As soon as you enter your house, your dog is so happy to see you that he doesn't know what to do to prove it to you. The ritual is repeated again and again. As soon as you open the door, your faithful friend is present, ready to celebrate your return. And it doesn't matter if you left for 1 month, one day, one hour or 5 minutes.
Reasons for dog joy for the return of the owner
What are the reasons why a dog gets so happy when the master returns home?
¿Why this festival of joy that translates into barking, groans, whining, tail movements and face licking? Why does he pounce on you and sniff you?
Everything seems to indicate that, as a pack animal it is, your dog is reproducing the same behaviors that his ancestors showed when a pack member returned to the group.
And don't forget that Now you and your family are part of your new pack.
The emotional intelligence of dogs
Experts point out that dogs have emotional intelligence comparable to that of a two-year-old human.
In other words, they are like little children who have no problem expressing what they feel - joy, sadness, pain, fear, jealousy - but they cannot reason about it.
They are also able to remember people and places.
But also, as they do not understand temporality and live only the present, it will always be a joy to see you again.
He relaxes on your lap
Even if I'm not asleep, you're pets They look for an excuse to lie on the legs of those who care for them. It's about a wellness symptom and, although sometimes they might seem insistent, their attitude demonstrates a real desire to be by our side.
Why they sniff you and lick you
In the wild, when a dog returned to his pack, he was greeted with licks and sniffs several. In this way, the dogs that had remained in the pack were looking for information about what the animal that had separated from the group had been doing.
Repeating that ancestral behavior, your dog licks you and sniffs you when you return.
Remember that Smell is the most developed sense of dogs. For this reason, they detect and distinguish a wide variety of odors, even many that humans do not get to perceive. Its olfactory capacity is between 10 thousand and 100 thousand times higher than that of the human being. And the brain area dedicated to smell is 40 times larger than ours.
For its part, Licking is another way of communicating that these pets use and learn from puppies, at the moment their mother licks them after feeding them, providing them with a state of calm, relaxation and submission.
Want to play with you
For many years that pass, the puppies that were always remain inside. This could be the answer to the desire to play with a dog, an activity that creates a very special bond. Whether with balls, food, our own hands or objects of all kinds, it is worth living the experience.
The dog gets so happy when you come back because he loves you
But beyond several theorizations and elucubrations, the truth is that a dog that makes you parties when you return home is a dog that loves you, he misses you and has no problem showing you how happy he is that you have returned.
Retribúlele all his affection with the love and care he deserves Your hairy partner.
When you speak it seems to understand you
The look full of curiosity that many of them use can make us think that they are perfectly understanding what we mean. Before a fight for a bad behavior or a prize for a good action, his face is capable of express emotions that they might believe unthinkable in them.
Do not be sad when you go to work
Contrary to what one might think about it, some dogs do not cry when someone in their family leaves for a while, compared to others who have symptoms of stress. This does not mean that they do not want to be with them, but that, having acquired a routine, they might be aware that these people will come back later.
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Why do dogs get excited to see their owner?
From the moment you are close to home, the dog waits at the door, restless. As soon as you see yourself enter, he throws himself on you, tries to lick your face and fingers, looks for you to pamper you, he wallows on the floor, jumps and even, in some cases, urinates. Does any of those scenes sound familiar? Then you will be wondering why your dog goes crazy when you get home. Actually, more than a reason, there are several factors that trigger this behavior in the dog. We explain several of them:
The link between dog and guardian
Many people believe that the affection that dogs feel for humans is simply the result of being recognized as food suppliers, but that is really not true. Studies show that dogs are able to feel a true affection for his tutors.
In Atlanta, neurologist Gregory Berns discovered, through MRI studies In dogs, not only do they recognize us as members of another species, but they also reserve a section of their brain for information that has to do with the human being, such as the affection they profess for their family. The investigation showed that, by identifying a human who considers part of the family, through senses such as smell, a happiness reaction similar to that occurred when he receives a reward is activated in the dog's brain.
The scientists concluded that this reaction was similar to that of humans when they are in the presence of a friend or loved one. What does this mean? Your dog is happy when it's by your side! No wonder then that you get excited when you get home.
