CAN DOGS MIMICK HUMAN EMOTIONS?

By Wednesday, September 14, 2016 32 No tags Permalink

Can dogs mimic human emotions? That’s what monopolized my mind over the weekend…

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WHY? –

Because Saturday I took Jaxson to Splash Island Waterpark and left Harley at home…

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Believe it or not, this has never happened before. #Ikidyounot

And this wouldn’t have been a problem – Doodle Dad made it one…

I HAVE A RITUAL –

Whenever I leave the house without them, I am very consistent with my departure rituals. #forareason

For the last four years, I’ve been working from home. That’s most of Harley’s life and all of Jaxson’s.

Since moving to the best pet friendly city in the country #doodlebraggingrights – I am afforded the luxury of taking them practically everywhere I go with very few exceptions.

Translation? They are accustomed to “hanging out!”

If I have somewhere to go and they cannot come along, I use buzz words they’re conditioned to hearing which translates the news –

You can’t come

For instance –

  • SundayI’m headed to CHURCH – be back soon.
  • Tuesdaygoing to the HOSPITAL Jaxy, be back in a little while.

When they hear the word “church” they rarely come downstairs.

When Jaxson hears the word “hospital” he sits down in the hallway and watches Harley and I leave.

Harley (being the first and the oldest) has never been home alone with Doodle Dad since Jaxson arrived and that was 18 months ago! #truestories

I felt absodoodletutely no guilt leaving him, but my husband made it seem as if we weren’t returning until 2017!

DOGS AND HUMAN EMOTIONS –

While dogs do possess emotions, they are not as complex as a human’s. Dogs do, however, feel the emotions coming from humans. They feel our emotions as energy radiating from our bodies. The dog knows if you are sad, nervous, stressed, happy, calm, strong-minded, confident, passive, anxious, hyper, meek, etc. Source: Dog Breed Info Center 

Lee didn’t realize (until the very last minute) that Harley was staying home with him. I don’t know how he missed the memo – Harley isn’t a #pooldoodle.

Remember in Hilton Head he just walked the sides of the pool all afternoon long…

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After I knelt down and explained to Harley – Jax and I would be back in a little while, I gave him a hug, and walked into the kitchen to grab the car keys.

LET THE PITY PARTY BEGIN –

Before I could get out of the house, Lee was petting and caressing Harley’s head, doling out treats (which he spit out) repeating –

It’s gonna be okay.

What do you mean “it’s gonna be okay?

Jax and I –

  • weren’t injured
  • no one kidnapped us
  • we weren’t headed to combat!

I looked at Harley and he was the saddest I’d ever seen him.

I believe he was confused. Jax and I were leaving, Doodle Dad was sad, so he didn’t know what else to do but join the pity party. #naturally

Was it hard to walk out that door? You bet your sweet goldendoodle it was. But I had to do it. Lee nor Harley were gonna be the boss of me! #thatday

It was haunting as I drove away watching the two of them cuddled up together on the steps.

So much so, when I realized I forgot my sunglasses I was too afraid to go back! #blindedbythesun

DOGS CAN SHOW EMPATHY –

Empathy is feeling what others feel. Empathy is the ability to not only detect what others feel but also to experience that emotion yourself. Source: Emotions in Dogs

I truly believe that’s what Harley was doing – “empathizing.

While Harley and I are very close and his expectation is to be with me at all times, we communicate extremely well with one another. #adifferentkindofblogpost

This time though, I felt strange, slightly slanted, off balance sort of  – because I was not familiar with his behavior.

That’s why it was comforting for me to blame it on the other human.

BUT YOU TELL ME –

Do you think Lee perpetuated Harley’s drastic mood swing?

Do you take separate outings with your dogs? And if so, how do they react? #inquiringminds

Can’t wait to hear your response.

P.S. He recovered quickly…

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Make today so incredibly pawsome – Yesterday gets jealous ❤️ 

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This is our contribution in the BlogPaws Wordless Wordy Wednesday Blog Hop.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

32 Comments
  • Hawk aka BrownDog
    September 14, 2016

    Hi Y’all

    Since l am a one and only, I can’t relate to watching my four legged brother leave without me.

    I will say that at one point I became upset with loud thunderstorms. My Humans gave me calming pills but refused to sympathize. The following year when the storms started I didn’t even need the calming pills.

    Y’all come on by
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 16, 2016

      Back when Harley was the “one and only” we made a huge mistake by taking him with us everywhere we went. IT’s become an expectation now…

  • Two French Bulldogs
    September 14, 2016

    We can totally relate and believe in all those emotions. Mom sneak Fatty Edward out to the dog park cause I don’t like it. You should see the look I give her
    Lily (& Edward)

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 14, 2016

      Don’t give your Mom a hard time – she’s just trying to spend some “Mommy & Me” time with Edward! I’m sure you get some “quality love too” with your adorable self! Have a great Wednesday.

