Why Are Dogs So Loyal?

Dogs are man’s best friend. But why are dogs so loyal to humans? What occurred to create such an unbreakable bond between two species? Let’s discuss what makes the relationship between man and dog so special.

It’s Mostly About the Food

The answer is simple: you feed them! By offering your dog regular meals, you provide them security. Thousands of years ago, food security for any species would have been ideal. Dogs saw their opportunity and took full advantage of it – staying close to humans who provide them scraps. In return, they protect their now human pack.

Today, the food-loyalty relationship still holds. You feed your dog, and they become more attached to you. Dogs are highly food-driven and motivated by food. That’s why we reward dogs with food when they do what we ask them. It’s a relationship with simple but strong expectations.

Dogs and Humans Share a History

Dogs and humans share a long history together. Our evolution happened side-by-side from the time when wolves began living with humans. Dogs were so special, some humans involved them in their rituals. According to Harvard University, “ A recent study suggests that dogs and humans may have formed close relationships as early as 6,000 years ago — a relationship that involved humans feeding the dogs, but ended with the dogs being sacrificed.” While that sounds harsh, it would have been considered an honorable death.

As time went on, humans bred dogs for certain characteristics, and today there is a wide variety of breeds. Today, humans and dogs are inseparable.

Dogs are Pack Animals

While some people believe that dogs are loyal because they rely on us for food, looking at dog psychology might show another reason. Dogs are pack animals. Dogs want to be part of a group. When you adopt a dog, you bring some kind of stability into their lives.

As much as dogs want the stability that a pack provides, humans crave a pack as well. Think about your own life. Even if you don’t live with family, you probably visit your family. If not your family, you have probably set up a network of friends where you feel like you belong. This is natural human behavior because it helps build a trusting and cooperative relationship. This stability helps people overcome obstacles in their life that may have otherwise wrecked them. Dogs want that same stability.

When you invite a dog into your pack, you offer them food and shelter, sure. You also offer them stability and trust. Your dog knows that you’ll help them when they need it, and they offer back what they can for the good of the pack.

Why Some Dogs Prefer Certain People Over Others

Sometimes dogs form stronger bonds with some people over others. Your dog often prefers the person that feeds them, comforts them, and gives them attention. Some dogs have preferences for the timbre of voices, body language, and demeanor. If you want your dog to give you more love, show them more love. Form a closer bond with them by doing some basic obedience training that includes – you guessed it – food. Also, disciplining your dog verbally and physically will make them fear you. Therefore, your relationship won’t be as strong.

Dog Breeds Known for Their Loyalty

There are some dogs that are known for their loyalty. This is by no means an exhaustive, and many dogs can be loyal no matter what their breed. Here are some loyal dog breeds:

  • German Shepherd
  • Beagle
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Dachshund
  • Boxer
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Collie
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Akita

Dogs are special to humans. So much of the communication that goes between our species is a special, unspoken language. Yet, our bonds are strong. Why are dogs so loyal? Because we’re loyal to them.