Friday, August 23, 2013

Do Dogs Have Complex Emotions?

So... Tell me, how do you feel about that?
And when I say this, I don't mean senses as we all know dogs have them. But my question is, at what certain degree do they feel emotions? I know dogs can feel happy/excited when we come home. They can also feel sad/anxious when we are away. They may get angry if their toys are taken from them. What else?

DO DOGS HAVE COMPLEX EMOTIONS? 

I recall the story of Capitan, the loyal dog who visited his owner's grave everyday for 6 years. There's also the story of Trixie, the Doberman who stayed with her dead owner for 30 days.  And then there's also the timeless tale of Hachiko.

We know dogs are loyal and they even can tune to our emotions. Have you ever asked what level of cognition your dog has attained? Stanley Coren has an interesting diagram on how far dogs feel. Whether you agree with it or not is fine. I would rather think that dogs have developed past the "3-year old in human age mark" (based on Stanley Coren's diagram).


Does this video simply suggest a dog hiding his dead offspring from predators? or Is it a sign of dogs having their own burial rituals like humans do?

22 comments:

  1. I think animals have the ability to feel complex emotions. I definitely think they can grieve. Studies have been done on crows. When another crow dies they hold crow "funerals". When my mom was dying her dog would often just walk over to her bed and just look at her. Incidentally, he died a few months later from cancer as well. Personally I think the more intelligent the animal the more likely they are to grieve.

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  2. Some emotions my cat has felt, apart from happiness and sadness, are jealousy, rage, panic, anxiety and joy. He even had humor!!!

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  3. Aww that video, I think dogs feel more than we know and cats. xxooxx

    Mollie and Alfie

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  4. I think that the more people take the time to watch and understand other species, the more they realise that humans are not the only ones to feel complex emotions just as humans are not the only ones to use tools or to have a language to communicate with each other. Animals have other senses too that are much more developed than ours and they must see the world quite differently from us at times. This is why we should love and respect all creatures and not see them as lesser beings to be used and abused. Leigh (Magic's mum) xx

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  5. When Ryker passed away, Allie did one thing she never had done before and never has done since: She jumped up onto mommy's lap that evening, and lay on her chest, face to face, just as Ryker had always done.

    We know kitties have deep feelings - and aren't very knowledgeable about dogs, but it only makes sense that they are too!

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  6. I do believe animals have complex emotions. Just because we humans don't understand it doesn't mean they don't have it. :)

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  7. Yes, I definitely think that animals have complex emotions. We've seen it with our cats, in a very similar way that Maxwell, Faraday and Allie's Mommy mentions in her comment above.

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  8. Mom says dogs are people too. Period.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  9. I absolutely think that animals feel various emotions, including grief.

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  10. We agree with Murphy and Stanley's mum. We do have emotions.

    XXXOOO Daisy, bella & Roxy

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  11. Yes, we gots feelings, neither of us like being chewed out and don't like Dad pointing his finger at us, we both just hand our head and mope around, till the pet us and tell it's alright!

    The Mad Scots

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  12. I've seen that video before. It is so moving. I think we are in danger of anthropomorphising animals too much, but I have seen too many examples of animals doing unexpected kindnesses to think that they don't have feelings and emotions, though probably not quite like ours, but equally as valid! x

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  13. I think that they have lots of emotions. So interesting!

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  14. I totally believe they have a wider range of emotions (and thoughts) than most people give them credit for.

    How sad about the dog trying to bury the puppy. :-(

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  15. Us dogs sure do have emotions! I use my tail and ears to show mine!

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  16. Here I am to say hi,
    Sorry I have been a bad blogger... I need to get better.
    love
    tweedles

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  17. Hi Haopee,

    What a great question! I behave like a 3 year old toddler (according to Mum), but I have the emotions of a wise old dog and I'm always in touch with what's going on - I even behave differently on therapy visits depending upon who I'm visiting....

    Have a fun day

    Your pal Snoopy :)

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  18. Of course, dogs have lots of emotions, they also can feel pain or happiness or sadness or joy and many many others....Just remember Hatiko! How could the dog to be so faithful without having emotions?!

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  19. I think dogs have a wider range of emotions than most think. For example, before our Shiloh crossed over the Rainbow Bridge she and Ash would swim together several times everyday. They have done this for the past 6 years. Now that Shiloh is gone, Ash won't go near the pool. It has to be because Shiloh is gone because Ash loved to swim. I think we don't give them enough credit:)

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  20. I do have complex emotions! I think many sapiens underestimate that and brush it off. We have a hard time expressing those emotions but when our sapiens take the effort to pay attention...they will be quite surprised!

    Ruckus the Eskie
    www.ruckustheeskie.com

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