Which animals show humans love?

What is love? Whatever makes the question most interesting to you.

Only animals that are reasonably smart can qualify (IE: chicken are probably too stupid. Not sure about hamsters, ferrets, etc.)

Dogs and cats are obvious answers. So are those new domesticated foxes. What else? Horses probably show love.

Well, apes are also obvious, though many tend to be mean.

What new domesticated foxes?
(Sounds cool – may have to highjack the My Pet Goat thread.)

Personally, I think you’re anthropomorphizing. No animals express love for humans—they simply engage in prosurvivalistic behavior which we interpret as affection. The question would be more accurately phrased as ‘which domesticated animals both seek out, and derive pleasure from, human interaction’? Not very many, in my estimation. Dogs, cats, other primates—that’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Maybe ferrets—I’ve heard that they are unique among the pocket pets in that they will initiate contact with their peeps. I’ve been they told will hop up your leg looking for a little scrithin’. Bearded dragons appear to enjoy being stroked, but they don’t actively seek it out. I’ve also read that tortoises will follow you around the house if you stroke them under the chin, which they enjoy. Oh—I forgot pigs. Definitely domesticable. They would make great house pets if they weren’t so destructive. I’ve also heard anecdotes about domesticated elephants developing deep attachments to their caretakers. I’m sure there are other examples, but these are the ones that immediately come to mind.

Add domesticated birds, horses, rabbits, sheep, cows and (aussie) possums. If they’ve had contact with humans from a young age, all of these will seek physical contact for (apparently) the simple comfort that petting gives them - the animals I’ve known were fairly exclusive in that they knew ‘their’ human and preferred or exclusively accepted contact/affection from that person. Some cats and dogs are absolutely slutty in their need for affection from any random stranger.

Dolphins will seek human company if they’re lost (or been exiled) from their pods. Seems to be mainly youngsters.

Haven’t male dolphins been observed attempting to initiate sexual intercourse with human females? I’m sure I’ve heard that somewhere.

Personally, I think you’re anthropomorphizing humans. The fact that we romanticize this relationship among ourselves as this mystical word ‘love’ doesnt mean it is any different than what animals feel for each other or for humans they have bonded with, though there is certainly a difference in degree to this emotion across the range of animals.

I’ve seen my dogs express fear, excitement, happiness, boredom, guilt, and anger. I have also seen them express love thats no less real than what humans feel.

Gozu may be referring to the foxes that were experimentally bred to be doglike quite some time ago ( although certainly “new” compared to normal dogs ); in essence, creating a new breed of “dog” descended from foxes. I don’t recall what they are called exactly.

They share an awful lot of the same brain structure we do, including the parts involved in emotion. “Love” isn’t an intellectual faculty that we can reasonably say that humans alone possess. It’s an emotion, that any number of other mammals might be able to have.

I read about those…whatever happened with them?

It’s simply pack behavior. Humans have the additional and unique ability to verbalize it and analyze it. Dogs are happiest when engaging in pack activity and most miserable when alone, which is why they chew up your slippers and engage in other destructive/neurotic behavior. You are your cat’s litter, which is why she insists on sleeping and playing with you.

Re: domesticated foxes

Tame Silver Fox

My horses love me, and it’s not just because I feed them. When I went through a very, very dark time several years back due to untreated depression, their unconditional love was about the only thing besides daHubby that kept me from offing myself.

This Lion (youtube link) seems to show some sort of love-like emotion.

Hey cool, although thispicture suggests that they might actually be B movie grade werewolves who are going to eat your children. According to your link there were 700 of them at one point, but they’ve been sold off down to only 100. Probably going to be a mite expensive. Anyone interested might want to contact the Institute of Cytology and Genetics The Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences. And speak Russian.

Beautiful. Can anyone see why “comments” would need to be disabled on that link?

But my cats are boys.

Spend much time on YouTube?

Hmmm… I see your point, but who’d disrespect a Christian The Lion link, I’d want to know? Those people should be tagged and monitored, and now they’ve just been sent somewhere else to play. [/hijack]


Spend much time on YouTube?

Thanks for the heads up on the foxes!

For the skeptics out there, Snopes confirms/asserts the validity of the Christian the Lion YouTube link.