Dogs are man’s best friend thanks to bonding hormone, research shows

Scientists have found that dogs and owners experience surges in oxytocin, a hormone responsible for maternal caring, when they look into each other’s eyes


The look of love: the findings point to a virtuous circle that triggers the release of oxytocin in people and their dogs and so strengthens the bonds between them. Photograph: Peter Steffen/dpa/Corbis

Ian Sample, science editor @iansample

Friday 17 April 2015 00.06 BST

A rush of hormone that helps people bond could explain why humans and dogs have been best friends for thousands of years, say researchers in Japan.

The scientists found that dog owners experienced a surge of oxytocin when their pets gazed into their eyes, a dramatic effect that was mirrored in the animals themselves. Read more.