Do dogs love their owners more than themselves? (answered!)

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Do dogs love their owners more than themselves? Yes, they do. Scientists have found that dogs show a bias for humans over food, toys, or other animals and most people agree that their pet is always happy to see them.

Dogs will never be able to tell us how much they love us, but we can take cues from their behavior and body language.  If your dog has been following you around since he was a pup, then chances are he’s pretty fond of you!

But is it because you feed them and take care of them, or can we call it a genuine expression of unconditional love? 

Well! The phenomenon is not as simple as it may seem, so I explain all the elements involved in this complex dog-owner relationship.

Do Dogs Love Their Owners More Than Themselves?

 do dogs love humans more than other dogs - Do Dogs Love Their Owners More Than Themselves

Yes, dogs love their owners more than themselves. Pleasing the owner is also one of the strongest and innate desires in most breeds of dogs, so they want to behave in front of their owners to make them happy.

Dogs respond to verbal praise as much as they do to treats, so you may increase your dog’s love for you by being polite and complimenting them often.

Besides being people-pleasers, dogs also trust their owners and run to them when they need to feel safe. 

Whenever dogs feel frightened, anxious, stressed, or worried, they look up to their owners for comfort and warmth. So you are not only an owner but a family for your dog.

Is There Any Scientific Evidence That Your Dog Loves You?

Some facts can be scientifically proven, and a dog’s love for its owner is certainly one of them, according to the research conducted at Emory University by neuroscientists. [ Study 1.Study 2. ]

They gathered some dogs and trained them to sit still for an MRI. After the training, the dogs were passed through an MRI machine, and their brain images have been studied. Dogs were also offered different smells during the MRI.

To much of everyone’s surprise, a significant area of a dog’s brain lit up upon smelling their owner’s odor, and the experience of recognizing their owner’s smell was rewarding for their brains. 

This clearly shows that dogs love their owners the most and prioritize them not only over strangers, but over other canines as well.

Why Do Dogs Love Humans?

Dogs have been living with humans since forever, and they reciprocate love strongly. Dogs have learned socializing and emotional reactions from humans, so they are capable of sensing those emotions. 

This is one of the reasons why humans and dogs share a fantastic bonding and dogs make the right kind of pet for humans looking for companionship.

4 Ways Dogs Show Love to Their Owners

why do dogs love us unconditionally - Do Dogs Love Their Owners More Than Themselves

A dog’s boundless enthusiasm for its owner is worth having one in your life. 

1. Your Dog Wants to Be Picked up or Stroked

When you stroke or pick up your dog, it releases oxytocin, aka love hormone, in both of you, which strengthens the bond between you and your fur buddy.

2. Your Dog Initiates Physical Interaction

Every positive physical interaction is directly proportional to the amount of loyalty and compassion your dog has for you.

3. Your Dog Licks You Often

Dogs learn that licking is a clear sign for imparting love and affection after they are born, and their mothers lick them up. When your dog licks you, he may want to tell you how pleased he is to have you as an owner.

4. Your Dog Shows Nonverbal Signs of Love

Dogs show some apparent signs through their body language, which means they are trying to express their love.

These signs are snuggles, eye contact, wagging tail, trying to co-sleep, bringing their toys to you, leaning against you, or mimicking actions like yawning when you yawn.


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Do Dogs Know We Love Them?

Yes. Your dog definitely knows how much you love him. Dogs are capable of sensing and reciprocating feelings and emotions in the best way.

Do Dogs Love Humans More Than Dogs?

Dogs perceive humans as their survival kit, which no one wants to let go of instinctively- no matter what. The owners are the prominent figures in their lives for most dogs, and they prefer them over their species.

Do Dogs Stop Loving Their Owners?

Even if the owner stops taking care of a dog and starts behaving rudely, dogs do not instantly start hating their owners and keep giving them chances to revert. However, like humans, dogs are capable of sensing and reciprocating feelings of hatred as much as they do of love and affection.

Do Dogs Only Love Humans Because We Feed Them?

It is a proven fact that dogs do not love their owners only because they feed them or take care of them; instead, it’s a heartfelt relationship. You are, without a doubt, the most crucial figure in your dog’s life, and he trusts you and loves you deeply.

How Do Dogs Choose Their Favorite Person?

Dogs do respond to their owners in the same way babies do to their parents. Babies are dependent on their parents for their survival. 

Similarly, dogs learn that the owner is the constant figure in their lives. Thus, they possess an innate desire to please their owners and bond with them.


You may feel like your dog only sees you as a provider and safety net, which is the reason behind his love for you. Even though it’s not entirely wrong, and your dog realizes how being with you increases his chances of survival, your dog wouldn’t leave you immediately if you turn your back towards him.

Dogs give their owners fair chances to revert to them before leaving them, which clearly shows they love their owners more than they love themselves.

Keeping in mind the questions most dog owners ask, I elaborated on every point in detail, so to my assumption, you are now well-informed about how much your dog loves you and all the non-verbal ways through which they express their love for you.

As always, I would like to encourage you to ask any other questions you have in mind without hesitation. I am just a message away.

Enjoy your day with your fur baby. This is indeed one of the most precious relationships in the world.


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Paws up for sharing this dog-related article!
Housam Ayouni
Housam Ayouni

I am a professional in the field of canine behavior and care with many years of experience. Through my dog blog, which has reached over one million dog owners, I offer practical tips and guidance to support dog owners in creating strong, positive relationships with their pets and promoting the well-being and happiness of all dogs. My goal is to help dog owners create a harmonious and fulfilling life with their furry companions.

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