why people love dogs

Way back, before even television and flavored sparkling water, dogs (or something pretty close to dogs) were wild creatures, fending for themselves. They survived on their own, with no training, no treats, and no humans.

Luckily, we’ve evolved since then.

Although it is not clear exactly when these wolf/dogs became domesticated, it’s assumed that early humans — hunter-gatherer-types —captured wolf pups and kept them as pets and for companionship and protection. The common wisdom is that timid wolves were given food and encouraged to hang around the camp fire. Over time, these wolves’ progeny evolved into the dogs we know and love today, including everything from the cutesy chihuahua to the massive mastiff.

Our ancestors made a wise move, domesticating these wolves. Dogs have made humans happy for a long time. Why’s that? Here are three reasons, but, of course, this just scratches the surface. Love is hard to describe, but if you’re feeling it, you know how good it is.

Dogs just seem to “get us”

They can’t talk, but they sure can communicate. Some dogs are so in sync with their owners that a mere look can serve as a command. They have an innate ability to understand a simple gesture, and most dogs are eager to connect with us and please us.

Dogs seem pretty happy to help

Not surprisingly, humans aren’t shy about finding ways for our dog companions to lend a helping paw. Some breeds are especially good partners. Boxers, for example, teamed up with soldiers in World War I to deliver messages and keep people connected. Huskies were once largely bred to pull sleds. And many Newfies have historically served as water rescue dogs.

A healthy dose of dog

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the simple act of playing with your pup can bring a bevy of benefits including decreased blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Hey, there’s a reason college administrators bring puppies onto campus during finals week (other than the obvious: everyone loves puppies).

While we don’t know exactly which brave soul first corralled a wolf pup into the domesticity, we're sure glad they did.