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Is my dog feeling my emotions? Understanding canine empathy and the emotional connection with our companions

Dogs are often considered to be man's best friends, and that may be due in part to their ability to sense and respond to our emotions. But how well do dogs really sense our feelings?
Team Jagger.Lewis
Date of publication
June 19, 2017
Dogs are often considered to be man's best friends, and that may be due in part to their ability to sense and respond to our emotions. But how well do dogs really sense our feelings?

Dogs are emotionally complex animals, capable of experiencing emotions similar to those of humans, such as joy, fear, anger, anxiety, and sadness. They are also able to perceive and respond to the emotions of those around them, including those of their owners.

Dogs are able to read human facial expressions, body postures, gestures, and tones of voice to understand our emotions.

There is anecdotal and scientific evidence to suggest that dogs can feel sad when they perceive that their owner is sad. A 2018 study by researchers at the University of Vienna found that dogs are more likely to show signs of empathy and to get closer to their owners when they hear human crying.

Likewise, dogs can also feel and share our happiness. They are sensitive to our body language and tone of voice, and are often more playful and affectionate when we are happy.

Dogs are also known to imitate the behaviors of their owners, which may include behaviors associated with happiness, such as smiling or wagging their tails.

When a dog perceives that its owner is sad, it may show signs of empathy by getting closer, putting your head on the person's lap, or by gently licking the person's face. On the other hand, When the dog feels our happiness, he can become more playful, wag your tail, smile and seek to interact more with us.

Research and studies suggest that dogs are indeed capable of experiencing our emotions and responding accordingly. They can experience sadness when we are sad and share our happiness when we are happy.

This empathy and deep emotional connection between dogs and humans is one reason why dogs are considered to be man's best friends.

As a dog owner, It is important to be aware of the impact that our emotions can have on our four-legged friends and to seek to create an emotionally stable and positive environment for them. Ultimately, by understanding and respecting our dogs' emotions, we can strengthen our bond with them and improve their quality of life.

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