Sign up FAST! Login

New Study Proves Dogs Really Do ‘Get’ Us

Stashed in: Emotion, Empathy, Dogs!, DOGS, Pets!

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

So what’s different about this latest study, conducted by animal behavior experts and psychologists from the University of Lincoln in the U.K. and University of Sao Paulo in Brazil? For the first time, it found that dogs form abstract mental representations of emotions – in other words, they’re not simply recognizing facial cues.

“Previous studies have indicated that dogs can differentiate between human emotions from cues such as facial expressions, but this is not the same as emotional recognition,” said researcher Dr. Kun Guo from theUniversity of Lincoln’s School of Psychology.

Co-author Daniel Mills, a professor at the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences, said there’s an important difference “between associative behavior, such as learning to respond appropriately to an angry voice, and recognizing a range of very different cues that go together to indicate emotional arousal in another. Our findings are the first to show that dogs truly recognize emotions in humans and other dogs.”

Read more:

That's pretty extraordinary since a lot of humans struggle to recognize the emotions of other humans. 

For the last few months of my precious dog Kismet's life I was steeped in anticipatory grief.  I wonder how deep her understanding was ...and hope it was better than my own.

Her surviving doggy cohort is def grieving, occasionally howling like a wolf. She's never done that before and it's pretty weird for a miniature poodle.

You May Also Like: