(USA Today) - They're called "man's best friend" for a reason.
It turns out dogs genuinely love their owners, not just because they're holding their favorite treat or chew toy.
The studies are detailed in the book What It's Like To Be a Dog by neuroscientist Dr. Gregory Berns of Emory University in Atlanta.
In an interview with The New York Times, Berns breaks down an experiment where dogs were given hot dogs in some situations and praise in others.
Berns found when researchers looked at the rewards centers of dogs' brains, they responded equally to food and praise.
"About 20 percent had stronger responses to praise than to food," Berns told the Times. "From that, we conclude that the vast majority of dogs love us at least as much as food."
Berns' research also uncovered dogs are wired to process human faces, not just learning to process faces because they're around humans.
So, yes, when our dogs bounce off the walls upon your return home, it's not just because they really need to go to the bathroom.