Scientists at the Claremont Graduate University in California have found that dogs are really capable of loving their owners.
The researchers report that dogs release the 'love hormone' oxytocin in intimate situations. Professor Paul Zak and his colleagues conducted this study, which measured the levels of oxytocin released when pets interacted with other animals as well as humans.
Professor Zak went to an animal refugee in Arkansas where he obtained blood samples from a domestic mixed-breed terrier and a goat that often played together, which involved "chasing each other, jumping towards each other, and engaging in simulated fighting (baring teeth and snarling)".
The researchers concluded these results suggested that pets may feel love for their owners.