The 7 Emotions Pups Experience (and How to Understand Them)

. 2 min read


It probably comes as no surprise to pup parents that their dogs have real feelings. (Did you see the way she looked when you were leaving for vacation? Devastated!) Now science can actually prove it: Studies have shown that dogs have similar emotions to humans, and they understand us through gestures and emotional expressions rather than words. A team from People for Animals and Cruelty-Free International researched the emotional intelligence of dogs by using MRI brain scans, and they found a dog’s EQ to be equivalent to that of a human toddler—pups demonstrate similar behaviors like tolerance, forgiveness, fairness, selflessness, and altruism. Learn the seven kinds of emotions pups experience and how they express them:

Joy

An excited dog having lots of fun can express his feelings by jumping around, wagging his tail, and friendly gestures. A calm, happy and joyous dog can have upright ears, high-held tail, relaxed position or humped one, an open mouth (with a slight smile) and gentle behavior.

Fear

Fear and phobias are common in dogs. Triggered by loud noises, uncertain situations, and threatening people, dogs will feel insecure and fearful. Fearful dogs have piloerection (standing hair), flat ears, tucked tail, and tense body language. They will attempt to hide from scary triggers.

Anxiety

Anxiety is triggered by discomfort or long-term separation from the dog owner. Anxious dogs are seen panting, licking or yawning excessively, attempting to escape or hide from distress, and developing addictive habits like excessive chewing, tail-chasing.

Jealousy

A research conducted at University of Vienna discovered that dogs felt jealous when they were not treated fairly. They stopped obeying the orders. When a dog is jealous, either he will ask for more attention or start to ignore you.

Guilt

A guilty dog, who had misbehaved in your absence, will have bowed head, droopy ears, hunched body posture, and a sad gaze. He may demonstrate submissive body posture because of the knowledge that he will get punished for bad behavior.

Grief

Dogs experience sadness when a family member or other pet passes away. They feel distressed and may suffer from depression. Depression involves loss of appetite, lack of sleep or excessive sleepiness, lack of interest, and low energy levels.

Aggression

Dog aggression is apparent through stubborn behavior, growling, snapping, biting, and excessive barking. a dog may attempt to dominate the owner by mouthing and muzzle punches.

Why developing an emotional understanding with your pup is important

It will help you raise an emotionally balanced and intelligent dog.

It will make the training process easy, so you can manipulate their good moods and mold the negative emotions at the spot.

It will prevent your dog from getting depressed, stressed, or separation anxiety.

Often, dogs catch your emotions. So you can understand your reactions and feelings better by staying aware of your behavior towards your dog.

Content is adapted from the Petcube blog. Petcube makes cameras that let you see, talk to, and treat your pets. With a Petcube Care membership, you'll get enjoy 60% off your first box of Ollie. For more info, check out Petcube.com.