Dogs Love Us So Much Because We've Bred Them That Way

Vintage photo of young woman being licked by a dog
credit: iVangelos/iStock/GettyImages

There's no denying the dramatic behavior differences between domesticated dogs and their wilder wolf ancestors. After thousands of years of specific breeding and evolution, our canine companions are now renowned for being loyal, loving, and great listeners.

In fact, dogs genes actually have genetic codes that make them have specific physical features and generally friendlier behavior than their ancient ancestors. And that's thanks in large part to the fact that humans have consistently preferred (and created) breeds that reflect our own social needs — whether it be constant ongoing interaction, constant affection, or listening to commands to help us survive.

Even in tests where wolves and dogs are raised in similar social settings, the dogs show a much more natural preference for human companionship along with a general desire to please and respond to their two-legged friends.

fun rottweiler puppy running
credit: Carmelka/iStock/GettyImages

Our constant preference for dogs who behave in certain manners and are adept at listening to us means that, over time, we've created exactly the kind of companion we've always wanted. So part of the reason you may feel like your dog is such a perfect best friend is because it legitimately has been bred to be a perfect best friend.

Because our own human social needs are ever changing, our furry friends are evolving right along with us.

By choosing breeds like those that do well hanging out by themselves while we're at work or can live easily in apartments, we're continuing to evolve our canine companions to adapt to our own ever-changing needs.

Eventually, if we can teach our pets to take selfies of themselves and update their own Instagram pages, we'll know we've really achieved an incredible feat of evolution.