The Real Reason Why Dolphins Are Friendly To Humans (And Other Dolphin Facts)

Dolphins are mammals in the ocean that love to jump from the ocean, do some tricks, and love to smile. They are playful and jolly and love interacting with humans and other animals living in the sea. We all know that dolphins are friendly to humans and easy to train but should not be pets.

One thing that people don’t know about dolphins is that dolphins are wild animals, even though they are well known for being friendly. People should handle dolphins with caution and respect because dolphins may attack if they feel disrespected and threatened. 

But why are dolphins friendly to humans even if they are wild animals?

Dolphins are friendly to humans because dolphins have a very large brain, which is where their emotional intelligence comes from, and sometimes dolphins see us as part of their pod. Dolphins have compassion and empathy for humans like dogs and some other mammals.

However, not all dolphins can be friendly. Dolphins that have not been domesticated are more likely to be wild. But, some footages show undomesticated dolphins still act friendly towards humans. 

There are a lot more interesting facts about dolphins. Let’s check them out!

Are Dolphins Naturally Friendly Towards Humans?

Dolphins are naturally friendly to humans because they have large brains and large intricate limbic systems, which is where their emotional responses toward humans come from. 

Also, dolphins’ enormous limbic system is why they are brilliant. That is why you will notice that dolphins can effortlessly learn new tricks and remember their owner and the goodness made by humans to them. 

Dolphins have compassion toward humans and think humans are part of their pod. Certain species of dolphins are naturally friendly to humans, but other species hate humans.

That is why you will notice that the dolphins you see in the ocean zoo park have the same features as the other dolphins in the other zoo park. 

However, as I have said in the introduction, not all dolphins are friendly toward humans, especially dolphins that have not been domesticated. 

But, some footage shows that undomestic dolphins still act friendly to humans they don’t know. So it means that dolphins are naturally friendly to humans, but we still have to treat dolphins with respect because they might attack if they feel threatened. 

It is good to see dolphins being domesticated, but it has dangerous effects on them. What is that effect? The impact of domestication on dolphins is that it changes their behavior, which is considered dreadful. Why?

Because they lose their wariness and dolphins become less cautious, which makes them an easy target for other wild animals like sharks. That is why some activists promote that people should admire dolphins from a distance and never use dolphins for entertainment. 

Can Dolphins Be Dangerous?

Now that you know that not all dolphins are not friendly, you may ask yourself if dolphins can be dangerous. Let me answer that.

Dolphins are large and powerful mammals that live in the ocean. They can injure humans and any other animals in the ocean. Even though they look friendly, they can still be as dangerous as sharks. 

There have been reported cases where dolphins hurt humans when interacting with them. How do dolphins hurt them? By butting the humans using their tails. Even the trainers are at risk of danger whenever they interact with dolphins. 

Dolphins living in a tank or an ocean zoo park feel distressed because they are living where they can’t show their real identity and behavior. Dolphins who feel distressed and anxious can act wild and hurt people. 

Also, dolphins will plan an attack if they feel threatened or in danger, which can be dangerous. Humans that are too aggressive while interacting with dolphins are most likely to get attacked by dolphins. Even the trainers can be attacked by dolphins, mainly if they act abusively.

Yes, dolphins can be friendly. But if you act too aggressively and as if you will bring danger to them, they can be dangerous. So if you interact with dolphins, you must make sure you act friendly and treat them respectfully and cautiously

Why Do Dolphins Protect Humans?

Let’s take aside the recorded lists of dolphins attacking humans and let’s talk about dolphins that protect humans. 

There are many more reports of dolphins protecting humans than dolphins attacking humans. Dolphins indeed love humans, but they attack if they feel threatened because that’s how animal instincts work. Even we humans go into attack mode if we feel threatened. 

Dolphins are animals that also live in a group called pods. They protect each other, play with each other, and sometimes they also argue like humans. It is usual for dolphins to save their fellow dolphins from danger, especially if they are part of their pod. 

There are many reports of dolphins saving humans from different death disasters. Dolphins are like lifesavers of the ocean. The usual scenario where dolphins save humans is by guiding them to the shore, defending humans from sharks, and helping humans from drowning. 

Dolphins protect humans because these mammals have empathy and sympathy toward humans. They are compassionate, and they have good intimacy with humans. Dolphins think that humans are part of their pod. That is why they protect them as they do their fellow dolphins. 

Types Of Dolphins That Are Friendly To Humans

Dolphins are mammals that live underwater. They are one of the most intelligent creatures made by God. 43 species of dolphins can be found around the globe.

Below are the species of dolphins that are friendly to humans. They are dolphins that you usually see in ocean zoos, and they are the dolphins who are famous for saving people’s lives.

