Can Dogs Feel Rejection?

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Introduction

Everyone can agree that being rejected feels absolutely awful. There are so many different ways of being rejected, whether it be by a romantic interest or by a job. The fact of the matter is that it sucks, and feeling rejected can really have its toll on a person. 

When it comes to our canine companions, though, we have to wonder whether or not they can feel rejection at all. Dogs are complex creatures but they do not have the brain capacity to feel every single emotion that a human is capable of. This begs the question of whether or not dogs are able to feel rejection.

Signs Your Dog May Be Feeling Rejection

Dogs may have a hard time showing their emotions, especially since they are unable to communicate with us (except for their body movements). That being said, there are certain signs that you can look out for that can show you if they are feeling a little rejected. 

When a dog is feeling rejected or unloved, they will try to do everything in their power to make up for it. If they find that nothing is working, there is a good chance that they will become depressed and feel down. When this happens, they will begin to tuck their tail in between their legs. Their ears may lower as well. This is because they are trying to make themselves small because they now feel like a complete burden to their owners. 

If your dog is feeling rejected, they may also start shaking and cowering because they do not know what they did wrong to get to this point. They will blame themselves and become depressed because of it. They will become lethargic and will mope around a lot of the time while trying not to get in your way. Dogs are sensitive creatures and will show you plenty of signs if they are not acting like they should.

Body Language

If you are wondering if your dog can feel rejected, look for the following:
  • Shaking
  • Cowering
  • Dropped Ears
  • Tail tucking

Other Signs

Other cues that your dog is feeling rejection are:
  • Acting lethargic
  • Refusal to eat
  • Weight loss

History of Rejected Pups

The emotions of dogs are hard to know since they are unable to speak with us in a language that we can understand. They are able to show us how they feel by using different body movements that indicate what might be going on with them. 

With some emotions, dogs are able to easily express themselves. When they are happy, they will usually spin around, wag their tail and even jump up and down. When they are scared or angry they may whine, bark or growl. They can easily convey these seemingly simple emotions, but when it comes to feeling rejected...that is a harder emotion to express.

Studies have been done on dogs and their brains to try and figure out just how large their understanding of emotions is. It is a difficult topic, especially because there are so many different emotions. One thing that has been figured out is that dogs can feel rejection. They may not show it like humans do, but dogs are definitely capable of feeling rejected and unwanted. 

Not just by their human counterparts, either. It has been proven that dogs can feel rejection when it comes to falling in love as well. If a dog falls in love and that dog does not return the feeling, that dog may feel rejected and will mope around with its head down for quite some time.

The Science of Feeling Rejected

Dogs are extremely wonderful creatures. When we think of dogs, we think of happy tails and warm snuggles. When they act any way other than that, it is a cause for concern. There is no real way of knowing the exact thing that your dog is thinking, but dogs are special in the way that they do try to communicate with us the best way that they can. 

All across the different breeds of dogs, they mainly react the same way when it comes to different situations of feeling rejected and they will let everyone around them know what they are feeling, even if they cannot say it outright.

Training Your Pup to Handle Their Feelings

Okay, so there really is no way to train your dog on how to feel a certain way, so instead, we are going to go into some ways that you can make sure your dog is always feeling happy and wanted. 

Make sure you always show your pup enough love. Life gets busy, which is totally understandable, but you have your furry friend to look after too, so you need to be sure to give them some dedicated, one-on-one time. What this means is you may have to get up a half an hour earlier than normal so that you can take your pup out for a nice walk or play catch with them in the backyard. You may not think this is a big deal, but to your fluffy companion, it means the world. They will feel loved and wanted because you are giving them the time of day. 

Now, if you have just brought a new pupper home and they had a rough living situation before you swooped in and rescued them, there is a chance they may still be feeling the rejection of their past home. What you can do is make sure to give them loads of attention, treats and let them know that your home is theirs now too. 

A good thing to do for any dog feeling rejected is to buy some toys and a nice bed for them to lay in. Get them nice food and water bowls and allow them to explore so that they can see for themselves how loved they are. All dogs want is to love and be loved and if you give them the attention they need and desire, there is no reason they should ever feel rejected again.  

How to React to a Rejected Pup:

  • Buy them toys and play with them. Show them that their broken heart can be mended.
  • Take them on a lot of walks. Dogs should be taken on walks daily to stimulate their brain.
  • Get them a friend if you know you are not always home. That way, they will be able to entertain one another until you can get home

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