Thu. Mar 16th, 2023

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While some emotions are crystal clear, like the happiness and excitement your dog shows when you come home, some other emotions are the ones dogs cannot feel. So, do dogs have emotions? Well, yes and no. 

Read: Why Do Dogs Bark At Night?

A Dog’s Brain

A dog’s brain is comparatively smaller, enabling them to feel some emotions. They possess some critical parts like humans, allowing them to feel. Researchers believe a dog’s brain is similar to a two-year-old human’s. As we know, one dog year equals 15 human years, and dogs fully develop their brain by four to six months of age. The full range of a dog’s emotions develops by this time. However, dogs have fewer emotions than humans. 

Which Emotions Do Dogs Have?

The five emotions that lie at the core of a human are similar to what a dog has. These are: 

  • Sadness
  • Joy
  • Disgust
  • Anger 
  • Fear

Dogs feel other emotions like: 

  • Love
  • Anticipation
  • Shyness
  • Anxiety
  • Contentment
  • Distress
  • Excitement

These emotions are reactions or responses to oxytocin, adrenaline, dopamine, and other hormones. You might notice that they sense contentment and form deeper bonds when you look into your dog’s eyes or pet them. It is because of the oxytocin that is released. The bond then translates into love and loyalty between humans and dogs. 

Which Emotions Can’t Dogs Feel?

The maturity level of a dog resembles a two-year-old and the emotions that develop after reaching this age are absent in dogs. These emotions are: 

  • Contempt
  • Pride
  • Guilt
  • Shame

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