Dogs have been tamed by humans since the dawn of civilization. Representatives of some species are so devoted to the owner that without even thinking they will give their lives in the name of his salvation. Many cases of dog fidelity and self-sacrifice have been described. In the article we will talk about the breeds that are considered the most devoted.
What does devotion depend on?
The devotion of an animal depends on several factors: genetics, biochemical processes in the body, the relationship between the dog and the owner. You can see that even puppies are affectionate and devoted. These properties have passed to them at the genetic level. When the dogs were wild, they formed packs and implicitly obeyed the leader. For domestic dogs, a person becomes such a leader.
In terms of biochemical processes, it has been found that dogs produce large amounts of oxytocin (“love hormone”). For example, in women, this hormone is activated during the birth of a child, it helps to form the maternal instinct. A strong trusting relationship between a person and a pet contributes to the production of oxytocin. When the owner gently strokes the dog, she experiences a surge of love, as at this moment her brain activates the production of oxytocin.
People have a lot in common with dogs – a dog and a person understand each other emotionally. On the muzzle of a dog, one can easily read joy, excitement, sadness, resentment, guilt or fear.
It is also easy for a pet to feel the mood of the owner. Humans and dogs know the feeling of empathy. When a person feels bad, the dog does not leave him, tries to distract, help with his love.
There is another feature that brings humans and animals closer – this is similarity. The owner intuitively chooses a breed similar to himself. Over time, the similarity becomes even more noticeable. Over the years of living together, a person and a dog begin to adopt qualities of character from each other. A good owner has a good-natured dog, while an evil one has an aggressive one.
Notable examples of dog loyalty
Dog devotion is multifaceted, it is manifested not only in love for one owner. Service dogs rescued those who fell under snow avalanches or under the rubble of buildings during earthquakes. Many quadrupeds have served for the benefit of medicine and thus saved the lives of millions of people. Academician Pavlov chose dogs as experimental animals for his research, since their DNA is 97% identical to the human. People owe a lot to their pets.
In almost every country you can find monuments to devoted dogs.
In the memory of people there are many amazing stories related to the love and loyalty of our four-legged friends. During the Great Patriotic War, service animals pulled out the wounded from shelling, helped clear buildings, and carried out security services. An example is the world’s only large-scale hand-to-hand combat with dogs.
It happened at the very beginning of the war, in 1941, near the village of Legedzeno in Ukraine. The Germans stubbornly rushed to Kyiv. 500 border guards and 150 service dogs came out to protect the borders. A hard hand-to-hand fight ensued, in which all the border guards died. The dogs did not even think of running away, they desperately defended their owners. 150 faithful dogs perished on the battlefield, leaving a grateful memory of people.
Until now, people have not forgotten another amazing dog – Dzhulbars, which during the Great Patriotic War found 7000 mines and shells. At the very end of the war, the dog was wounded, but deservedly participated in the victory parade in Moscow. Stalin took off and gave his tunic to the dog-hero so that Dzhulbars would be carried in his arms across Red Square.
Documented cases of rescue of people by dogs date back to a different period of time. For example, the story of St. Bernard is described Barry, who at the beginning of the 19th century worked together with rescuers and found injured travelers under the snowdrifts in the snowy Alps. He has saved 40 lives to his credit.
At the beginning of the last century, a dog named Balto. At that time, diphtheria was rampant in Alaska. The situation was aggravated by a severe snowstorm, which made it impossible to deliver the vaccine to the affected areas. All hope remained on Balto. The owner of the dog himself did not believe in a positive outcome of the venture, but there was nowhere to go, as people were dying in the area covered by the epidemic. The dog coped with the task, although he came to the finish line barely alive, but he delivered the vaccine safely.
The stories described relate to the service of dogs to many people, and completely unfamiliar to them. But even more cases of pet devotion were noted in relations with their owners. Everyone knows the famous dog Hachiko Akita Inu breed. In memory of his fidelity, people in 1934 erected a monument in his homeland. After a while, the story of the selfless devotion of the dog was filmed, and the whole world cried when they learned the fate of Hachiko.
A simple but very sad story happened to him. The dog accompanied the owner to the railway station every day, and in the evening he went to meet him. But one day the man did not return, he died. The devoted pet continued every day for 9 years, until his death, to go to the station in the hope of seeing the owner. People tried to take him to their home, but the dog chose to stay on the street and wait for the return of the man he loved more than life itself.
A similar story happened in Italy. An elderly kind woman named Maria Loci fed a homeless German Shepherd for many years. Tommy. The dog always accompanied her to church when the woman went to the service. After the death of Mary, the dog continued to come to the temple in the hope of seeing a kind woman. He behaved quietly, did not interfere with anyone, so he was allowed to be among the parishioners. This continued until 2013, until Tommy ended his earthly life.
Another amazing story happened in 2012. In the forest of the Australian state of Victoria, 4 km from home, a three-year-old boy, Dante Berry, was lost. The kid spent the night in the forest thicket, and when rescuers found him, they saw a German shepherd Dasher. She took care of the baby all night. The boy was perfectly healthy and had no injuries. There are a lot of such stories, each breed has its own feats.
Top 10 Breeds
After reviewing the well-known stories about the devotion of dogs and the reviews of the owners, you understand that it is impossible to absolutely accurately allocate places among the breeds.
The most faithful are recruited by many more than a dozen, so the distribution of places is controversial, each of them is claimed by several breeds.
For example, the first place in the ranking is unconditionally given to a shepherd dog, but in terms of importance, 3 breeds immediately fall into it: German, Caucasian and Eastern European.
We will consider one of them.
