Even though as owners we are far from perfect, our dogs love us unconditionally and seem able to read our emotions.
As Charles Yu said “If I could be half the person my dog is, I’d be twice the human I am”
So is your dog a human in disguise?
With the use of MRI imaging and social experiments, scientists have made some ground breaking discoveries about our dogs.
1. Dogs are able to mimic your facial expressions and actions
As humans our brains are wired to match the emotions and expressions of other humans. Dogs also perform the same mimicry too. Studies show dogs can actually read our emotions in our expressions and body language and match them.
2. They love you!
Some say dogs aren’t capable of love and they have learned how to make sure we keep feeding them but you don’t have to go far to read inspiring and wonderful stories of dogs saving humans and putting their own lives on the line. If dogs couldn’t feel and express love, they would simply save themselves and go and find another care giver.
3. Dogs are capable of complex emotions
A study using MRI technology that was reported in Current Biology in 2014 showed that dogs detect variations in tone and mood in other dogs and humans and that they have the ability to process emotional voice cues similar to humans which indicates they are capable of empathy.
Dogs can also display jealous behaviour – when you are reading or on your laptop has your dog ever tried getting in between you and your book or laptop? They are telling you they want you to divert your attention to them!
4. Your dog can hold a grudge
Unlike us, dogs don’t form long term memories but they associate experiences with emotions.
Is your dog afraid of going to the vets? A 2017 study suggests they have associated a specific emotion with experiences of going to the vets and they hold onto it.
Just more proof of how truly wonderful our dogs are!