Can My Dog Really Sense My Emotions?

Photo credit Penn State

Have you ever been sad or emotional? What about sick? Did you notice that your dog became extremely clingy or did something to lift your spirits? Back in 2007, when I first got my little monster, I was down and out, I can not remember what I was sad about, but I noticed that Gabbana became very clingy. Then he began to become extremely silly and goofy in attempts to make me smile. It ultimately worked!

Well, I am here to tell you that dogs can sense our emotions. Although they are very complex animals, they aren’t as complexed as we think. Dogs have many similarities to a two-year old child. Dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words, our facial expressions, body language, vocalizations, and our emotions.

Dogs can experience as many as 9 out of 13 emotions which include Love/Affection, Suspicion/Shyness, Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust, Contentment, Distress, and Excitement/Arousal.

Dogs emotions also mimic their owners. Dogs will often times take on the personality of their owners, especially after years of being together. I know Gabbana and I have been “rocking” together for 11 long years now. He is the most relax and antisocial dog you’ll ever meet. Ha! His behaviors are very similar to mines. I consider myself very relaxed introvert with mellow tendencies.

Since dogs have been around humans for more that 30,000 years, I guess it is safe to say that dogs have learned to adapt to our emotions and many times will modify their behaviors to follow suit.

The next time your are feeling sad or overly excited, pay close attention to your dogs behaviors and how they'll mimic yours.

Warm wags and smiles,

A woman and her dog

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