  • Elaine
    September 14, 2016

    Oh my gosh! I believe they really do feel emotions. I’m sure Harley got even more TLC after you left, but he probably would have rather been with you and Jaxson.

    Haley knows our routine too and we always feel so bad when she can’t come along and I tell her “You’ll stay here…I’ll be right back”. I hate watching those hopeful eyes turn into a slow walk to her bed in the kitchen. She’s definitely a pouter too, haha!

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 15, 2016

      I know what you mean Elaine – aren’t those eyes the absolute worst?

  • Pedro and Alessandra
    September 14, 2016

    Even though Pedro is an only child, my parents (his very devoted grandparents) stayed with us for a few days a couple weeks ago and though he is used to Daddy and Mommy leaving for work every day and he’s never been a barker or protester to that fact, my parents wasted no time in telling me that “poor Pedro” was SO SAD when we left and that he just pouted on the couch (I’m betting he normally just gets comfy for his nap marathon). He had grandpa and grandma convinced that he was the saddest, loneliest, most neglected puppy in the world. 🙂
    As for empathy, they are champions, always tuned to our emotions. Happy if we are happy, excited if the same and definitely the first ones to comfort us if we’re upset. They are so pawsome. Isn’t that one more reason to love them the way we do?
    Hugs and loving paws to the Boys and to you and Doodle Dad, Cathy!

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 15, 2016

      So eloquently stated Alessandra! You’ve described Harley to a tee! I couldn’t agree with you more – they play such a significant role in my life when it comes to helping deal with and handle all that life has a tendency to throw out at us. I am grateful they are so intuitive, it’s nice to have someone who shares in your emotions. Now if I could only get them to stop using it against me!!!!

  • Christine Caplan
    September 14, 2016

    As the proud pet parent to three dogs, this is the worst. I do take Walter and Sherm to nosework once a week and Bruisy does not go. He should go but I can only handle two in class. He sits on the couch with my husband and sometimes Mike says he even waits by the door!!! It’s AWFUL and I always feel guilty….

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 15, 2016

      I so envy you with three dogs. Hopefully once we get this house renovated – I can seriously start looking for a third Doodle. I’d like to rescue. I think three dogs is the perfect number. I think I feel the most guilt when I leave them both behind. I don’t know about you – but I always feel like somethings missing if I don’t have them around me.

  • Emma
    September 14, 2016

    Our trainer says to be careful of transferring human emotions to dogs, but in my case, she says I have very human like emotions – a lot. I think sometimes we do pout when a sibling gets to go places and the other has to stay home. It’s another reason to take fur siblings out separately on a regular basis, so they learn it is normal.

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 15, 2016

      Hey Emma – tell your Mom I was following “her lead” – I’ve always been impressed that she would run with Bailey, take you to nose work training, long leisure walks with Katie… Tell her I intend to keep doing it!

  • Nichole
    September 14, 2016

    Of course they can… and they are really in-tune to ours too.

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 15, 2016

      That is certainly the truth Nicole. Especially Harley! Lee fell for it hook, line and Doodle!

  • Taryn
    September 14, 2016

    Jimmy doesn’t even like me to so much as PAT Wilson, so taking him to do something fun by himself gets quite a reaction! Poor Wilson pretty much only goes to the vet alone and then Jimmy smells him when he gets home, satisfied he knows it wasn’t someplace fun!

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 15, 2016

      That is so funny! As if the scents of other dogs can be traced to a “good time was had by all” location 🙂 LOL

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    September 14, 2016

    I absolutely love this story. My dogs both express their feelings about a situation and soak up our emotions. One of the reasons I’ve been able to move beyond my depression is because I know how that impacts my dogs. I make a point of being happy – you can’t fake it with dogs, it has to be real.

    But my dogs have their own pity parties too. Rodrigo hates when I leave the house without him (and with another dog) and he lets me know it with high pitched barking that breaks my heart. And the other night, he was playing (aka tearing up a ball that I got for him) and J said “Rodrigo, stop it.” a couple of times. Rodrigo dropped the ball and came to find me. We cracked up. I heard J say “is Rodrigo coming to find you?” and at the same time I was saying “what did you say to Rodrigo?”

    He’s my sensitive boy.

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 15, 2016

      Aren’t dogs and their individual personalities fascinating? I envy you because you’ve got four. If I had four I would just sit in the middle of the floor and spin round and round observing them. Jaxson is becoming my shadow now – especially in the evenings. I love it because when Harley gets sleepy he’s not interested in anyone – just sleep! So that affords me and Jaxy uninterrupted time. I sometimes think Lee gets jealous. Does J get jealous of the bond between you and Rodrigo?

  • The Daily Pip
    September 14, 2016

    We only have one dog so can’t speak to that, but I do think dogs pick up on our emotions and Lee’s mood probably did impact Harley a bit. I am always kind of stunned how much Ruby mirrors my moods back at me. She doesn’t do this with my husband or daughter, but with me she’s pretty tuned in.

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 15, 2016

      I love watching the interactions of more than one dog. If I had the $$ I would definitely rescue another Doodle because they fascinate me when they’re together. Harley and Ruby sound similar with the mirroring mood tactic. And just like you – it’s only with me, no one else in the house has to deal with it. Oh well, I guess that makes us special.

  • Lindsay
    September 15, 2016

    Oh I definitely think Lee just perpetuated the vibes and Harlwy just went with what he saw, heard and felt.
    I take the boys on separate walks from time to time just for some one on one time together. Baxter loves to run at full tilt. Whereas Charlie will smell and mark every damn blade of grass around the block. I particularly like taking Baxter out on his own in the winter because he turns into an instant husky. Lol!

    I’m glad he didn’t hold a grudge for too long… 🙂

    XO

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 15, 2016

      No he doesn’t hold grudges! Just allows you to leave with this dagger in your heart LOL I notice though, Jaxson is very clingy to me when I’m home, but he’s fine when I leave with Harley to go to therapy. PAWhaps I should have Harley take notes!

  • Jan K
    September 15, 2016

    As I walk down the street with one dog, I hear the other two barking and howling behind us. I’m always upbeat when I leave though. I give them a kiss and a treat and say “we won’t be gone long”! That apparently does not appease them.
    If I take one dog somewhere and my hubby is home though, he’ll usually distract the others by playing ball as I’m leaving – that seems to help quite a bit.
    I’m not sure what will happen when we only have two dogs and I have to leave only one behind. Being alone is not something they’ve experienced much before, so that really worries me.

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 16, 2016

      I think as Harley gets older (8th birthday coming up in November) I worry about me and Jaxson – this might be what’s triggering me to think about recusing a Doodle. I don’t see myself doing it soon, but it’s always on my mind lately. I won’t lie – Harley and I were lost w/o Leo. But more than that, I think having three dogs would be three times the fun (and yes, I know – three times the work) with extra love. One day, I’m sure one day I will have three! Have a great weekend my friend.

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    September 15, 2016

    From the time Shadow joined the family at 7-1/2 weeks, Callie assumed the role of surrogate doggie mom. She would not leave the house without Shadow. If I had to take her to the vet, she had to have Shadow with us. And if it was Shadow’s turn, she wouldn’t get in the car unless Callie got in first. They were each other’s moral support. That didn’t change until the time Callie tore her first ACL. She seemed to understand I couldn’t handle both of them when one was hurting. And by then we had Ducky to keep Shadow company. Now that Callie’s in Heaven, when I take one of the girls anywhere the other one usually stays home with “Daddy”. Having had three dogs for a few years, and now back to two, I’m not sure I’d go back to three. At least not while I have these two.

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 16, 2016

      More and more I think I want another one, and I have to be patient and figure out if it’s for the right reasons. I remember when Leo passed, Harley and I felt so lost, but is that a good reason? (I feel a blog post coming) but I want to rescue a Doodle and I don’t want to wait for a tragedy. I want to experience the chaos of three 🙂 I know I’ve got enough love to go around – but I’m going to wait until Jaxson’s a little older!

  • Jackie Bouchard
    September 15, 2016

    We’ve always been a one-dog-at-a-time house, so we haven’t had this issue. But it’s funny, because this is similar to a post I was thinking I need to write one of these days. I was noticing how Rita obviously knows the signals I’m giving off that she’s either coming along in the car or staying home. I’m not sure what I’m doing – but she knows! Although once in a great while she’ll get it wrong… and think she’s going along when she’s not. That’s pretty heart breaking when she gives me the “what do you mean I’m not coming along??” face!

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 16, 2016

      Oh, Harley would give that pitiful look when he was the only one too! Lee would fall for it – that’s how he always came along. Husbands! big brawny push-overs.

  • Robin
    September 15, 2016

    I have always thought that cats and dogs are very good at expressing emotions. They are great at manipulating us too! My kitties absolutely know what face to give me to make me feel bad for them and give them treats. 🙂 I’m glad that Harley got over his jealousy so fast!

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 16, 2016

      Harley was just working the crowd (crowd being Lee) He is one smart Doodle – he played right into Harley’s paws. LOL

  • Monika & Sam
    September 18, 2016

    Sometimes dads don’t realize what they’re doing. At least H recovered quickly. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 18, 2016

      Such a true and prolific statement! When will they ever learn! Harley knows how to work the crowd!

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