Our dogs go absolutely insane with excitement when they see us. Whether you’re just waking up in the morning, you’re just getting home from a long day at work, or you’re coming out of the bathroom after a long, hot bubble bath, your dog can hardly contain themselves because they are so thrilled to be reunited with you. Why do dogs get so excited when they see you? Let’s look into it.
Why do dogs get excited when they see you?
Dogs are actually not overly complicated animals to understand. Their motivations and intentions are straightforward, and they are quite loyal. So, when your dog sees you and they get really excited, the reasons behind it are also quite straightforward.
Gregory Burns, a neuroscientist, used MRIs to investigate how canine brains reacted to various stimuli. His findings were that the regions of a dog’s brain stimulated by pleasure and reward are activated by familiar humans, and that canine brains react to their favorite human in the same way our human brains react upon seeing our best human friends.
This study tells us that our dogs aren’t just happy to see us because they know we will feed them and let them outside to use the bathroom. The sight of us just genuinely and purely fills their hearts with joy. I mean, think how you feel when you first see your best friend.
Why do dogs get so excited in the morning?
Unless you’re naturally an early riser or you have to get up early for work, it is probably not uncommon for you to be awakened by a happy, loving dog who is beyond thrilled to see you again.
You are the last thing they saw before they fell asleep, and you are the first thing they want to see this morning. Isn’t that bordering on obsession? Not really — It’s actually just normal canine behavior.
Dogs are creatures of ritual, and a huge part of their daily ritual is investigating their own “territory” to make sure everything in it is copacetic.
Depending on where your dog sleeps and whether or not there is a doggie door that allows them to go outside and use the bathroom at will, your room may be first or last on the list, or even somewhere in the middle, but your room is definitely a part of their territory, and you are a member of their pack. So, it shouldn’t come as a shock to you that they want to check up on you.
It may come as a shock to you, though, to find out that seeing you in the morning makes your dog just as happy as when you come home from a long trip. In a dog’s mind, you weren’t interacting, and once you wake up, you are again, so they are thrilled beyond measure.
It’s not just so you can let them outside or feed them, but your dog is genuinely happy to see you open your eyes and acknowledge them.
Why do dogs get so excited when you arrive home?
Even the very worst day on the job gets better the instant you realize that your dog will be on the other side of the door of your home waiting intently for you to arrive.
You suddenly realize that someone adores you, and you know with certainty that you’ll be showered with love as soon as you crack the door open. You’ll get kisses, kisses, and more kisses, but why?
Well, their best friend has been gone for a while. If you’ve been at work, you’ve been gone for hours. Since dogs descended from wolves, they are pack animals by nature, and since you take care of them, you are a member of their pack.
Anyway, pack animals don’t like being alone unless they choose it themselves, and that is an uncommon occurrence.
So, even if you’re only gone for an hour, your dog welcomes you home with all the pomp and circumstance with which the father welcomed home the prodigal son.
Your dog is thinking, like the father was, how happy they are that you are home and that the two of you are finally reunited again, and also, they wonder where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing.
There are other reasons why they kiss and sniff all over you — to find out who you’ve been with, whether you’ve been cheating on them with other dogs, or worse — cats, what you’ve been eating, and whether, by chance, you’ve brought them some.
I’m just kidding! Dogs don’t think of it that way, but by nature, most of them are instinctually bothered when they detect that you have been around other animals.
How do you know if a dog is happy to see you?
It would be hard not to know if your dog was happy to see you. When dogs are happy to see you, they can hardly contain themselves. They have that happy circle tail wag going on, and they are panting hard and frolicking about.
Unless they have been well-trained not to, they will literally attack you with love and kisses the minute they can get to you. Yes, there is no mistaking when a dog is happy to see you. Usually, even the most subdued dogs show excitement when their owner has been away and comes back.