From the archives: Animal behaviorist Clive Wynne on doggy love

A dog and a man pose for a photograph.
Clive Wynne and his dog, Xephos. He is the founding director of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University.
Photo courtesy of Sam Wynne

Americans love their pets. In 2018, we spent more than $72 billion feeding them, grooming them, training them, medicating them and — much to the pets’ regret — clothing them. Dog owners, in particular, are quick to say dogs are special — not only because they are smart and social creatures, but because dogs love us back.

But do they really? Or are they just happy to see us because we hold the keys to the food? One animal behaviorist says he’s done the research and he’s convinced that dogs do form emotional attachments with their owners.

Enjoy this fun and enlightening conversation from 2020 between MPR News host Kerri Miller and Clive Wynne — both certified dog lovers — as they talk about Wynne’s research on canine love.

And let it whet your appetite for this Friday’s Big Book and Bold Ideas show, when Miller will talk with science journalist Ed Yong about his new book: “An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us.”


  • Clive Wynne, animal behaviorist, founding director of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University and author of the book “Dog is Love.”

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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