Do you like dogs? You probably do. We all know someone who is crazy about dogs. Pets are like part of the family, and losing one is like going through the worst nightmare.
Pet owners would give their lives to save their dogs. The same goes in the other way round. Dogs would die to protect their owner, and we have heard so many stories of fluffy heroes.
A research conducted at Northeastern University’s Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict in Boston confirms the love owners and pets share. It’s a special bond, and the results showed that human to dog relationships are stronger than relationships between people.
Researchers collected data from 240 participants aged between 18 and 25. The research involved the owners’ empathy towards their pet, a baby and an adult. Will you be surprised to learn that babies and dogs drew more empathy than adults?
Jack Levin and Arnold Arluke, co-authors of the research, were surprised by the findings. How did they come to this conclusion? Participants were told fictional stories in which someone abused a 6-year-old dog, a puppy, a toddler and a 30-year-old adult.
The fake stories ended in the same way: a policeman found the victims, and they were unconscious with a broken leg and deep cuts. According to the fake stories, the criminal wasn’t caught.
The results were pretty clear. The puppy and the toddler triggered more sympathy than the adult. Wonder why? Well, animals and children are innocent.
Levin adds that adult dogs may be considered as bigger puppies, meaning they are as dependent and helpless as puppies. Adult individuals are independent, and are able to protect themselves.
Researchers note that this empathy would apply to every other animal, including cats and rabbits.