Times have changed, but dogs have always been man’s best friend. Man’s needs, however, changed with time and so did the relationship between him and his dog.
Before, dogs used to hunt or herd, watch the flocks, or guard the house. Now, there’s less and less need for them to play this part in our community as city life became the center of society. Still, these changes and developments have posed new challenges and sprang new needs.
In more recent years, studies have shown that anxiety and emotional stress increased through the course of the century, making the primary principle of the relationship between man and dog that of emotional support.
This is something most dog owners have reported noticing with their dogs. Many times they have been hurt, sad or sick, their dogs would try to console them. This has lead to the uprise of the so-called emotional support dogs.
Sometimes they are trained to become suitable service dogs, but mostly they gained this name thanks to their inherent empathic nature. Labradors, Retrievers, Poodles, and others have proven to be the best choice. Although, smaller breeds have become increasingly popular for this reason as well, such as cute little poochon puppies and other mixed breeds.
Now, it has been confirmed by researchers that dogs do indeed reflect their owner’s emotions, which can sometimes leave these dogs anxious as well. This can be tended to, though.
This is really important when it comes to new-age challenges. There’s so much to be done that concerns our social abilities these days. Not everyone needs leadership skills but that doesn’t mean they can afford being pushed around.
Owning a dog means choosing to be the leader of the pack, making yourself in charge and responsible for both emotional and physical security of other members. But this can be done only by being firm, confident in your decisions and not stepping back when something needs to be done.
The part of the brain that controls anxiety is also in charge of decision making. Acting upon this benefits our overall sense of confidence, which, by consequence, leads to a healthy attitude towards life, especially if you’re prone to anxiety and depression.
Dogs make you socialize more, sometimes with other dog owners, but they themselves prove to be a great company, making you interact with them constantly. Anxiety is best alleviated when focusing your attention on something other than yourself. And having a dog around is, unlike having cats, a constant distraction.
Anxiety is linked to our one task mind that is in charge of decision-making. Those that don’t socialize often can be very undecided, going back and forth in their mind, which contributes to anxiety greatly. Having to address your dog’s needs is another good way of appeasing anxiety problems.
Dogs will never pass on the occasion to go outdoors, walking the dog is an everyday activity you need to engage in. Especially in the case of larger dogs or hound breeds who have much more energy.
This takes at least half an hour to an hour every day. And that’s great because only 30 minutes of walking can improve your stress levels, mood, and stave off anxiety. Even a little sun and fresh air can boost mood, but 10 minutes of mere walking acts as a natural painkiller, releasing endorphin and reducing stress.
Sense of purpose
We are the happiest when we feel our lives have been given a purpose. Dogs feel the same way. When not given a purpose, they too get depressed. This being the case, both dogs and their owners fulfill this need for one another.
As they tend to become more emotionally oriented, dogs find their purpose in making you happy, so don’t feel guilty for thinking of them as service animals. We too find purpose in keeping them safe and happy.
Whatever the case, dog and man work better together and their companionship has always given more than just mere mutual benefit. In the end, this relationship always comes down to pure love.