It might be just another part of your day, but for your beloved pet, it seems as though the best part of their day is when you walk through the door.
It doesn't matter what you have been through in the day, a tough day in the office, or it has rained all day, your dog greeting you in such a happy way often makes up for everything. So why are dogs so happy?
Why are Dogs so Happy when we get home - It's in Their Nature
Thats right, they are man's best friend for a reason, they don't like to be alone. Typically a pack animal they aren't meant to be alone. Their happiness at your return is a mix of relief, excitement and being uncontrollably happy - how nice is that to come home to?
They base their day around routine, so they will get used to you leaving at a certain time, popping back in one your lunch break at the same time if you do, and returning around the same time of day.
They will start to get excited at the sound of the gate swinging open, or the familiar sound of your car pulling onto the drive, this is where the anticipation builds and the tail starts to wag.
It is as though you are your dogs emotional equilibrium. You complete their world and offer them stability. You also offer them safety, you are their provider of food and affection.
Dogs can be left alone for a certain amount of time without any problems. It can be their chance to relax, snooze and have a few hours of calm.
But when you come home it is like the return of everything they know that keeps them safe - you complete them, it is no wonder they are so happy.
Why are Dogs so Happy? - Your Greeting Affects Their Happiness
Did you know that the level of happiness and impact you have on your dog when you get home is often dependant on the type of greeting you offer.
It’s true, studies such as a popular article on Sciencedirect.com have found that when you greet your dog and "initiate physical and verbal contact in a calm and friendly way" it has a more positive effect on your dog than when you offer verbal contact only, or totally ignore the dog.
Their oxytocin levels increase showing an increase in happiness that was not found to the same level when physical and verbal contact was not made.
This mean your dogs happiness is very dependent on how you treat it, next time you come through the door, try to get into the habit of remembering this. Who wouldn't want their beloved dog to be as happy as possible?
Your Scent Makes Them Happy
That's right, your dog's sense of smell is so incredible that it can identify you and know the difference between you and anyone else through this sense of smell.
In a well documented study, the scientist and ‘decoder of dogs brains’ Gregory Berns who is the author of the book ‘why dogs love us’ comments that a dog doesn't have an in between setting for emotions.
When they see someone they are either happy or sad. So to see the return of their beloved owner, they lick and smell you to smell the scents of your day and greet you.
They love the scent of their owners and can’t get enough of it, they know the difference between a human and a dog and react in different ways to interaction with each.
They Are Curious
Of course, Dogs are incredibly intelligent creatures, when they have been sat at home for long periods, you serve as stimulation. When they pick up the smells from your clothes they get an insight into your day and are curious.
This curiosity is exciting for them, they are surrounded by the same scents and environment all day, your arrival brings a mix of happiness to see you and happiness through the excitement that your day brings to them.
You Complete Them
That’s right, dogs haven't lost their sense of belonging to the pack, they haven't got used to separation which is why you probably had to be at their side more when they were smaller and teach them to cope better as time goes on.
When you get through that door, a dog is excited because it is like the return of the pack for them. They are incredibly social and affectionate.
When you come home, try and make them feel special by giving them even a few seconds of attention. The oxytocin that is released is a proven sign that your dog is happy to see you - make sure you let them know you feel the same.