Which Emotions Does Your Dog Experience?

It is a misconception that our pets do not experience feelings and emotions as we do. For years, experts have been trying to discern how feelings in dogs differ from those felt by humans.

We now have a better understanding of the emotions that dogs experience. All we have to do is carefully observe the body language of our pup and decipher what he is feeling at any given time.

Here is a list of 7 common dog emotions. Keeping this list in mind can help you to better understand your pet.

1. Happy

Happiness is the more common of the emotions exhibited by your dog. It is one of the easiest emotions to recognize through your pup’s body language.

Typically when your dog is happy, his ears go up, and is tail comes down because he is in a relaxed state of mind.

You will most likely see your pet reacting this way when you give him attention after coming home from work by playing with him or snuggling with him.

For example, if your dog pounces on you when you go to him after a long day of being away, it’s obvious that your dog is happy!

2. Fear

While dogs appear to be fearless, especially when barking at strangers and when marking their space, dogs are, in fact, very capable of experiencing fear.

Fear is, in fact, one of the oldest emotions experienced by both humans and animals. Fear used to come in handy as a survival instinct in the pre-historic days. For animals, the fear response allowed them to keep themselves and their offspring safe.

When your dog is scared, he will exhibit postures such as pinning his ears behind, tucking his tail, shifting his weight towards the back, rolling on his back, or aggressive behavior such as snapping, barking, lunging at you and snarling.

It’s important to recognize when your pup is afraid so that you can comfort him or make him feel better.

3. Anxiety

Unfortunately, just as humans experience anxiety, some more than others, a dog too is capable of feeling anxious. This is more likely to be true if your dog has experienced some trauma in the past.

Similar to humans, once a dog’s anxiety has been triggered, it can take a long while for him to relax or get back to normal.

Signs of anxiety in dogs are easy to spot. If your dog is anxious, for example, his eyes may be wide open, he may be panting with his lips pulled back, and his ears might be pulled back.

Sweaty footprints, a raised paw, and avoiding eye contact are all signs of anxiety.

It’s also possible that his pupils appear dilated and that he often sleeps at random times. Sleeping is often a way for dogs to deal with their anxiety.

If you notice your pup exhibiting any of these signs of anxiety, you should contact your vet right away and take your pet for a checkup.

A vet may recommend how you can help your dog better manage his anxiety.

4. Frustrated

Similar to humans, our pets can often get annoyed to the point of being frustrated.  When a dog is frustrated, he may bark a whole lot, may whine all day, and may keep pacing back and forth.

Being frustrated is typically common in pups that don’t know how to politely get what they want. For example, let’s say your dog may want to go outside and play, and he wants to tell you to open the backyard door. He may just start to whine or to pace here and there, as a way of letting you know what it is he wants.

The number one reason for dogs getting frustrated is their inability to communicate with you. If you make the lines of communication between you and your pup more open, your dog will automatically feel less frustrated.

5. Angry

Just as your dog can become frustrated, on many an occasion, he can also be angry. When your dog is angry, his mouth will be most likely open as he will bare his teeth.

Other signs that can help you spot whether or not your dog is angry is to notice if his position is particularly stiff. Also, notice if your dog is in sort of a lunging position. This could also mean that he is angry.

6. Alert

If your dog is alert, his eyes will become very wide open, and his ears will be leaning forward as he is trying to hear sounds.

Your pup may be alert each time he sees a stranger in the house or hears an unusual sound at night. In fact, it is because of this ‘alert’ quality of dogs that are kept in homes to protect the home from burglars.

7. Loneliness

While dogs should typically be used to spending extended periods of time without people, some dogs often feel lonely when left alone by their owner, especially for a long time at a stretch.

There are ways to recognize when your dog is lonely. For example, if your pup is barking excessively or howling a lot when by himself, it’s possible that he is lonely.

It is obvious now that dogs also experience emotions and feelings similar to humans. These were 7 common dog emotions that you need to look out for in your pet.

Paying attention to your pet’s body language can help you understand his emotions so that you can respond accordingly. For example, if you know your pup is lonely, you probably shouldn’t leave him alone for too long.

by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration:  puccicafe.com/adoptions