Man's Best Friend: Why Do We Connect With Dogs So Much?

Almost all of us at one point or another have had a dog in our life as a pet whether it be as a family pet as a kid or as an adult. It’s not a surprise that dogs make up 40% of pet ownership in Australia and with their loyalty, trusting nature and unconditional love are all you could wish for in a companion and best friend (not to mention how adorable they are), it no wonder why we love them so much! But did you know our link with dogs goes much deeper than just a family pet?

Lladró’s Pensive Greyhound Table Lamp

Dogs were the first domesticated species, our link with them can be traced back 11,000 years, around the end of the last Ice Age. Because of our time spent in close proximity with dogs as significant members of our family units, our psychological link with them is unlike anything else is in the animal kingdom, going beyond the typical parameters for a symbiotic relationship. When seeing a dog, our brains produce the same chemicals and same instinctual reactions that we have when we see a baby.

The majority of animals will not react empathetically and welcome an animal of their own species into their family structure let alone one from a completely foreign species. However, when we look at the highly social and tight-knit nature of both humans and wolves we can see why this relationship may have been able to grow over time from its symbiotic origins. Today, our bond with dogs runs so deep that when either party loses their companion the reaction in our brains is the same as losing a close family member or friend. In particular, the effect a sudden loss can have can be staggering and studies have found that both humans and dogs can experience long-lasting trauma. Discover the true story of Greyhounds.

Lladró’s Bulldog with Lollipop Sculpture

Not only is our bond with dogs in general uniquely deep but the types of dogs breeds we grow to favour has an intrinsic link to our previous emotional connections with specific breeds. Dogs are one of the most varied species on the planet, with 360 officially recognised breeds in all shapes, sizes, colours and temperaments. Unlike many other domestic pets like cats or rabbits, where we may choose based on practical reasons like how much the shed or health factors, the way we choose dogs is a much deeper and often emotionally driven process. The majority of long-time dog owners will stick with a specific breed or continue to favour a specific breed for their entire lives.

Lladró’s My Loyal Friend Figurine featuring a heart-warming tableaux of a boy with his best friend.

Additionally, many people will choose a dog based on how familiar and competent we are with a breed and its needs. Training a new dog as any dog owner will tell you can be a steep learning curve, during this process we not only have to get to know the personality of our new friend but also what kind of care their breed requires. Generally, once we are familiar with how our dog and dogs like it think and feel, we’re not gonna rush to unlearn habits that worked for one but may not work for another.

Lladró’s Jack Russell with Liquorice Sculpture

Lladró’s long-time understanding of the reasons why we love our dogs is evident in their extensive range of dog sculptures that feature specific breeds and capture that deep connection between a dog and its owner. Lladró’s Candy Dog Collection exemplifies the unique shapes, sizes and qualities that we love about dogs with five breed-specific dogs that exaggerate and highlights their unique looks. One of the things we love most about Lladró’s dogs is that the sculptors capture the life, soul and unconditional love in the eyes of every dog and each piece is a reminder of this unique bond.

See Lladró’s large compendium of dog breeds that they make.

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