Dogs and humans really do love each other, according to new research out of Monash University.

Oxytocin, sometimes known as the ‘cuddle hormone’, is believed to help forge the bond between a mother and her baby when they first meet.

Now scientists believe humans also release this hormone when cuddling or patting a dog — and dogs release it, too.

Cuddling up to your furry friend for just three minutes will release the hormone, which could well explain why dogs and humans have been best buds for thousands of years.

Jessica Oliva carried out the research as part of her PhD in biological sciences at Monash University, and she believes her findings may also prove why dogs are so willing to do our bidding.

“This may explain why dogs, compared to wolves, are such good performers on object choice tasks, which test their ability to attend to, and use, human social cues in order to find hidden food treats,” she says.

Oliva’s team also administered the cuddle hormone to dogs via nasal sprays, and found the dogs became far more attentive and accomplished tasks given to them by humans much quicker.

Hey, science, do us a favour — please don’t start manufacturing and distributing these cuddle hormone nasal sprays to help lazy pet owners ‘buy’ the love of their dogs.

…Goddamnit, you’re already doing it, aren’t you?

[Via Metro]