An estimated 72 percent of all dog owners believe they understand their dog on a deeper level and can tell what they are feeling, but truth be told, there are only a handful of emotions dogs can really experience. Anger, sadness, fear, joy, and love are a few of the emotions scientists and researchers have determined dogs can feel, which means there is some evidence to support what dog owners have been telling us for years.
Signs a Dog Can Feel Care
All every dog lover wants is to have a canine companion by their side to snuggle, explore, and simply walk through life with. We bend over backward for our dogs, treating them as if they are children of our own. Our dogs show us they know how much they care by cuddling, listening, and making us feel like the most special person in the entire world.
The bottom line? We love them and they love us. While our furry, four-legged friends may not be able to tell us they are feeling the love in so many words, we know it to be true. However, there are a few things your pooch will do to let you know they trust you and feel loved, such as a relaxed demeanor, rolling over for a belly rub (this shows they trust you), soft facial expressions, tail wagging, and an invitation to play with them.
As pet owners, it is our duty to support and encourage our dog's emotional wellness and overall health. In doing so, they will feel safe and loved for many years to come.
- Head tilting
- Wag tail
- Tail up
- An invitation to play
- Soft, relaxed facial expressions
- Rolling over for a belly rub
- Following you around
History of Dogs Feeling Love
Since the 1970s, numerous studies have been conducted all over the world trying to get the bottom of our dog's emotional capacity. Results vary from breed to breed and of course there is always an exception to the rule, but the fact of the matter is your dog does know when you are upset, when you are happy, and how much you care about them.
Science Behind Dogs Knowing We Care About Them
Researchers have also used MRI machines to measure brain activity in dogs, learning that the very aroma of dog's owner can ignite the part of the brain that feels joy, often referred to as the "reward center".
Let's face it, many dog owners love their pooch more than they love some people. How many times have you run home from work, not because there is another human waiting for you, but because you missed your dog? We talk to our dogs like we do other people, and we know they will listen to us without interjecting their own opinion or judging us.
It's a pretty perfect relationship, if you ask us. Thankfully, the amount of love you feel for your dog is in fact reciprocated. So keep doing what you are doing, you crazy dog owner, you - we won't judge.
Training Your Dog to Feel Love
Start slow and establish a routine with your dog. This is perhaps the best thing you can do for your relationship with your new pup. Once you have a routine in place, you can start to build from it and test your pup. Teach them basic commands, like sit, stay, and come, and always reward them handsomely. Dogs live for rewards, and it helps them understand that they are pleasing you, which is all they really want in the end.
If you are working with a rescue, remember that time is on your side. The more you work with them and show them you would never hurt them, the more likely they are to understand how much you love them and that you aren't going anywhere.
How to React When Your Dog Feels Love:
Offer verbal praise.
Continue working with them to establish a routine.