Stimuli, a key factor
Think for a moment about your dog's routine when you are at home. Not only do you feed and serve him, but you also play with him, you give love, you speak to him, he accompanies you around the house, among other actions. Now, imagine what you do when you should be home alone all day.
What do dogs feel when they are left alone at home? Dogs remember and miss their owners, therefore, most likely, you can he gets bored a lot during the time you spend outside, especially if it's your turn to be alone. This is why your return represents not only that it will be with you, but the time has come to go for a walk, play and socialize.
When attachment becomes disorder.
Some dogs experience a disorder called "separation anxiety" that always occurs in the absence of their guardians. The most common is that cry, destroy, urinate, defecate or bark insistently when you leave, in addition to showing a high level of stress. In these cases, dogs get excited when we get home, but they do it in an exaggerated way and, in addition, it is not positive for their well-being.
It is a problem of complicated behavior to work and solve, because in most cases the professional assistance, as an educator, trainer or ethologist specialized in behavior modification. The dog kong is one of the many tools used to work it.
Why does my dog get excited when he sees me?
Some dogs tend to show obvious excitement in situations that are unlikely for humans, causing discomfort in their human companions. What is this about? First, it is necessary to clarify that this reaction not necessarily related to a sexual stimulus, nor does it imply that the can in question is experiencing a phase of zeal. This excitement is usually common in puppies, who experience a phase of discovery, but it is also possible to appreciate it in adult dogs.
Because it happens? Usually when in can it is under stimuli that generate much satisfaction, either when he is spoiled, when he plays games he likes, when he faces a lot of positive agitation. These erections are just a way to reflect the emotion he feels, and the dog cannot control them. However, it can also happen that you get excited if you suffer very high levels of stress. If this situation bothers you, avoid those stimuli that cause it, or reduce the intensity of your greeting when you get home so that the dog can remain calm and better manage his anxiety.
Why does my dog move its tail when it sees me?
Although your dog is not able to communicate with words, it has a rich and varied body language that it uses constantly to interact with the environment. Humans are not always able to interpret it, however, the tail plays an important role in all this. What do a dog's tail movements mean? And more specifically, what does it mean to move it when it sees us?
An investigation published in the magazine Current Biology He revealed that when dogs shake their tail to the right side, it means they are experiencing positive emotions, while moving it to the left implies negative emotions. What is this about? Well, each hemisphere of the brain is responsible for controlling different emotions. Now, the movement of the tail is accompanied by other signs, which help you decipher what your dog feels.
If it's a movement to the right with energy, accompanied by relaxed features and ears, then your dog is happy to see you, it is possible that to this position some licks are added for you. If, on the contrary, it moves its tail from side to side slowly, staring at you but without approaching and without growling, it means that it feels insecure and is trying to find out if he is facing a friend or an enemy. On the other hand, if you shake to the left, next to large pupils, pointed ears and tense muscles, the dog is at defensive, ready to growl or attack.
This, of course, is a broad view. The truth is that, if your dog shakes its tail when it sees you, you should read not only this sign, but all messages He sends you his posture to discover how he feels.
Why does my dog urinate when he sees me?
Many people complain that their dogs get so excited when they get home, they end up urinating. This, of course, is not pleasant at all, and can become a real problem. Pissing for emotion is usually something common in puppies, because they are not yet able to completely control their bladder. However, when it comes to adult dogs, it's time to do something about it.
In adult dogs it is usually frequent in those who spend all day alone, far from stimuli, so the presence of human partners unleashes strong emotions, sometimes so uncontrollable that they take the dog to urinate. Above all, it happens when you just greet the dog, because the greeting ritual is also very important for them.
Now what to do about this? First, reduce your own emotion When you get home, leave the frantic caresses and loud calls for later, once the dog assimilates that you are already at home. A casual greeting until it calms down, repeatedly, will make this behavior disappear. In some more complex cases, when the dog has suffered abuse from humans, they may urinate in fear.
In any case, if this behavior does not stop even if we try to work it, it will be time to see a specialist. We will start by visiting a veterinarian to rule out health problems and, if this is not the cause, we will visit an ethologist, canine educator or trainer.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why does my dog get excited when I get home?, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.
As a two year old boy.
