5 things your dog can sense about you: he also knows when you’re lonely

Szénási Szimonetta

2023. August 26 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

Dogs are amazing creatures: not only do they surround their owners with love and kindness, but they watch their every move. They even read them emotions accurately.


You’ve probably experienced that no matter how hard you tried to hide it, your pet knew you were in a bad mood or stressed. Yes, your dog can sense everything about you, even different emotions and moods.

Emotional radars

For years, scientists have been studying dogs’ social cognition, their ability to read the behaviour of other living beings. Just as we do: most of the time, we only need to look at someone to know what mood they’re in.

Mammals in a community have developed different ways of understanding their group members. This usually works between individuals of the same species, but research shows that dogs are also good at understanding human signals.

What exactly does your dog sense?

Let’s take a look at the emotions that your four-legged companion senses in you.

1.) Loneliness

Dogs can sense when humans are lonely. If they sense that their owner is feeling lonely, they are likely to try to nudge him out of this state. They will put their toys at their feet, nudge them with their nose to go for a walk, or crouch down in front of them, asking to be petted or cuddled.

It is this very sensitivity that makes them the perfect companion as assistance dogs for injured or sick people.

2.) Anxiety and stress

Your pet’s radar will tell him if you’re tense or anxious around it. It’s easy for nervousness to spread to him, and he often expresses his anxiety by barking. He may start running around or scratching the furniture. It’s also common for him to wander out into the yard or encourage you to take him for a walk, which is the perfect stress reliever for both of you.

3.) Disease

Research has shown that dogs can sense certain diseases, including cancer. This is particularly common when there is a very close relationship between the animal and its owner.

4.) Fatigue

Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more common nowadays for people to come home tired after a long day at work and not feel like doing anything. This is very stressful for dogs, who are looking forward to nothing more than the arrival of their owners.

As well as emotional stability, you also need to provide daily exercise for your pet, so no matter how exhausted you are, don’t miss an evening walk. Otherwise, your dog may let you know his displeasure with a loud bark – and rightly so – which won’t go down well with the neighbours.

It can also help to relax if you sit down on the armchair and start playing with your pet. While he’s running around after a discarded toy, you can take a breather too. You’re guaranteed to enjoy a refreshing walk afterwards!

5.) Happiness

If the owner is happy, the dog is happy! It’s a great pleasure for your faithful companion to feel that you’re in a good mood. No wonder, you prefer to be around smiling people rather than grumpy, grumpy company.

Take advantage of these happy moments to go outside, go for a walk or play together. Spending time together is very important for your dog and good for his physical and mental health!

Where do dogs get this ability?

Scientists are also wondering how dogs are able to “read” moods. It was previously thought that because dogs are descendants of wolves that hunt in bevy, this is where the ability to understand other people’s signals comes from. In this case, wolves should also be able to understand human signals, but studies show the opposite.

Other theories suggest that dogs learn to read emotions by living with humans. However, even a nine-week-old puppy living with its mother and siblings can sense people’s moods, so the amount of time spent together is not the deciding factor.

What seems most certain is that dogs have developed this ability during the domestication process.

dog body language dog bonds to human dog human communication dog human relationship dog ownership research

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