Ever wonder why your dog is always so incredibly happy to see you?
According to neurologist Dr. Gregory Berns – who wrote the book “How Dogs Love Us” – a big reason is that dogs are wired to live in the moment! In fact, brain studies have shown that dogs don’t have the capacity to store memories the way we humans do.
For example: Say you have a good friend who occasionally flakes when you make plans. That flakiness may cause you to be cautious the next time your friend invites you to a movie… because you’ll have memories of times when you looked forward to hanging out, but your friend was a no-show.
But Dr. Berns says dogs don’t think that way. All they care about is: “Do I like my human friend or not?” And if the answer is “yes,” the reward centers in a dog’s brain will fire in a way that makes them excited to see you. In other words, dogs don’t carry “baggage” like people do. Dr. Burns says they’re either happy to see us, or they’re not… there’s NO middle ground.
That’s not to say a dog won’t remember being scolded when they did something wrong. But if the majority of your interactions with your dog are positive, they’ll be happy to see you 100% of the time.
And dogs don’t simply love us because we feed them, or because they see us as part of their pack. Dogs know that we’re different from them and they’ve evolved to have a special place in their brain just for us. It stores everything from our scent, to the sound of our voice. And Dr. Berns says any time that brain area gets triggered, your dog will instantly feel happy and come running.