A study out of Azabu University in Japan shows that people bond with dogs much in the same way people bond with other people: Through loving, meaningful gazing into one another’s eyes.
“Our data suggest that owner-dog bonding is comparable to human parent-infant bonding,” said researcher Takefumi Kikusui, explaining that the connection is augmented by the bonding hormone oxytocin.
They measured this in part by looking at levels of the hormone in subjects’ urine after 30 minutes of gazing. The results didn’t translate to studies on wolves and their owners, however, suggesting the phenomenon is unique to domesticated dogs. Read more at CBS News.