While there are different schools of thought on the subject, recent studies have shown that our furry friends experience more feelings than previously thought. While they may not have the capability to feel as deep of emotions as humans, there is evidence that they understand and feel kindness from people.
Dogs are intuitive creatures who largely feed off of the energy they sense from humans and other animals. They are loyal, loving animals who will stand by their owner's side through thick and thin. Not only can they sense kindness from people, but research indicates they may also be able to tell if a person has acted kindly in their life. Pretty cool, right?
Signs a Dog Can Feel Kindness
Over time, we've come to interpret our dog's actions as specific emotions or feelings, such as happiness, anger, or disappointment. Dogs are keen observers and base a lot of their actions and reactions on what they see from their humans - both positive and negative. Furthermore, our canine companions pay closer attention when they hear emotions in your voice.
When it comes to kindness, dogs pick up on cues from humans, even when we don't know we are giving them out! Many believe dogs can actually tell when a person has a kind face. Some of the signs that your dog is feeling the love include:
- Wagging tail
- They become your constant companion
- Tongue hanging out
- Looking at your with loving, longing eyes
Just like humans, every dog is different and shows their love and emotions in various ways. When it comes to kindness, some dogs may simply take note and sit by your side, feeling protected and safe, whereas others will cover you with sloppy kisses until you can't take it anymore!
- Head tilting
- Wag tail
- Tail up
- Tongue hanging
- Displaying specific facial expressions
- Looking at your lovingly
- Yawning when you yawn
- Following you everywhere
- Rolling over for some belly love
History of Dogs Feeling Kindness
Perhaps the most well-known person to take a stab at how dogs experience emotions was French philosopher and scientist Rene Descartes. Descartes believed that dogs - as with other animals - do in fact have a soul and consciousness.
He also thought dogs could be programmed, in a sense, to experience certain emotions and perform tasks. Since then, we've learned even more about these loyal, enchanting creatures and how they experience emotions.
Science Behind Dogs Feeling Kindness
Some of the basic emotions dogs can feel include joy, surprise, disgust, fear, sadness, anger, curiosity, envy, love, and kindness. No matter how big or small, dogs have some of the largest hearts out there! They are incredibly intuitive and can sense when a person is up to no good or could cause them harm, but more importantly, they know a kind-hearted person when they see one.
Training Your Dog to Feel Kindness
If you want to teach your dog to react to people who show them love and kindness, start with basic obedience training. Once they have those commands down (think: sit, stay, roll-over, come, lay down), you can start introducing more intricate commands.
With a lot of work and even more patience, you will probably be able to train your dog to show they understand kindness when they meet people. Of course, all dogs are different and this may not be in the cards for some, but it's certainly worth a shot.
How to React When Your Dog Feels Kindness:
Reward their good behavior.
Watch them closely.