Dog Emotions: What Are They And How Do They Work?
A dog’s emotional state depends on many factors including its personality, age, breed, training, environment and much more. A dog may appear happy or sad at times due to various reasons. There are different types of emotions such as fear, anger and happiness among others. Some dogs seem to show no emotion while other displays it with great intensity.
Fear: Fear is one of the most common emotions exhibited by dogs. They are afraid when they see something dangerous like a predator, man or even another dog.
Their body language changes from being alert to fearful. The expression of fear varies depending on the situation and type of danger involved. For example, if there is a person approaching them then they will display anxiety whereas if there is nothing threatening around but just some noise then they might act nonchalant and not even look back at you!
Anger: Anger is another common canine emotion. When a dog feels angry, they tend to raise their head up and turn their body away from you.
They may bark loudly or growl. They may also make lots of loud noises which could possibly cause someone else nearby to get frightened too!
Happiness: Happiness is probably the least understood emotion displayed by dogs. When displayed, a dog would probably wag its tail and walk in a circle.
They may lick your face repeatedly or jump around you.
Love: A favorite emotion of humans is love! Dogs also feel this emotion when they are around their owners.
They tend to get very affectionate and want you to pet them a lot.
Sadness: A common human emotion is sadness. As with fear, sadness is also very common in dogs.
This can be displayed by a low-spirited attitude and cowering. They may also become quiet and stop interacting with others.
Disgust: Disgust is a strange emotion that has been very rarely been seen in dogs. It is when an object or situation is unappealing or offensive to the senses.
Disgust can also be used to describe a bad taste or smell.
Embarrassment: Dogs probably do not feel this emotion too often, but it is possible for them to feel embarrassed around other dogs. This is usually displayed by submissiveness and trying to avoid other dogs altogether.
Understanding Dogs Better With Emotions
Although there are only limited emotions that are exhibited by dogs, they still have the ability to understand and react to human emotion. A human being’s expression can be read by a dog.
Showing a fearful face to a dog will cause it to also respond with fear. Expressing happiness will make the dog act in a similar way. This is why it is important to always remain calm and collected when around your pet. Shouting loudly or expressing fear may cause your dog to act aggressively towards you!
Whether dogs do show emotions or not, we as humans always tend to see them in such light. It may be difficult to understand the feelings of another species but with patience and time, it can be done.
With love and care, a dog can always be the perfect pet!
The post Can Dogs Feel Emotions?
appeared first on Life In A House.
Sources & references used in this article:
- The intelligence of dogs: A guide to the thoughts, emotions, and inner lives of our canine companions (S Coren – 2006 – books.google.com)
- The emotional dog and its rational tail: a social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. (JM Masson – 1998 – Broadway Books)
- “Not just a dog”: An attachment perspective on relationships with assistance dogs (C Millan, MJ Peltier – 2006 – Harmony)
- Understanding dogs: Caretakers’ attributions of mindedness in canine-human relationships (J Haidt – Psychological review, 2001 – psycnet.apa.org)
- See spot mediate: Utilizing the emotional and psychological benefits of dog therapy in victim-offender mediation (MJ Kwong, K Bartholomew – Attachment & human development, 2011 – Taylor & Francis)
- The impact of guide dogs on the identity of people with visual impairments (C Sanders – 2010 – Temple University Press)