It’s no surprise to us that dogs feed off our emotions and take their cues from their perception of how we are feeling. But we didn’t know just how much they are truly picking up on. A recent study from The Royal Society suggests that dogs are picking up on subtleties like facial expressions and tones of voice. They tested this by having people talk to dogs in different languages and different tones to see how they reacted. The proof is in the pudding: dogs feel your emotions!
An article about the study in the LA Times says, “The research demonstrates that dogs use both facial expressions and voice characteristics as cues to a human’s state of mind. Its authors underscore that while this ability to detect the mood of another is common enough within the same species, our canine companions appear to be unique in sharing with humans the ability to transcend species boundaries in reading emotions.”
We are finding that dogs’ emotional ranges are broader than we previously thought.
My dog has been a lifesaver in times of change and struggle, and I truly don’t know what I would have done without him. Dogs can remind you that you are lovable and that there can be a positive outcome to a disturbing situation.
Some people are not ready for the emotional and financial commitment of a dog, but could benefit from their companionship for a couple hours. This is where The Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA)’s Comfort Dog Program comes in. Comfort Dog is a way for dogs to provide support to people who are experiencing traumatic events. I am excited to promote this because I know first hand how much a dog snuggle can do for your well being and ease. Watch HSSA’s Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator, Andrea Mitchell, talk about the program on KGUN 9’s The Morning Blend.
Do you have someone who might benefit from a Comfort Dog visit? Let us know in the comments.