Do dogs know how we feel? The answer will surprise you! 93

Pets

93


View Profile

Anyone who has ever owned a cattle dog will be able to answer tis question unequivocally: Can dogs sense our emotions?

Our old bluey Sally was so in tune with The Boss’s emotions that she woke up in a bad mood just minutes before he did. When he was happy, she was happy. When he was content, she was contents. And when he was sad, she licked his ankles.

Humans love to anthropomorphise animals – just look at the way we jumped on those images of a kangaroo “grieving” his lost love. But when it comes to dogs, anyone who has ever had the privilege to live with one knows they feel on our behalf.

In a recent study, scientists set out to prove or disprove this theory. The team of British and Brazilian researchers presented dogs with images of human faces, along with different voice recordings that implies happiness or anger.

The researchers say: “Dogs looked significantly longer at the face whose expression was congruent to the valence of vocalisation, for both conspecifics and heterospecifics, an ability previously known only in humans. These results demonstrate that dogs can extract and integrate bimodal sensory emotional information, and discriminate between positive and negative emotions from both humans and dogs.”

That translates to a simple truth: by paying attention to both our faces and tone of voice, dogs can make sense of our emotions. This shows that it’s not just humans who can ‘read’ emotions in animals outside of their own species, but our furry friends, too.

Does your pooch know how you’re feeling? And for the cat-lovers out there – are cats as in-tune with their servants?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Anyone who has owned a dog knows this with out science to tell us. Just look at their beautiful faces and study their actions will be all one needs to answer that.

    4 REPLY
    • One doesn’t have to be Einstein Gail,do they. I am currently looking after my daughters poodle, I have had her for a week now and walking he twice daily,this morning I sat down to put my sneakers on ,well did she carry on,she was so happy,she was smiling, did about three whizzes around, I had to say ,yes, yes, going walkies!!! She recognised my putting the sneakers on!!! Bless her!

    • One doesn’t have to be Einstein Gail,do they. I am currently looking after my daughters poodle, I have had her for a week now and walking he twice daily,this morning I sat down to put my sneakers on ,well did she carry on,she was so happy,she was smiling, did about three whizzes around, I had to say ,yes, yes, going walkies!!! She recognised my putting the sneakers on!!! Bless her!

    • They certainly know your emotions, when I’m extremely upset, my darling Bella knows ….. she also knows when it’s Saturday or Sunday when we are going in the car to pick up the weekend newspapers and when I’m going out without her. They are beautiful creatures <3

    • I agree dogs have all that characters human has except i think they dont have souls and thats how they are created and therefore they will always be animals no matter what!

  2. Of course our dogs know how things are , sometimes before we realise – it’s connected to their high sense of smell & the pheromones from our skin .

  3. My little dog certainly knows. She is such a boisterous little thing but very quiet and loving if I’m unwell.

  4. I am a strong believer that all animals have emotional feelings and they grieve when a loved one is lost

    2 REPLY
    • Definitely grieve. Josie the Foxie cross died Nov 2nd. Amber the Lab cross died Nov 19. Amber wouldn’t eat. Vet couldn’t find anything in particular wrong with her. Prescribed tablets to encourage her to eat and I couldn’t get them down her neck. She clearly wanted to go with Josie. All through this, our cat Jasper stayed with the dogs when they were sick.

    • Hi Leone I lost my lab on the 2 nd dec my sons staffy is still grieving and when Pepsi left us my cat wud not eat for almost a week they feel they know when one of their friends has gone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *