Are dogs capable of feeling love/ real affection ?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Labowner, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. Labowner

    Labowner New Member

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    I'm wondering about something that's fascinated me for ages.
    When ever I read about canine behaviour & dog psychology, it always focuses on their rituals in the wild / pack behaviour ect... Experts have always claimed stuff like instinctive loyalty towards the pack ensures their survival.

    If this is so... Why is it if anyone in my family cries or is sad, my dog automatically picks up on this & nuzzles into them / puts his head on their lap. He actually exhibits signs of comfort -of his own freewill. There are lots of other things along the same lines he does. Depending on circumstances, he has a certain look in his eyes which make you wonder if there's deeper thinking process going other than pre-programmed genetic trait. Is this just a result of generations of being around humans, some kind of behavioural evolution thing? I think experts don’t give them half the credit they deserve as far as intelligence / sensory capability. Probably sound like a total nut here but is it possible they could have some kind of individual personality? More mans best friend than we think. Am I mistaken? Appreciate any thoughts.


    Thanks.
     
  2. mom2two

    mom2two New Member

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    I do believe this

    I really do feel that dogs are capable of feeling love and having emotions. Like you mentioned when someone in your family cries the pup nuzzles and tries to make you feel better.

    My dogs also know when my husband or I are sick and won't leave our side. If we are upset they need to know that you are ok, they become more protective of us.

    I truely do believe dogs do have feelings of love and other things.
     
  3. Bella's Mom

    Bella's Mom New Member

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    What a great topic, I know after being a dog owner for more than 30 + years they do love their pack and we as humans are their pack. As some humans go, they can't bond to anyone, BUT a dog will always bond with one or more persons because thats what they need to do and its in their genes. I have never felt un-loved by any of my dogs, they can show love in so many ways, even a look can show their emotions, they can talk without speaking.
    Christine
     
  4. kinda kookyee

    kinda kookyee ~~smilz~~

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    "they can talk without speaking"

    So true Bellas Mom
     
  5. DalPal_2000

    DalPal_2000 Pet lover

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    I totally agree.

    I've always believed that dogs are more complex than what people give them credit for. Yes they show signs of loyalty but also pure need to be around you. I know of this one dog in our neighborhood, we call him Shadow, that after his owner died he layed on his grave for 2 weeks before someone found him. He travels to all of the ponds his owner went to everyday in search for him and he has done this everyday for years. If thats not love I dont know what is. My Dalmatian gets depressed when I leave him with my mother for a day or two and will not eat until I return. He is worse than a child crying after his mother, he even follows me in the bathroom every time I go. So yes I do believe dogs can love and I also believe they have longer memories than what the experts say too. ;)
     
  6. BigDog2191

    BigDog2191 Big German Shepherd

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    Most definitely.

    As you do, I believe the behavior comes by evolutionary. From being with people for so long.
     
  7. necterine0

    necterine0 New Member

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    With every fiber of my body and soul i believe they feel sadness, love, pain.They feel fear and confusion. i see the love in the eyes of my own. I see the fear when it storms because Shenzie is afraid of them. I see excitement when they know they are going to go bye bye. And i could go on and on......

    I sometimes think they are the perfect version of humans in fur coats.
     
  8. Falkor

    Falkor New Member

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    They can't love the way we love, but they can "sense memory" feelings of comfort. If I hug my dog, give it kisses, and say "I love you" and he licks me, he isn't responding to the words (because he has no I dea what I mean ;-) ) but to the fact that I'm hugging him and giving him affection, which he likes very much.
     
  9. frokenvin

    frokenvin New Member

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    I believe dogs and other animals feel as well as we humans do. Our minds are more highly developed than that of a dog, however I am under the impression that their intuition and empathetic qualities are quite keen.
    Being that dogs are pack animals also incinuates the ability to communicate well -- to form bonds with others of the species. I think as well as we can understand our animal companions is akin to how well they understand us humans. That's communication -- it's a beautiful thing.
     
  10. bridey_01

    bridey_01 Kelpiefied

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    I have no doubts that they feel every emotion we do, with the exception of all our ugliness such as hate, greed, selfishness. But it goes even deeper than that. What about when a dog goes and stands beside the front door, minutes before their owner is due home, regardless of previous experience?
    There is something else going on there. I think they are like a simplified version of us, just happiness in its most pure form, unhindered by too much thought.
     