Psychological studies have long since determined that an adult dog has an emotional intelligence of a 2-year-old child: they can remember people and places, and They are able to feel fear, joy, sadness, anger and envy.
However, like two-year-olds, they cannot go beyond their emotions or reason about them. In other words, they feel, but they are not able to question anything else about those feelings and emotions.
We also know that dogs, like humans and other species, are social animals that organize themselves by forming herds with a certain social hierarchy.
Although dogs and men are different species, studies show that years of joint evolution have made us perceive us as part of their pack, forming the group and the hierarchy with all family members.
Canine herds function as a whole, although each individual has their own role, the group always moves in the same direction as one. That means they hunt together, eat together, play together, and sleep together.
However, it is not a closed group and if any member feels the need to separate and go on their own, the rest accepts it as something natural.
Finally, it is important to note that dogs, like 2-year-olds, do not understand temporality. That is to say, they live the present, they forget the past and they don't care about the future, a very interesting philosophy by the way.
Basic emotions + open group concept + lack of temporary
Now that you know these three things about dogs, you can understand that when your pet watches you go out the door of the house does not know if you will return, since you may have decided to leave the herd freely.
However, that freedom that you enjoy is not allowed for your dog who cannot freely choose to accompany you by joining your new group, staying or starting your own.
In your situation, your dog can only stay at home disgusted by his lack of freedom and sad about your absence. Likewise, having no concept of the passage of time, he will not be able to calculate if these were days or minutes and that is why he goes crazy when you return to his pack.
It is one of the most loved experiences for all dog owners. As soon as you enter the house keys, your pet comes to receive you as if you were returning from the war and will not see you for years. The reactions They can vary between dogs: some do not stop spinning around you, others try to reach you by getting on two legs (with the intention, of course, to suck your face), others go around on the ground ... For several minutes your dog turns crazy with happiness And it's not a metaphor. Really, experience intense joy. But why?
Neurologist Gregory Berns, Professor at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, he was the first scientist to get the dogs to submit voluntarily to the MRI scanners. The scientists had done these tests with dogs, but they had to sedate them so that they did not escape from the machines, which make an annoying noise that they do not tolerate. And, of course, tests that can be performed with awake dogs offer much more valuable information.
His experiments were the basis of How Dogs Love Us (Scribe), the book in which Berns transfers the results of his research to the general public. One of its main conclusions is that dogs perceive humans as a separate group from them but, even so, their owners are considered as part of the family. And, in fact, they prefer to seek their help than that of other species partners, something that could indicate that dogs are aware that humans have resources that they do not have.
By introducing dogs to the scanner, and smelling different fragrances, Berns found that they perfectly distinguish members of their species and humans, but also between known and unknown aromas. In particular, the smell of a familiar human causes a reward in the brain, incomparable with that generated by the rest of stimuli.
"No other smell does this, not even that of a family dog," Berns explains to the magazine io9. “And it's not that they perceive us as part of their wolf pack, they know we are something different. They keep a special place in their brain just for us. ”
But if you can't calculate the time, why do you get happier the greater my absence?
That's why if you leave home for two days while your family stays at home, your dog will be glad to see you very much. On the other hand, if it is the whole family that leaves leaving him alone for two days, deprived of stimuli and boring, he will go crazy on your return.
Think that your return home not only gives you joy, but also other motivations, such as affection, food, physical activity, fun and the most important of all: company, something indispensable for a social animal that is always accompanied in its natural form.
An evolutionary advantage
To understand the behavior of dogs you have to understand their history. The Wolves they began to get together with humans about 10,000 or 15,000 years ago, forming a new species whose main characteristic is precisely their relationship with man.
"The ancestral dogs that lurked around humans should be the most social wolves, ”Berns explains in io9. “They got together with humans and evolved to become dogs. What was left of the wolf population were the most antisocial specimens, who didn't want to know anything about us. ”
The dog has evolved into a much more social animal than the wolf, something that has made him succeed as a species
Despite this, today's dogs share numerous characteristics with wolves, among other things their enormous gregariousness. The wolves live in a pack, and they greet each other by sucking their faces, an important social rite that serves to strengthen ties and to obtain information (for example, knowing if your partner has brought food). And it is something that dogs continue to do with their family members, although in this case they are humans.
