Have you ever looked at your dog and wondered about what he was thinking and feeling?
Sometimes you can see the pure joy in your dog’s eyes, like when a new toy is first introduced. Other times your dog may actually seem down and kind of sad.
As it turns out, these aren’t just behavioral actions you’re seeing; these are emotions that your dog—or any dog for that matter—experiences at any given time.
Below are some of the most common emotions that dogs go through.
This one is probably the easiest to spot.
Have you ever noticed how your dog reacts when you give another pet attention? If they try to squeeze in between you two or bark to get your attention, there’s a good chance they’re experiencing major jealousy.
A simple scratch and a glance their way should help them feel just as special again.
Shame is another common emotion that pet parents see firsthand.
Like when your puppy has an accident in the house and starts hiding from you. When you finally find them, they give you big puppy dog eyes because they feel like they’ve done something wrong.
Whether they know better or can’t help it, you’ll usually find some shame written all over their face.
The next two emotions on our list should go without saying.
In addition to jumping for joy over a new toy, you can’t help but notice how excited dogs get when they’re happy. Their excitement may turn into a fast sprint or an upside down belly rub.
Their most specific moment of excitement is the second you walk into your house, right? Finally, they have their best friend back. What could be more exciting than that?
After you’ve settled in and they’re cuddled up next to you, you can bet your dog is experiencing some form of happiness.
A happy dog is a content dog who only wants to share some relaxing time with you.
Or, if they’re a high energy dog, their happiness may come in the form of a never-ending game of fetch.
Unfortunately, dogs can also be consumed with sadness, just like us. Have you ever witnessed a dog who lost a loved one? Or one who’s not feeling so good?
Similar to how we behave, you may notice a lack of appetite and an unusual lethargy in your pet when they’re experiencing a bout of sadness.
Although these don’t always last long, anything that continues for over a few weeks could be a sign of a larger issue or possible health concern. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check in with your veterinarian if you suspect that something’s up.
As you can tell, dogs are smart and intuitive animals, and most importantly, they can feel emotions. Now that you know which ones they go through, try to pay attention to your pup to see which emotions they experience the most.
If you’d like to learn more about dog psychology and what his behavior is signaling, we highly recommend reading what Dog Expert Cesar Milan’s shares on The science of canine emotions: What’s behind a dog’s feelings?.
Note: We thank B&B Multi Productions for allowing us to share the image above from their dog rescue mission.)