Dog Psychology - What Emotions Does Your Dog Experience?

In The Mind Of Your Four-Legged Friend

The Feelings Man & His Best Friend Share

Dog owners usually claim that their dog is an especially intelligent one acting and feeling like a human. Is this theory just the creation of the loving owner or are dogs really familiar to humans? We will give you a brief summary of the topic and hope you will understand your doggie better.


Here’s a situation you certainly know very well: you go home and find your dog in the entrance of the kitchen his tail tucked between his rear legs, his ears completely flattened… surely, there will be a smelly brown package somewhere in the kitchen. You will be angered by his little surprise and scold him a bit. Maybe you feel sorry for him afterward because he didn’t do it on purpose and was ashamed of himself, kind of regretted the whole thing.


Well, scientists do argue with the second half of the previous sentence. Experiments have proved that dogs have similar emotional lives to a 2 or 2,5 years old human. Okay, but what kind of emotional life does a 2,5 years old baby have? A newborn baby has one basic emotion: excitement. Then based on how excited this baby is he will experience contentment and distress. Next in line are disgust, fear, and anger. Half-a-year after the birth comes joy and at about four more months later: love. Basically, that’s the stage where a dog’s emotional development will get fixated. Shame, pride, and guilt are far more complex emotions that emerge when the infant is 3-4 years old. These complex emotions require the process of social learning. How is it then, that your dog looks like feeling guilty when he did something wrong? Scientists explain that your dog knows that what he did is something that will trail scolding/discipline along so he behaves in a submissive manner beforehand. 


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