This is a quick one, but I think I'm perhaps the first to make this connection with regards to the way that we humans have interacted with dogs since
ancient times. It was already suspected that a long-standing partnership with dogs was at least partly responsible for the development of our own
speech capabilities, with the suggestion that a need for clear commands would be an evolutionary advantage for ourselves, in terms of controlling dogs
for the hunt, for security of the camp, and for the individual comfort of a relationship between a man & his dogs.
I am now suggesting that there was a second factor which played into the relationship between Homo Sapiens & Canus Lupus Familiaris. In recent years
a new feature of human's physiology was discovered, and ironically this was discovered through the medium of the Internet, and Reddit in particular.
ASMR refers to a feeling of intense well-being combined with a neuro-physical tingling sensation in the scalp and down the back of the neck, often
occurring in repeated waves, as experienced by some people in response to a specific gentle stimulus, often a particular sound. ASMR is triggered by
things like whispering voices, paper tearing, and scalp massage.
On YouTube you can find hundreds of channels dedicated to this phenomenon, and many of us are able to experience its comforting benefits with just one
or two attempts when listening to someone who practices this 'art' (it takes quite unique style & mannerisms of speech to accomplish great results).
For me personally, I actually first encountered the effect directly after having heard about it, yet it wasn't through a defined ASMR artist, it was
the result of listening to a hypnosis video on YouTube. At the point I would have dropped into hypnotic slumber, instead I experienced a 'drop'
into ASMR tingling flooding my spine from the base of the skull. It was an oddly pleasant experience, albeit slightly strange.
My tenuous link here, in case you haven't already guessed it, is the reason behind why dogs & humans struck up such a strong interdependence over the
course of many thousands of years, beyond the obvious security which dogs would have by living with humans & thereby having access to food & shelter,
etc. When connecting with dogs, many of us typically stroke their heads, ears & necks, 'fussing' them, speaking to them with soothing words, as
though they were human babies or children, sometimes/often making baby noises 'cooing' as we do so. Having thought about ASMR & the way it works
for humans - soothing tones & sounds, massage - it is my firm belief now that our relationship with dogs was cemented by the ASMR effect being applied
to dogs themselves when they are being fussed in the manner they are accustomed to. We stroke their heads/ears/neck & coo at them, talking quietly &
responding to the dog's obvious enjoyment, and therein is the reason they are so deeply connected to us, because they derive often intense pleasure
of a neuro-physical nature from our collective approach to fussing them with soothing tones, with this sense of comfort being highly motivating on a
personal, one-to-one level, between dogs & ourselves. Anyone can see how happy dogs are when they receive this sort of attention, and if we were to
watch very carefully, we could probably observe their specific reactions to ASMR-type experiences.
Thanks - please share any thoughts you may have on the matter..
ASMR - Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, Wikipedia
ASMR; the biggest YouTube trend you've never heard of