• Delainey Smith

Study Shows People Love Dogs More Than Other Humans

Dogs have always been known as a man’s best friend. Dog owners constantly go to extremes in caring for their dogs (providing them the most expensive pet food, doggy spa trips, dressing them clothing and accessories, etc.), many owners’ refer to their dogs as their “fur babies.”

Research shows, in a published study in the Society and Animals journal, that people sympathize more towards dogs than fellow humans.

As April Ludgate from Parks and Recreation said about dogs (and cats), “They should be rewarded for not being people. I hate people.”

The study showed an experiment where 240 students were presented with fake newspaper stories reporting about either an attack on a person or on a dog.

According to Business Insider, the fake story reported that the victim was attacked "with a baseball bat by an unknown assailant," and was left unconscious "with one broken leg" and "multiple lacerations."

Each participate was given the same report, but a different victim; the report showed the victim was either a one-year-old baby, a 30-year-old adult, a puppy, or a six-year-old dog.

The researchers conducting the study believed that the vulnerability of the victim would correspond with age, rather than species. However, empathy levels for the puppy, older dog and baby were coinciding with each other, while empathy towards the adult human came in last.

Another study published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that the reason why has to do with the facial expressions dogs produce in front of humans.

The research showed that dog react to humans the most, more than treats.

“Facial expression is often seen as something that is very emotionally driven and is very fixed, and so it isn’t something that animals can change depending on their circumstances,” said Bridget Waller, professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of Portsmouth and an author of the study, told the Guardian.

Overall, the study suggests that a dog’s expression is not just the result of internal emotions but is also used as a mechanism of communication.

This study joins others in exploring and explaining the intricate and connected relationship owners have with their canine companions.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Dogs are honestly the most amazing creatures ever who will always love you unconditionally no matter what, unlike humans who are terrible, selfish beings.

Enjoy some adorable pictures of dogs (this does not represent my favorite kind of dogs).

@usf_encounter tweets: