Can Dogs Feel Human Emotions?

As any dog owner knows, the connection between a person and their favorite pup can be surprisingly intense. We learn the moods, patterns, likes, and dislikes of our dogs like the back of our hand, and it often feels like our dogs know exactly how we’re feeling, too. But is this really true? At Betsy Farms, we’re proud to make healthy dog treats designed to support the health and happiness of dogs everywhere, but we strive to be a comprehensive resource on every aspect of pet parenting. So today, we’d like to take a look at whether or not dogs can identify and understand human emotions.

Do Dogs Recognize Human Emotions?

Sometimes, it can feel like your dog can read your mind. Many dogs seem to always know when their favorite human is feeling upset or sad, and dogs certainly get excited when their people are in a good mood. But is this because dogs actually have an understanding of how people are feeling? Can dogs understand human emotions, or is this mostly coincidence?

While there’s no way to know exactly what a dog is thinking, a joint study by the University of Lincoln in the UK and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil suggests that dogs are able to differentiate between positive and negative emotions in humans. By exposing dogs to images and sounds that conveyed positive and negative emotional states in humans, researchers found that dogs were able to form an “abstract mental representation” of different emotional states, both in people and in dogs. This test shows that it’s not just a suspicion – based on your face, your voice, and your body language, your dog really can understand how you’re feeling!

Try Our Healthy Dog Treats Today

Researchers believe that dogs likely evolved this ability in response to domestication by humans, as it aided them in navigating life with people. It’s true that this emotional intelligence was likely a big help to dogs – but as any dog owner would testify, us humans got plenty out of it, as well. A dog’s ability to empathize with us is a big part of what makes them such special members of the family, and if you’re looking for a new way to say thanks to your favorite furry family member, we can help. Our healthy dog treats are made using natural ingredients designed to support a high quality of life for your dog. See the difference that healthy dog treats can make and find a distributor near you today!