6 Tips to Understanding a Dog’s Emotions


Welcoming a canine companion into your household is not a small undertaking. Dogs are amazing creatures, but they need a considerable amount of help and emotional support to prosper.

It does not matter if you recently adopted your first dog or you are a seasoned dog parent with decades of experience. Correctly understanding each of your dog’s emotions is easier said than done.

We love dogs, and we love helping humans and dogs coexist peacefully. With this in mind, we decided to create a piece with six tips for you and your canine companion.

Dogs are Relatively Emotional

Gone are the days when we thought dogs and other animals were some forms of a rudimentary or simple machine with limited emotions.

Your dog is not a machine that cannot think but can be trained and guided. As a dog owner, you should understand that dogs are emotional beings, as are humans, but they show their emotions in different ways.

Each dog should be treated individually because there’s no one-size-fits-all model for understanding dogs’ emotions.

What We Knew in the Past vs. What We Know Now

Early research of canine emotions focused more on understanding whether dogs and other animals possess a soul or are merely machines.

Rene Descartes was one of the first scientists to champion the school of thought that dogs are emotionless machines and carried out horrific experiments to prove his belief.

Thankfully, we now understand that dogs go through the same chemical changes and are equipped with the same hormones that influence humans during emotional states.

Seek the Advice of Professionals

We still have a lot to learn and understand if we want to understand dogs’ emotions better. One of the tested and trusted means of doing so is to seek out the advice of experts.

There’s only so much that non-experts can understand unless we do a lot of research and ask the right questions.

For example, professional dog experts offer help and advice from online resources such as VitaPet.

Body Language

More often than not, our dogs mirror our behaviors and demeanors, which results in certain similarities between our best friends and us.

Dogs also use body language to express their emotions, just like humans. If you pay attention, you can decipher when your dog is fearful, anxious, happy, or excited through their body language.

When your dog avoids interaction while fidgeting, you know that it might not be in the best mental state. And when your dog wags their tail with its favorite toy in its mouth, that usually means it is happy or excited.

Anger and Fear

Admittedly, it is not hard to decipher when dogs are experiencing anger. They usually make themselves look more imposing by opening their mouth and baring teeth.

Some dogs typically make themselves stiffer when they are ready to lunge forward. Figuring out when your dog is scared might be a little more complicated, but we are confident you will master it with enough practice.

When pups are afraid, they may roll on their back, bark, tuck their tail between their legs, or growl.

Jealousy and Guilt

Have you ever had to deal with a jealous dog? If you have ever dealt with one, we are sure you know how tiring a jealous dog can be.

Jealous dogs can be equated to ticking timebombs, and they are always ready to explode. You can help ease your dog’s jealousy by treating them fairly and giving them enough attention or reciprocating attention when your dog shows affection to you.

A guilty dog that has done naughty things behind your back may have their head bowed, ears drooped, hunch their posture and try to wear a sad look on their face.



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