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Is it love? The relationship between dogs and humans

Under CC license from Flickr user Anthony Citrano


What’s the emotional connection between dogs and humans? KALW’s Chris Hoff explored that relationship with Amy Cook. She is a researcher in dog cognition in the Psychology Department of UC Berkeley and has trained dogs for 20 years.

AMY COOK: We make these big romantic stories around what dogs do for us and what they’re like. And I think those stories say more about what we want then they do about the actual relationship.

CHRIS HOFF: Do you think people use dogs as a substitute?

COOK: I think we do. I think people use them as substitute children plenty of times, something to nurture. I think people use them as substitute friends and substitute partners.

Click the player above to listen to the full interview.

This interview is part of an entire episode of Crosscurrents about dogs in San Francisco. Find links to more stories below.