Why Are Dogs So Loyal?

One of the best qualities of our canine companions is their unwavering loyalty. Why are dogs so loyal?

There are amazing stories about the unmatched loyalty of dogs – dogs that have sat on their owner’s graves, waited patiently for months for their owners to return from war, and even stories of dogs walking thousands of miles to reunite with their masters.

Where does a dog’s loyalty come from?

It doesn’t take long for dogs to build a bond with their master that is strong enough to withstand time and distance.

In fact, dogs' loyalty seems unbreakable within days of adoption. Why are dogs so loyal? Is it genetic? Is it learned behavior?

Why Are Dogs So Loyal?

Why Are Dogs So Loyal?

Experts have a few theories as to why our dogs are so loyal.

1. We take care of them. You feed your dog and give him a safe place to sleep. Your dog repays you for his debt; the only way he knows how is through loyalty.

2. Dogs are pack animals. They yearn to be part of a pack environment.

Loyalty is a key to a successful pack. Your dog’s pack instinct leads him to be loyal to all his pack members, including other pets and people in your family.

3. Your dog loves you. Research has proven that dogs have shown signs of loving their owners.

In a 2020 study, dogs were presented with their owner’s scent while their brains were scanned.

Scientists could see the parts of the brain associated with positive emotions and joy light up when dogs smell their owners' scent.

In a similar study, dogs were made to watch their owner negatively interact with a stranger.

When the dog was later allowed to interact with the stranger, they didn’t want anything to do with them. How’s that for loyalty?

How to foster the owner-pet bond

While dogs are naturally loyal pets, you may be looking for ways to foster the bond between the two of you.

Some dog breeds are typically more loyal than others. In some cases, dogs have had negative experiences in the past that cause them to be more distant.

Take it one step at a time, and don’t ever force your dog to partake in bonding activities that he doesn’t seem comfortable with.

The surest way to form a strong bond with your dog is to spend quality time with him.

For some aloof dogs, this may simply involve going for daily walks, playing fetch in the yard, or participating in dog training exercises.

If your dog is comfortable, you can snuggle with him while you read or watch a show on television, give him lots of physical attention such as patting or canine massage, or even allow him to sleep on your bed.

Whatever you do, fostering the bond between you and your dog will be a rewarding experience for both of you.

READ NEXT: 12 Fun Ways To Bond with Your Dog

Samantha’s biggest passion in life is spending time with her Boxer dogs. After she rescued her first Boxer in 2004, Samantha fell in love with the breed and has continued to rescue three other Boxers since then. She enjoys hiking and swimming with her Boxers, Maddie and Chloe.