While your dog has probably mastered “sit” and “stay,” his best trick is something he didn’t need to be taught. Dog owners are the first to say they share a special bond with their pets, and part of that relationship is due to a dog’s ability to pick up on emotional cues. They’re capable of empathy, and when combined with their incredible sense of smell and natural intuition, it can sometimes feel like they’re reading your mind. Here are a few examples.
#1 – They Know When You’re Sad
Your dog processes visual and auditory cues, and even if you’re not crying, they recognize behavior associated with sadness and depression. They can also smell the hormones associated with those negative feelings. Your sadness will be obvious, and they’ll likely take action to show concern and offer comfort. They won’t be able to solve all your problems, but it’s hard to stay sad when your dog is licking your face.
#2 – They Know When You and Your Spouse are Fighting
Angry people frown more, they cross their arms, and they have elevated heart rates. Your spouse might not pick up on those cues, but your dog will. According to “Animal Cognition”, dogs will actively seek out happy faces over angry faces. They don’t know why the face is angry, but they know anger is a negative emotion they’d rather not deal with. If you and your spouse are fighting, don’t be surprised if your dog chooses to leave the room.
#3 – They Know Your Intentions
Sometimes a dog’s ability to predict your next move is flat-out spooky. Like the Collie who knows just by looking at you that you’re thinking about going on a walk. You didn’t move toward the leash or put your shoes on, but he starts barking by the door anyway. Then there’s the hound that knows even before you turn on the water he’s about to get a bath. He uses his psychic knowledge to do everything he can to escape his fate. Researchers say eye contact, and not supernatural clairvoyance, is the explanation behind this trick. Dogs can follow your gaze and read body language to put two and two together.
#4 – They Know When You’re Sick
Whether it’s the flu or something more serious, your dog’s powerful sniffer can detect subtle differences in your body chemistry. Besides smell, your dog will also notice changes in your behavior. If you’re still in bed when you’re usually up early, they’ll recognize that as a change in their daily routine. Dogs are so good at knowing when people are sick some are trained in early disease detection. They can tell if a person has lung cancer by smelling their breath, and they can alert a person with diabetes of changes with their blood sugar.
#5 – They Know When You’re in Love
Poets have been struggling for years to come up with an adequate definition for love, but in science, it’s all about a chemical reaction. When you look at someone you love, your body releases hormones including dopamine and serotonin. Those chemicals are responsible for your feelings of happiness and joy. If your dog is around when you’re busy staring into your loved one’s eyes, they’ll smell those hormonal changes. They’ll add that information to what they’ve already determined based on your body language, and voila, they know you’re in love.
There’s no point in hiding your feelings when your dog is around. Try as you might, your dog will be able to sense your secrets. They’re more intuitive than most people, and that’s part of why we love them. There’s no need to explain how you’re feeling, they just know.