Has your dog ever come closer to you when you’re sad, even though he might not fully understand what’s going on? Have you ever felt like your dog can read your thoughts and emotions?
Research suggests that certain factors in human emotion transmission to dogs can help them distinguish their owner’s fear, joy, sadness, or anger. A dog’s ability to pick up on these emotions also depends on the duration and strength of the bond with their owner or a significant figure. But how do they do it?
Through eye contact, heartbeat, and body language, dogs can distinguish the emotional expressions of significant figures in their lives. A study conducted by the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna found that dogs respond differently to the six basic human emotions: anger, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, and disgust. So, when you come home with a smile or a serious face, your dog might naturally mimic your facial expressions and body language.
Reaction to Sound
Dogs are also smart at recognizing various tones of voice. They can differentiate between positive and negative sounds. For example, negative sounds like crying or screaming tend to make a dog more anxious, while positive sounds like laughter make a dog happier and more excited.
Reaction to Smell
A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times sharper than that of humans! Dogs use smell as one of their primary methods of communication. When your dog sniffs another dog, he can learn about the other dog’s sex, age, health, recent meals, encounters, and even mood. Dogs can also sniff out your emotions; they can smell changes in blood sugar levels, hormones, and brain chemicals. With these incredible smelling skills, many dogs are trained as service animals or emotional support pets to pick up on signs of concern and provide support, affection, or assistance.
With the ability to read expressions, respond to sounds, and pick up on scents, dogs are not just pets but also understanding and loyal companions. So, don’t be surprised if your dog is always by your side, whether you’re happy or sad. Their emotional intelligence makes them friends who not only share happiness but also understand us in every situation in life.