When we look at those puppy dog eyes, wiggly body, and wagging tail, we can’t help but believe that our dogs love us as much as we love them. But of course since dogs can’t speak, skeptics (who one would assume probably don’t have pets of their own) would argue that we can not ever truly know what the dog is feeling.
A few years ago, a neuroscientist decided to see what we could learn about dog’s emotions by training dogs to lie still for an fMRI. When presented with scents of the dog’s human family members, sure enough the regions of the brain associated with pleasure, reward, and – dare we say – love, were activated.
For a fascinating discussion of how dog’s brains work, read more about Gregory Berns’ research.