You might be onto something if you believe your furry friend can read your mind. Indeed, dogs are able to recognise our expressions and emotions through their wide eyes, flat ears and adorable noses. Once they detect our mood, they adjust theirs accordingly.
Research has shown that dogs are able to tell how we’re feeling from even the simplest signs, such as facial expressions, sound and even smell.
As many of us have suspected, dogs can recognise our emotions based on our facial expressions. Evidence suggests that dogs have an intrinsic ability to form abstract mental representations which allow them to process the difference between positive and negative emotions. What’s even more incredible is that they are able to distinguish between positive emotions (e.g., happiness, joy) and negative emotions (e.g., anger, fear) when shown photos of only the upper or lower half of a face.
We all know that dogs have much more sensitive hearing than us. Thus, it’s not surprising to hear that they can detect our mood based on the tone of our voice. Dogs are able to tune into our feelings, recognising our intonation — thus, whether we’re happy, sad or angry, our pooches will always be able to tell based on our vocals. Now that you know, be cautious whenever you get annoyed that someone hasn’t washed the dishes.
Many of us know recognise our four-legged friend as terrific sniffers (by design, of course). Therefore, it’s amazing to learn that dogs not only have the ability to see and hear human emotions, but they can also smell it. For example, dogs can detect happy smells (based on sweat), which helps them feel more relaxed. In contrast, when they are exposed to a fearful smell, they become stressed, seeking their owner for reassurance.
We hope this information has furthered your understanding of the human-canine relationship — they truly have been man’s best friend since the dawn of time.