dog training game to the next level. It offers a 60-day money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose.