Dear humans, dogs have feelings too
Humans and dogs have feelings too. Humans have a very close bond with their dogs. After all, dogs are the best friends a man can have, as they say. Research continues to show time and time again the positive effects of owning a dog. Dogs express their feelings to humans as well. A study of 975 dog-owning adults found that during stressful and bad times in their lives, the majority of people turn to their dogs instead of mothers, fathers, siblings, boyfriends, girlfriends, best friends or coworkers. And to tell you the truth, we believe it! Who doesn’t feel the love from their furry friends? And guess what, they feel the love too.
Based on these statistics, it’s no surprise that dogs are currently the most commonly used pet in therapy. Dogs are increasingly being used in a variety of mental health programs, giving people companionship, happy associations, self-worth and purpose…and unconditional love.
It’s pretty obvious that dogs are extremely good at understanding us, but unfortunately, the reverse isn’t always true. One example of this is when a dog chews up a shoe and a dog owner things their pet looks guilty. But what if the dog is just giving a look of submission and saying “don’t hurt me” rather than admitting guilt? Know that our pets’ feelings and emotions, while there, aren’t as detailed or specific often as humans’ are.
It is oftentimes very difficult for humans to convince themselves that a dog’s brain is not able to understand the concepts of what’s right and what’s wrong. But without that ability, how can we expect our dogs to experience guilt? In most circumstances, the dog who looks guilty is probably afraid of the owner’s reaction to the situation, so just be mindful and forgiving.
Be sensitive to your dog’s feelings, even though it’s hard to gauge what they’re actually feeling and why their feeling that specific way. Look at your dog’s body language; if they’re wagging their tail, they’re probably excited. If they’re hunched over looking down on the ground, they’re probably sad and want a bone and a belly rub. And when you are down, cuddle up with them and help your emotions as well! If you have any questions on puppy or dog training, contact us.