Whether You Love Dogs May Be In Your DNA


It baffles us that there could be anyone out there who doesn’t like dogs, but they exist. THEM. Those who don’t melt at the sight of a wiggly tail and wet nose. Who come over to visit and ask if you can put your dog in another room and are never being invited over again. That’s the dog’s chair anyway. Get out.

These people may think we’re crazy for spending money on toys, treats, and healthcare on our fuzzy friends, but we know that THEY’RE crazy for not being able to find the joy in wet puppy kisses and trips to the dog park. We don’t understand you, dog-haters, and quite frankly, we feel sorry for you–because you’re missing out on a lifetime of endless love and loyalty that only a dog can give.

Science argues that it may not be their fault, and they may just be pre-disposed to be happier without the company of dogs. Researchers found that people who are raised in families that keep pets tend to grow up and keep pets themselves – and so on for generations. Given the results of the study, the researchers believe that genetics may be a factor in whether or not you like dogs. It may be in your DNA.

According to Dr. John Bradshaw, a professor in Anthrozoology, it’s likely that once upon a time, long, long ago, early people began domesticating dogs, and around the same time, breeding livestock. This would be about 10,000 years ago.

Man trains his dog for a job, breeds it selectively to make it better at that job. He keeps it in his home to keep it from breeding with undomesticated dogs, and while it’s there, forms a bond and a friendship. Man begins to think of dog as his friend, not like the livestock outside, and learns to love the dog. This love is so deep, it etches itself into our DNA and gets passed down for generations as people continue to make dogs a part of their lives.

But it’s likely that, as this love story took place, SOME people may have realized that it was easier to survive off domesticated dogs and the people who cared for them rather than hunt wild animals. They never knew them as companions, and that love of dogs never had a chance to write itself into their genes. They had children who never knew dogs, and they’ve missed out ever since then.

Dr. Bradshaw also notes that those with a love of nature are also more likely to love pets, but that’s a different story.

It may seem far-fetched, but it would explain how someone can look into your dog’s eyes and not want to just hug them forever. That we may be pre-disposed to love dogs doesn’t make our bond with our pet any less special, I prefer to think it makes it even better that our ancestors were friends.

And you non-dog-lovers? This doesn’t make you any less weird.

You can read John Bradshaw’s article here, and learn more about why we love dogs in his book.

H/T: theconversation.com

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