- German Shepherd. This is not only the most loyal breed, but also is in the top five smartest. The dog is easy to train, teach all kinds of commands. The dog perfectly feels its owner and in an extreme situation can make decisions on its own. Shepherds are service dogs, they are kept by the police, customs, at the border, where the owners can change periodically. This complicates the life of pets, but they perform their duties perfectly. Dogs are brave and courageous, they are ready to give their lives both for their master and for the people who are being rescued on duty.
- Akita Inu. Here opinions are divided. Some experts put forward the Labrador Retriever in second place, but the cinematic popularity of the Akita Inu allowed this breed to confidently take second place. These dogs are very smart and loyal. At a young age, they are curious, active, cheerful. As they grow older, the dog becomes calm, responsible and caring. He always watches over his master, not allowing anyone to offend him.
- Labrador retriever. The owners of Labradors believe that there is no one in the world smarter and more loyal than their dog. The breed was bred for hunting, but despite this, the dogs are good-natured and cheerful, they are always on the move, they love to play with young children. Labradors can be guides, companions and nannies. Sometimes dogs are taken to work in the customs service, since the sharpness of their sense of smell is 25% higher than the sense of smell of German shepherds. But because of their kindness, they can never be guards. Due to the restless activity of the Labrador, it is easier to keep in a private house than in an apartment.
- Rottweiler. Outwardly, the dog looks formidable and, if you have to protect the owner, it will turn out to be so. But in the family this is a completely different dog, he is gentle, affectionate, loving attention. The pet is bored if someone from the family is not at home and rejoices at the arrival, like a child. The dog is very loyal and obedient, but in games it may not calculate strength and inadvertently injure a person.
- Dachshund. It is difficult to choose who actually should have been in fourth place, a Rottweiler or a Dachshund. This small dog is so affectionate and devoted to its owner that it is not ready to let him go from her even for a minute. An eared pet with a long body runs everywhere for the owner, participates in all his affairs. But at the same time, he doesn’t like it if they turn to him in a raised voice or scold him, he can be offended and withdraw. Dachshunds are smart, picking up new commands on the fly. But it is difficult to get them to do anything, you can only get carried away with the game.
- Doberman. Dogs of this breed have been serving people as guards for a century and a half. Initially, the author of the breed brought angry and aggressive dogs. But subsequently, the breeders did a good job on this line, reducing the degree of aggression. Today, Dobermans have a stable and balanced character. They are very smart and follow their owner’s commands very well. With a good attitude towards them, the dogs will become the most devoted friends of their family. They can babysit the master’s children, they will not even offend a bird if it lives in a family.
In the presence of strangers, the dog behaves cautiously, he will not even allow to raise his voice to his beloved owner, he will warn with a growl. You should not test the dog’s loyalty further, it is better to soften the tone of communication.
- West Siberian Laika. Friendly and very loyal dog. This breed was bred to serve man. Its representatives selflessly serve their master. They are happy to play with small children, obedient and hardy. Likes are unobtrusive, they will not require attention if the owner is busy.
- Collie. Endlessly good family dog. It is not a burden for her to experience anxiety from small children, she will look after them and cheer them up. Collie gets along well with pets, but is suspicious of strangers. For the one he loves, he can give his life without regret.
- St. Bernard. These huge phlegmatic dogs won’t even hurt a fly. They, like collies, babysit children and are very devoted to their family.
- Poodle. All types of poodles love their owners immensely. Dogs are smart and understand not only commands, but also human speech. Poodles are not fighting dogs, they are kind and will not be able to protect the owner, but they have enough courage not to leave him at the moment of danger.
The listed 10 breeds make up a conditional list.
Owners of Terriers, Boxers, Shelties, Pit Bulls, Staffords and even Bichons can argue with these data, as their dogs are also among the most loyal.
How to choose?
Choosing a pet of any breed, you can be sure of his love and loyalty. It is difficult to meet a loyal dog even among people. Therefore, it is better to organize your choice according to other criteria. You need to understand for yourself what tasks the pet will have to solve – to protect housing, to help on the hunt, to be a guide, companion, or to please with your appearance, as decorative dogs do.
Consider which animals fit certain requirements.
- If nothing but love is required from dogs, you can opt for small pets: Yorkshire Terrier, Miniature Poodle, Bichon, Pomeranian, Levchen, Toy Terrier, Chihuahua. It should be remembered that small dogs are very affectionate, they should not be left alone. For busy people, these breeds are not suitable.
- To protect the apartments, you should choose small but desperate dogs that will let the thief into the home, but will not let him out: Laika, Pit Bull Terrier, Sharpei, Akita Inu, Standard Schnauzer.
- To guard houses, you can choose a large dog that easily endures life in an aviary: American Akita, German or Caucasian Shepherd, Malamute, Doberman.
- Families with children are suitable for St. Bernard, Collie Poodle, Labrador, French Bulldog.
- Mobile dogs are suitable for active people as companions: Yorkshire Terrier, Husky, Jack Russell Terrier, Biyi, English Setter.
- Older people need calm pets: English Bulldog, Biewer, Golden Retriever.
- Hunters to help themselves can buy a Russian hound, biyi, basenji, kurtshaar, English foxhound.
- Whoever takes a dog into the house for the first time, it is better to start with breeds that are easy to train: standard schnauzer, cocker spaniel, sheltie, toy terrier.
- For those who suffer from allergies to animal hair, it is better to choose a poodle, American Hairless Terrier, Biewer, Tibetan Mastiff.
Not only purebred dogs can be devotees. If you choose a mestizo or a mongrel, their noble hearts will respond to the owner with great love and loyalty.
About the most devoted dogs in the world, see the following video.