4 min read


Can Dogs Sense Happiness?



4 min read


Can Dogs Sense Happiness?


Dogs are incredibly intuitive animals with big hearts and wagging tails. They bring a loving light to the world that is unmatched by any other being. Dogs are there for us when we are distressed and in need. They celebrate with us when we are happy and enjoy each day by our side. 

It seems like dogs can tell when we are in particular moods. They respond to excitement in their own way and they know when to tone it down and be calm when we are sad. How do they know to do this? Can dogs tell when we are happy? 


Signs that Dogs Can Tell When We Are Happy

Dogs have an amazing ability to respond to our needs immediately and according to the situation at hand. Depending on their breed and personality type, dogs act upon each situation in their own way. 

Dogs can tell what mood we are in, and they use their amazing senses to detect our many emotions. They can tell when we are happy or sad using their sense of smell and their keen ability to read facial expressions and body language. 

You'll be able to tell when your dog knows your sad based on the way their demeanor changes compared to when you are happy. For example, when your dog notices that you are sad, his attitude will adjust to your needs. Your dog will walk up to you calmly, with their tail lowered. Some dogs will lean into their owners for comfort while others just sit nearby. 

When dogs can tell we are happy, their behavior reflects the environment. You'll notice your dog wagging their tail, gazing at you, and mimicking your behavior. If you are speaking excitedly, with excited body language, your dog will respond similarly, by jumping up or barking in excitement. Dogs are even better at recognizing when we are happy than recognizing when we are sad! 

Body Language

Here are some signs you might notice when your dog is reading your emotions:

  • Barking
  • Panting
  • Jumping Up
  • Wag Tail
  • Raise Ears

Other Signs

These are other signs you might notice when your dog can tell that you are happy:

  • Running In Circles
  • Copying Your Excitement
  • Exhibiting Positive Behavior

History of Dogs Reading Emotion


Dogs are incredibly intuitive. As a result, they are experts at reading our emotions. The furry, four-legged friends we know and love today were not always this cuddly. In fact, dogs evolved from wolves! 

Over 15,000 years ago, man and wolf roamed the wild independently of each other. They realized that they could help each other survive in the unpredictable conditions they lived in. Dogs provided assistance with hunting, while humans fed the wolves their leftovers and provided shelter. 

Some wolves got along with humans better than others. These wolves grew closer to the human community and continued to breed. As the generations went by, wolves became better at predicting what their humans needed. The dogs that were better at responding to humans were preferred. So, those dogs continued to breed and they only continued to get more and more intuitive as the years went on. 

The dogs we know and love today come in all shapes, sizes, and personality types. However, we can always count on them to be there for us. Whether we are going through a difficult time, feeling angry for just a moment, or very, very happy, dogs can read exactly what we need and then respond to those needs. 

The Science of Dogs Reading Emotions


Dogs have a great ability to pick up on the tone of voice of their humans. In one experiment, dogs were trained to pick up on the different tones of voices that imply different emotions. Just as in humans, a part of dogs' temporal lobes lit up when they recognized different types of voices.

They are better at recognizing happier voices than they are at recognizing other tones of voices. Dogs are better at reading the tones of other dogs, and can depict the emotions of the dogs around them, which helps them decide how to behave in social interactions.

Training a Dog to Read Emotions


Dogs are do not read emotions by accident. They use this ability to their advantage. It doesn't take much to train a dog to read emotion, as they tend to pick up on it pretty quickly and at a young age. Dogs who are not socially adapted are not as good at reading emotions, so lots of social interaction benefits dogs. 

Training your dog has a lot of benefits. They are able to grow intellectually when they are trained. It also provides great bonding opportunities. It is easiest to start training a dog at a young age. However, dogs can learn new tricks at any age. 

The best way to train a dog to read different emotions is by participating in a lot of different activities. Exposing your dog to new settings and people will help them learn a broad range of emotions and social cues. They will also be better able to play with dogs when they are able to meet other dogs regularly. 

You can do things like take your dog to the dog park or arrange puppy play dates and puppy daycare. When your dog behaves appropriately, you can reward them with a nice treat or positive praise. 

In order to ensure your dog is aware of all types of emotions, and how to respond to those emotions, you can be expressive and reward them when they respond to your specific emotions. For example, when you are sad and your dog responds by comforting you, you can give them a treat after you are feeling better. This will tell your dog that you are pleased with their behavior. 

In just a short time, your dog will pick up on the specific behaviors that should be associated with various emotions in different social settings. When dogs are able to connect with you emotionally, you will both have a stronger bond with each other. 

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By a Corgi lover Simone DeAngelis

Published: 03/21/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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