Man and Man’s Best Friend: We’re More Similar Than We Think

We are more similar than we think and here’s a famous series of photos to prove it:

People who look like their dogs

Beyond the humorous aspect, however, freelance writer Jenny Holt, sent us these intriguing observations:

For millennia, dogs have been considered man’s best friend, despite us being unable to entirely explain why. We know that dogs came from wolves, and that wolves and humans teamed up roughly 33,000 years ago. We also know that somewhere along the road dogs became domesticated and are no longer just our allies but our therapists, our heroes, and our family. Yet, science may now be able to explain why it is we get along so well with our four-legged friends by shining some light onto the similarities between us.

Dogs Get Jealous

It’s been said that humans and dogs last shared a common ancestor over 100 million years ago, and, recently, a brain-imaging study between dogs and humans has discovered that there’s a surprisingly large similarity in how we process emotions. In 2014, a study proved that, like humans, dogs can feel jealousy. Researchers placed a dog and its owner in a room filled with random items, such as jack-o-lanterns and pop-up books for children, and an animatronic dog. Those dogs whose owners played with the latter showed signs of extreme jealousy. Believing that this fake dog was some rival, the dogs were more likely to push or touch their owner, attempting to get his or her attention, and some even snapped at the fake dog. One dog even forcibly got between the toy and his owner.

Dogs Dream

When a dog is sleeping they often scrunch up their nose, kick their legs or even bark and make funny noises. Harvard Medical School’s clinical and evolutionary psychologist, Dr. Deirdre Barrett suggests that, like humans, dogs dream of events relating to their day. When a dog is moving its legs, for example, the likelihood of it chasing a ball or playing fetch or running around after its owner is extremely high. Dr. Barrett adds that “since dogs are generally extremely attached to their human owners, it’s likely your dog is dreaming of your face, your smell and of pleasing or annoying you.”

Dogs Have Our Health Conditions

Although they walk on four legs, dogs have very similar physical characteristics. This means that they can suffer from the same health conditions as humans, from common colds to diabetes, arthritis to mumps. They can even get headaches! It’s believed that their headaches can be caused by allergies and sinus pressure much like ours. The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published their findings when a Cocker Spaniel exhibited the same signs of having a migraine as a human: she was extremely sensitive to light and sound, didn’t want to be touched, and was sweating and irritable. The only difference was that she was unable to put words to her issue.

No wonder our four legged friends are our best friends: they understand everything we’re going through and, with their added ability of prompting our bodies to release feel-good hormones and suppress our stress hormones, they’re practically perfect in every way!

Lots of wags and thanks to freelance writer, Jenny Holt for contributing this post.

We'd love to get your comments and feedback on this topic and post. To add your comments, scroll to the bottom of the page and "Leave a Reply" (type your thoughts into the text box).


4 Responses to Man and Man’s Best Friend: We’re More Similar Than We Think

  1. Norman W. Wilson March 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

    Excellent article, Doc. Your Morgan is a wonderful example.

  2. Mary E. Trimble March 15, 2017 at 1:17 pm #

    Nice article, Patricia. After 25 years of male labs, we now have a female pointer. What a difference! But still, the three dogs share many of the same characteristics. The first 2 were pups when they came to us, so it would stand to reason they would adapt to our way of doing things. With Mattie, the pointer, it was different because she was 2 years old when she became part of our family. Still, this past year has shown her to be sensitive to how we do things. It didn’t take her long to blend right in. I think dogs are very tuned in to what we think and do.

  3. Marie Grime March 15, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

    I had guessed as much. Our Sally is also a nag too, and I won’t tell you which of the persons in our household she takes THAT after! But she is very good at it, and without uttering a sound.

  4. Hemlata Vasavada March 21, 2017 at 11:54 pm #

    I agree that dogs and humans are alike in many ways–in emotional and physiological responses. Great article that sums it all up.

Leave a Reply