You know your dog loves you. Now an ASU psychologist says he has scientific proof

Clive Wynne, a behavioral scientist and founder of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University, and his dog, Xephos. /Photo: Courtesy of Clive Wynne

By Scott Craven | Arizona Republic 

She greets you every day at the door, prancing about as her tail wags, overflowing with excitement. Your spouse and kids may be otherwise occupied, but your dog is always there to chase away any blues you may have had.

That’s true love. You know it in your heart.

And now there’s science to back you.

Such is the finding of Tempe psychologist Clive Wynne in his new book, “Dog Is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You” ($28, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Wynne, director of Arizona State University’s Canine Science Collaboratory, used historical studies and genetic research to prove — as much as one can — that dogs can, and do, love their people.

Even as experts have insisted time and time again that dogs are incapable of human emotions, that to assign them “love” is nothing more than anthropomorphism, Wynne has assembled scientific data otherwise.

And in addition to his findings, Wynne says he sees the evidence every time he looks into the eyes of his own dog.

“I’m utterly convinced of my findings, and I also know my dog loves me,” he says in his home office, glancing at Xephos who sleeps peacefully on her bed with no idea she could be the alpha dog of provable canine emotions.

Because it was Xephos who, in that cuddly canine way, would eventually lead Wynne to consider that perhaps what made dogs special was their hearts, not their brains.

Why is the canine-human bond strong?


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November 2019