Do Our Dogs Love Us Unconditionally?

Many people say ~ Dogs love us unconditionally.

However, others argue that dogs are not capable of love, much less unconditional love. What seems like love to us is only behavioral conditioning. Is this true? What does unconditional dog love mean?

When people say that dogs love us unconditionally, they are referring to how some dogs continue to seek human company, attention, and affection, even after being hit, beaten, neglected, and abused by us.

This does not mean that dogs love all people unconditionally, but that they have the capacity to forgive, forget, and love us again even after going through some tough times.

This does not mean that dogs do not feel pain or do not suffer from pain, nor does it mean that they are unaffected by abuse. It only means that they have the ability to bounce back if we give them the chance and help them to do so.

  Do Our Dogs Truly Love Us?

However, is this an indication of real love or is this merely conditioning?  Do our dogs lie next to us, lick us, and show us doggy affection because they have learned that it will get them food and other resources?  Or do they truly love and enjoy our company?

Some researchers argue that it is all conditioning, and that …


“If we moved our dogs to our neighbor’s house and that neighbor gave the dogs as much as we gave them and in the same motivational forms, I believe our dogs would adapt to the new life and would become as loyal to the neighbor as they were to us.

~                                                                                                                                              ~[Fred Metzger, State College veterinarian]

However, other scientists disagree. In fact, recent MRI data (dog brain scans) from scientists at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia show that dogs do experience feelings of love and affection.  In particular, the MRI data is different when a dog is given treats by a stranger and by someone that they have a strong bond with.

What do you think? Do our dogs truly love us or is it just conditioning?

Man sitting with his two Huskies, one on each side. ~                                                                                 ~[Fred Metzger, State College veterinarian]



NOTE FROM LOVINMYPUP ADMINISTRATOR:    Personally, I do not believe that our pups are conditioned to respond to their owners.    i strongly believe that dogs are loving and have the ability to demonstrate love and affection to their owners.   Bella shows mw love and affection every day.   From making direct eye contact with me . to barking at me to sit on the couch so she could cuddle with me.  As a nurse, i know that MRI testing is definitely used in human testing of the inner workings of the brain.    I am very happy that this technique is now being used to determine the answer to this long standing question.  There is truly a different brain pattern when a dog is interacting with a stranger as opposed to his/her owner.   What do you think???

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