  11. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I don't have time to post much now...gotta run, but I'm coming back to this one. I absolutely have always seen every emotion, practically that we have in my dogs. In fact I have seen it in lots of mammals. It had a little different flavor in some ways, but nonetheless, every emotion.

    Recently, in my dog magazine as well as a special program on a science channel, it was discussed how animal behavior scientists have come to the conclusion that all mammals experience most, if not all of the same types of emotions we do. It has been necessary for survival. They showed pictures of dogs and other mammals showing expressions of dejection, despair, saddness, fear, joy, anger. Charles Darwin noted coinciding or common body language in all mammals indicating all the same emotions.

    So, for a long time, it was thought, and probably still is that we just interject our wish for similarity of emotions in our animals, but many respected scientist do not see it as simple as that and in fact, believe, as many of us do, that our pets, as well as all mammals do experience these emotions, albeit with a different background, due to their experiences and frame of referrence.
     
  12. vegas

    vegas New Member

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    I was CONVINCED that my dog feels love for me because yesterday when i got up to get changed to go out for a bit to do some shopping, the second i started putting on clothes my dog started making whimpering noises (you know the way dogs cry) and for the first time she actually bit the back of my jeans and wouldn't let go when i went towards the door.

    If i as much as look in the direction of her she starts shaking her tail and sprints right upto me.
     
  13. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    I'll let Doberluv tackle the scientific evidence, and I'll contribute the esoteric.

    Read this, from Sonnets from the Portuguese. Then think about your dog(s) and I think you'll find it describes them very well.

    XLIII

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
    I love thee to the level of everyday's
    Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
    I love thee with the passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
    I shall but love thee better after death.

    Elizabeth Barrett Browning
     
  14. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    I do believe animals feel emotions. I believe they can be sad, mad, and happy. You should see my lab when I'm mad at her. She gets the saddest look on her face.

    I don't believe in evolution and I don't believe that we need a scientific explanation, I believe they have emotions.
     
  15. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    I feel that they have all of our emotions .....plus maybe a few more we don't have !
     
  16. Helen

    Helen New Member

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    this is a true story,many yrs.ago this man and is dog were seen everywhere together, always.,he had gotten the dog as a pup and they were never apart.The man took sick,and later died.The family knowing the two were together constantly took the dog to the cemetary for the burial .For months after the dog would be missing, the family would find him at the cemetary laying on the grave.Then one day no dog anywhere,never to be seen again......... animals understand much more than we give them credit for.
     
  17. Dakotah_2009

    Dakotah_2009 OOO YEA SHHHAKE IT!!

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    i think dogs can also have emotions and feelings..I know my dog does. When he is mad he shows it by not wanting to b around any1 or just pouting.
     
  18. Dakotah_2009

    Dakotah_2009 OOO YEA SHHHAKE IT!!

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    Wow, never heard that one before...but I think it is true what you said at the end "animals understand much more than we give them credit for" i totally agree w/ you.
     
  19. poodlesmom

    poodlesmom New Member

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    I too believe that dogs have emotions & feelings. Just with my own 2 I see it all the time. They know when I am happy or sad and their responses are different for each. When I have been very down it is like Farley & Chloe have a private meeting to see what would be the best way to help me with my pain - either Farley's goofiness or Chloe's gentle snuggling. And they always make the right choice. :)

    I have had dogs who expressed sadness when we would lose another furpal. Both Farley & Chloe were depressed when we lost my hubby. I have also seen a big difference in Chloe when we go visit the nursing home. At home she can be very excitable & is always putting her paws on our laps, etc. When I take her to the nursing home she is very calm & gentle with the residents and never attempts to put a paw on them.

    Many years ago I had a Great Dane whose entire demeanor would change when a little boy with CP would be at our house. He would totally ignore everyone else & totally focus on John-John. He would very gently lay that big head of his in his lap and let him pat, poke & prod to his heart's content. Listening to John-John's sweet laughs while that big galoot tolerated whatever he did was wonderful.

    So yes, I agree that dogs feel love, saddness, empathy and alot of emotions -perhaps a little differently than humans but emotions just the same.
     
  20. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Fogert the scientific stuff. We dog people already know all that. The scientists are just a little slower than we are. LOL. That beautiful work, Renee, says it all. I've always loved that and never thought to connect it to my dogs. How perfect.
     

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