"It is important to realize that a herd of wolves is a family, literally, ”he explains in io9 the dog expert Jessica Hekman, author of the DogZombie blog. “Normally it is formed by the mother, the father, the puppies and some children of previous litters that have not yet become independent. Do dogs see us as part of their family? I think".
The dog has evolved into a much more social animal than the wolf, something that has made him succeed as a species. "Go around the world and see how many dogs there are," says Hekman. “For dogs [getting together with man] it has turned out to be a evolutionary strategy very effective There are about 10 million dogs in the world, so, in many ways, the dog has progressively outpaced the wolf. ”
Here is the point where we think: "Sure, they love us because we feed them." But no. "What we have seen working with scanners is that dogs love their humans, and not just for food," says Berns. "They love the company of humans in themselves."
We can say that the warm welcome of your pet is not only manifest joy, but also has an intentionality.
It has been observed that wild dogs receive members returning to the pack with licks. These licks are a sign of affection that allows you to strengthen ties, but they are also a way of extracting information about where you have been, the people who were with you, the food, etc.
That is why your dog has the need to lick you when he greets you, jumping as much as possible to reach your face. In addition, their intelligence lets them know that we move with our legs and rest on them, and that we manipulate things with our hands, so it will not be uncommon for after jumping, start to smell your legs and suck your fingers.
Happiness, a shared feeling
If we still do not know most of what happens in the human brain, it is even harder for us to know what animals think, because we have no way of putting ourselves on their skin. Despite this, most experts agree that dogs experience some emotions in a very similar way to us. Among others, happiness.
“In all the exercises we did with the brain scans - in which we presented the dogs with certain things and analyzed their responses - we saw analogous answers to those of humans, ”explains Berns. "When you see a friend or someone you love, you feel something very similar to what a dog experiences."
For the dog, separation with its owner is not voluntary. It is always unnatural for someone to leave the pack
This does not mean that dogs have the same communicative abilities as humans. They are not able to represent things in their memory as we do, they have no labels or names to give to what they know. Their response is purely emotional, but that doesn't mean they don't believe a link with his family. A bond that is as strong as the one that binds parents and children.
In 1965 the American psychologist Mary Ainsworth I design the “Strange Situation” test, a test that allowed us to understand the behavior of children when they were separated from their mothers and had to relate to strangers. When performing this test with dogs, the results were similar.
As he explains in io9 the neuroscientist of the University of Trento Giorgo Vallortigara, The dog feels affection for its owners, and is happy when he meets them, in the same way that a child is glad to see his parents. But his reaction to the reunion is much more intense. Unlike what happens with our children, we cannot explain to a dog that we will return.
"For the dog, separation with its owner is not voluntary," Vallortigara explains. "It's always unnatural for someone to leave the pack." The wild dogs - like wolves - they can separate from the pack for a while if they are motivated enough, but they do so knowing that social contact can be resumed virtually at any time, something that does not happen when we leave our dog eight hours alone at home until That we return from work.
“The exaggerated greetings that can be observed in many dogs have to do with the fact that they have not yet learned to accept the possibility of non-voluntary separation”, Says the neuroscientist. But there is something else. Dogs when alone get bored like oysters.
"Your dog has probably been all day with nothing to do and, what is worse, may have been alone, which is unpleasant for a social animal," Vallortigara explains. “So, in addition to being glad to see us, you are probably feeling a relief because he knows that now he is going to do something interesting, like going outside and having someone nearby. ”
It's a way of greeting, but they also want to suck and smell you to know where you've been and what you've been doing
He greeting ritual It is also essential for dogs, as it is part of their way of obtaining information. "When they jump at you they are trying to lick your face," Berns explains. “Part of this is a way of greeting, but they also want to suck and smell you to know where you've been and what you've been doing. They are curious. If I've been with other dogs, for example, mine know it, and they start to sniff me more intensely. ”
If we want to relieve our dogs of stress we must respond to their greetings, but there is no need to let them suck our faces - although, according to some scientists, it is good for our health. With training We can teach our pets to greet each other in another way. The important thing is that we understand that for dogs the ritual of greeting is very important. And we can't ignore it.