Can dogs fall in Love?

If you are genuinely a dog person, then you must have seen the 2008 comedy film Beverly Hills Chihuahua. And if you haven’t, we’ll quickly walk you through the synopsis. Beverly Hills Chihuahua revolves around the life of an overly-canoodled Chi-Chi of a wealthy businesswoman, named Chloe, who gets lost and has to make friends with not-so-wealthy dogs to survive. Chloe is later rescued by its longtime admirer, Chihuahua Papi. While the film is a good laugh overall, it ends on a sweet, romantic note of canine love, showing Papi and Chloe on a swing deeply in love with one another. And that leads us to the question that is there truth to this fictitious depiction of romantic love between canines? Can dogs fall in love with one another? Well, let’s find out.

To determine whether dogs experience love as we do, it’s essential to first understand what love or romance is and reach a consensus on a single definition because there can be many of them.

Deciphering Love

The enigmatic all-consuming love that humans feel for a certain someone who elicits a rush of emotions in them is normal. Being in love has been romanticized by films and TV shows since the early days of show business. According to the widely perceived idea of falling in love, people feel elated and over the moon when they find someone who makes their heart go pitter-patter. And while this is a universally accepted idea of being in love, it still doesn’t entirely capture the real meaning of experiencing love. Love or rather romantic love, is essentially an abstract concept, a vague meaning that people assign to the idea of being in love.

There is no one definition of romance that perfectly encapsulates what love is, as it can be (and is) different for everyone. With that said, humans have been trying to come up with a comprehensive interpretation of love, but it still remains quite a mystery. However, some feelings are associated with being in love across the board, which include feeling ecstatic when with a partner, wanting to be with them all the time, wanting to protect them even at our own expense, and feeling strongly affectionate towards them.

All these experiences that allegedly constitute what love is are often only associated with humans. But the mystifying feeling, idea, or experience that is love exists in the canine world as well. Forming strong connections and feeling elated at the sight of a beloved are experiences that are ubiquitous in the dog world. And how can they not? Dogs are the most loyal and loving animals who form unbreakable bonds with humans, so how can they not build lasting relationships amongst themselves?

When it comes to experiencing love, canines are very similar to humans. They also feel overly excited, and their eyes turn into hearts (we can’t see it off-course because this is real life, but it’s true) when they see their partner.

We often negate the idea of dogs falling in love because they don’t use words to express feelings, which is why it is hard for us to comprehend this simple fact of canine life.

But thanks to the close affinity humans have with dogs; they decided to understand how the matters of love are in the canine ecosystem. As a result, many studies have been conducted on dogs falling for one another, and all of them suggest the same thing; and that is ‘dogs can and do fall in love.’

Scientific Studies on Dog Love

According to a 2014 PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) study, positive bonding between dogs triggers the release of oxytocin, which is also referred to as the love hormone. Oxytocin is the same compound that makes humans feel the high of emotions when they fall for someone or develop an infatuation for someone. The release of oxytocin in dogs is proof enough that dogs, indeed, fall in love and form profound, long-lasting bonds amongst themselves.

Okay, so science has established that canines are all for romantic love, but how do they express it?

Dogs feel similar emotions as humans when it comes to falling in love due to the love chemical found in both species. While canines share the same feelings with humans of being in love, they have a different idea of romance.

A furry fella may fall in love the same way we do, but they express it differently.

Dogs demonstrate their feelings by showing passion and devotion to their significant others. A fuzzy friend in love is unbelievably protective of their beloved. They like to keep their significant-other safe from any sort of danger they would provide for their partner, and they may occasionally cuddle with their better half as well.

Dogs may not go on meticulously planned dates or for walks on the beach as we like to do when in love, but they do have their own way of forming bonds with one another and expressing love.

It’s difficult for us to make out if our fur child is in love primarily because of two reasons. Firstly, it can be a hard pill to swallow; accepting that your fur child is making bonds that do not involve you can be hard on the heart (yes, you are right, the nature of the two relationships is completely different, but dog owners can get a teensy bit possessive when it comes to sharing their fluffy baby). Secondly, since dogs don’t have words to express their feelings, you cannot just magically pick up the pitter-pattering of their hearts.

When you don’t know how your dog feels about someone, you can’t really be the Cupid now, can you? So how do you figure out if your sidekick is in love? Well, let’s see.

How do you know if your dog is in love?

Pay attention to how your fuzzy pal behaves around a particular dog. If they get all excited and start romping around at just the sight of the possible beau, that could be your first clue to finding out what’s in your little one’s heart. Next, observe how your child behaves when asked to leave their partner if they resist, and you have to force them to come with you, know that your four-legged kid has fallen head over heels for a certain someone.

So there you go dog parents, now you know that your babies can fall in love.

by Maria A Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration: