I highly doubt I am the only one who felt some pretty strong emotions after watching the above video. This video, along with hundreds if not thousands of others, proves that dogs have a much higher awareness than many people believe. Not only do dogs become highly attached to their human families, but dogs also become attached to each other. Time and time again, we see in the news about how dogs saved a life. What a truly special species they are.
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How Deeply Do Dogs Feel Emotions?
It is quite obvious that dogs have the ability to feel emotions pretty strongly. Based on mounds of video evidence and the personal experiences from millions of dog owners, we know for a fact that dogs do feel emotion. What makes it even more incredible is how dogs are able to convey emotion seemingly telepathically. If you are not a dog owner, you might not know what I’m talking about. But if you are a dog owner, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It can’t be explained so I’m not even going to try. It is a special gift that only those who live with animals in their home get to appreciate and understand.
The question is – how strong do dogs feel these emotions? Can dogs feel emotion as strongly as a human? In reality, there is no way that we can ever know this and there is no scientific study that can ever definitively conclude how any given dog will feel. But I can tell you as a dog owner and as someone who has worked with many shelter dogs over the years, I believe that dogs do feel emotion just as strongly as human beings.
Dogs Have A Different Mindset Than Humans
Imagine if you lived in a world where you hardly ever thought about the past and the future had no meaning. Imagine always being in the present, free from all the anxieties of the mistakes that you have made in your life and the uncertainties that lie ahead in the future. Imagine how wonderful it would feel to live in the now and never worrying about the cold weather that’s coming, the bills that have to be paid next month, or what your health might be like in 10 or 15 years from now. Imagine if any time you went outside you were surrounded by bliss and all you cared about was taking it all in… Smelling the flowers, feeling the air blow across your body, and enjoying all of this while your best friend is right next to you. Welcome to the mindset of a dog.
From what we can tell about dogs and how they feel, it is pretty apparent that dogs almost always live in the moment and for the moment. So, while dogs do feel emotion in much the same way that humans feel emotion, there are some distinct differences. When a human being gets excited about an upcoming concert, they may be excited about it for weeks or months ahead of time. Dogs have no concept of this. They will enjoy life now, and they will enjoy life tomorrow when they are doing something different.
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Likewise, if a negative situation is happening to a dog, they will think in the current moment. Dogs are very linear in their thinking and as seen in the above video can be extremely effective during life or death situations. The argument can be made that dogs are less intelligent than human beings overall, but when dogs focus their emotion and energy on a critical task at hand, they can be extremely effective.
Can Dogs Love?
The real question that people want to know is, “can dogs love?” Again, you will not find any scientific studies that prove or disprove whether dogs can feel the emotion of love or not. It is simply impossible for us to know with 100% certainty. But again, if you ask any dog owner if their dog loves them, nearly everyone of them will say yes and it will be a very definitive yes. I know from my own experience that dogs can definitely love both humans and other dogs.
But to even answer this question, we have to define what love actually is. Everyone will have a different definition of what love is, but let’s look at it from a dog and owner perspective.
From the dog’s perspective, his or her owner might as well be God. The owner gives the dog absolutely everything he or she needs to survive and thrive. From food and water to shelter and a comfortable place to sleep, it all exists because of the owner.
So on one hand, the argument could be made that the dog only shows affection to the dog owner because the dog knows the owner is providing everything for survival.
But then again, why does a child love a mother or father? It is much for the same reasons.
There is also an obvious exchange of positive energy going on between most dogs and their owners. Owners are able to show love and affection not only by providing their dog with the basic necessities, but also through other means and positive exchanges of energy through play time, walks, cuddling, and all sorts of different ways. There is not much difference between the emotional exchange of a dog owner and their dog than there is between a parent and a child. As any dog owner knows, the exchange of energy from dogs to humans is 10 times stronger than we could ever possibly show them. Dogs show their love and appreciation constantly.
What Do You Think?
You’ll notice that besides the videos I included, I have not quoted any sources or scientific studies in the above article. The truth is, proving the different types of emotions that dogs feel and why they feel or act certain ways around their owners is very difficult to prove. We can be very certain, but we cannot provide any real proof. Most of the above was just my opinion through the knowledge that I have as a dog owner and as someone who has helped to rehabilitate and train dogs. So let me get your thoughts! Feel free to use the commenting section below and let me know what you think. Do you agree that dogs feel emotions just as strongly as humans do? I’d love to hear what you have to say!