Bottlenose Dolphin

why dolphins are friendly to humans

The bottlenose dolphin is the most well-known species of dolphin in the world. They are the usual members of the Delphinidae family. Bottlenose dolphins live in warm and temperate seas around the globe. They can be found anywhere except the Arctic and Antarctic regions. 

Bottlenose Dolphins are considered one of the most intelligent species of dolphins because they can remember things, and their intelligence is why they easily interact with humans. 

Bottlenose dolphins became famous because of their astounding talent and skills shown on television and aquarium performance shows. They love to be with humans, and they have other important purposes for humans than entertaining. 

Militaries train bottlenose dolphins to locate and detect sea mines. Also, fishermen use them to catch fish that escape their nets. Because of their impressive memory, they are indeed a good companion for humans. 

The bottlenose dolphins can become extinct due to harmful human activities like illegal fishing. It can also be detrimental to bottlenose dolphins if they encounter humans, especially if the human they have discovered is rude. 

Some people hunt them for food, and some use to kill them for fun. They can also be accidentally trapped in fishnets or in some plastic wastes of humans. 

Bottlenose dolphins are the third creature that has large encephalization. They have close ratios to humans and some other great apes. 

Short-Beaked Common Dolphin

short beaked common dolphin friendly to humans

The short-beaked common dolphin is a common dolphin species that lives in warm-temperate and tropical oceans. They can be found in the Indian Ocean, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans. Short-beaked common dolphins can also be found in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. 

Short-beaked common dolphins are medium-sized and smaller than bottlenose dolphins. They can grow up to eight feet, and their mass can range up to 140kg. 

The short-beaked common dolphin is also a part of the common dolphin genus. There are many short-beaked common dolphins worldwide, and they are an abundant dolphin species.

They are friendly and have been in contact with humans since ancient times. They appear in some Roman and Greek paintings and sculptures. Short-beaked common dolphins have many similarities with bottlenose dolphins, and most people mistakenly classify both of them. 

The difference between short-beaked common dolphins with bottlenose dolphins is their colors. Short-beaked common dolphins have a more bright and elegant color on their skin. Most short-beaked common dolphins have color patterns on their bodies. 

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin

why dolphins are friendly to humans

This dolphin species can swim in the Gulf stream of the North Atlantic ocean. This Atlantic spotted dolphin is the older species of dolphin. They have cute and distinctive spots around their bodies. 

The spots around their bodies increase as they age, and it is a common sign of being old in an Atlantic spotted dolphin. So it means that the more spots an Atlantic spotted dolphin has on its body, the older they are. 

The Atlantic spotted dolphins are excellent at communication, and they are good at socializing with other dolphins, other sea creatures, and humans. They use some whistle sounds when talking to each other. Also, they love to swim with a group. 

How Do Professional Trainers Train Dolphins?

Have you ever imagined yourself having a pet dolphin and training them? Also, have you ever wondered how professional trainers train dolphins to perform certain tricks? How hard is it to train a dolphin?

Professional marine trainers also have difficulty training a dolphin because even though dolphins are considerably smart, they are not as intelligent as humans. But what is their trick? Why does it look easy?

Professional trainers study lots of information about dolphins, so it could be easy for them to teach them many behaviors and tricks. What is the system they use? 

Operant Conditioning

Operant Conditioning of Dolphins

The system professional marine trainers use is called positive reinforcement through operant conditioning. They teach dolphins different tricks one at a time. When the dolphins do a good job or execute the right trick, their trainers will reward them with food.

For example, many dolphins know how to play with balls. Trainers make sure that the dolphins will successfully execute this by giving them rewards and they break down the trick into simpler steps so that dolphins could easily understand it. 

Target Method

Target Method Training of Dolphins

Another method used by professional trainers to train dolphins is called a target. The target can be any object that dolphins can follow. Let me give you an example.

The dolphin loves to jump through a hoop, right? How do they do this? Because of the target method. Trainers will first teach dolphins to swim through the hoop and reward them if the dolphins successfully swim through the hoop. 

After that, the trainers will raise the target or hoop. Once the dolphins swim or jump through the hoop they will be given awards again. 

Hand Signal Training

Hand Signals

Another tool used by trainers is called the hand signal. Trainers will teach dolphins different hand signals that symbolize various tricks. When trainers want the dolphin to hop into the hoop, they will give a hand signal to the dolphin. 

Every trick has different hand signals. Trainers will show a hand signal for each trick they want a dolphin to perform. When the trainers show the hand signal, the dolphins already know what their trainers want them to do. 

Final Words

Dolphins are beneficial for humans and our ecosystem, which is why they need to be preserved. They are also good friends and good companions to humans. 

We don’t deserve dolphins because of what we are doing in their habitat. Let us protect the dolphins not because the law said, but because we love them. Dolphins love us and often treat us as part of their pods, so let’s do the same with them. 

Jake Willhoite
Jake runs and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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