Every dog owner babies their canine but now researchers have maybe found out why: they are babies!
Researchers found that our dogs feel about human parents the same way a baby does.
The study found that both dogs and babies experience the "secure base effect" with their parents.
The "secure base effect" is the notion created by psychologists in the 1960s that children use their parents as a safe anchor while they explore the world.
Dogs were found to feel that their adopted parents had their back while they explored as well.
The researchers studied dogs in three different situations using dog toys and food rewards to get their results.
They used the situations "absent owner," "silent owner" and "encouraging owner."
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With the owner present, the dogs were far more likely to interact with the dog toys and try to earn food rewards.
When the owner was absent, the dogs became more aloof and didn't show much interest in the toys or in earning the treats.
Even with the stranger in the room, the dogs were still reluctant to earn a biscuit.
Dogs, like babies, need their parents.
Next time your dog runs ahead of you on a walk and then looks back, just know its looking to you for help and safety.
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.