real life

Science has officially declared humans love dogs more than we love other people.

A study has just confirmed what we always knew to be true: people love their four-legged friends more than they love their fellow humans.

In a report published in journal Society & Animals, participants were given fake newspaper clippings of police reports, about a victim being attacked with a baseball bat and “left unconscious with one broken leg and multiple lacerations”.

While the story remained the same, the victim in the report was changed to either a one-year-old child, a 30-year-old adult, a puppy or a six-year-old dog.

human hugs dog woman puppy
Do humans care more about dogs than other people? Image via Getty.

The study - curiously titled Are People More Disturbed by Dog or Human Suffering? - found that people were more upset about a baby, a puppy and a dog being attacked than an adult human.

When asked about how they felt to measure their levels of empathy for each victim, the 30-year-old human elicited the least empathetic response.

While it's mildly concerning, it may help to explain why seeings dogs die in movies and TV shows is just so darn distressing.

Mamamia Out Loud asks: When did dogs become equal to humans? (Post continues after audio...)

"Respondents were significantly less distressed when adult humans were victimised, in comparison with human babies, puppies and adult dogs," the researchers concluded.

"Only relative to the infant victim did the adult dog receive lower scores of empathy."

The reason? "Subjects did not view their dogs as animals, but rather as 'fur babies', or family members alongside human children."

child and puppy cute sleep
The study showed that many view their dogs as members of the family, like kids. Image via Getty.
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And it seems our dogs may love us back just as much. Last month, a study published in the journal Scientific Reports determined that dogs make more facial movements when a human is paying them attention.

While it was previously thought that a dog made facial expressions "unconsciously" the study - which recorded the facial movements of 24 dogs when a human was facing an animal and facing away - found that dogs change their faces to seek attention from their human pals.

"Dogs produced significantly more facial movements when the human was attentive than when she was not," the study read.

The dogs "raised their eyebrows" and "made their eyes bigger" to get more attention from their human counterparts.

cute puppy dog eyes
Turns out those puppy dog eyes are a real thing. Image via Getty.

Thankfully, our puppy friends have been repaying our love for them with health benefits: it turns out that having your four-legged friend in the room with you while you sleep means you'll get a better quality of rest.

Dogs have even been known to take on elements of their owner's personalities, and are able to detect and react to our emotions, like stress.

It seems the human-dog love feeling is mutual. Now, tell us again how cats are better than dogs?

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