What is my dog thinking?


| 3 Comments
As a freshman still adjusting to my new life in college, I miss a lot of things from home. But there is one thing that I miss most of all - MY DOG! She is my absolute best friend, yet we have never spoken a word. I find that really fascinating. As I was thinking about how much I miss my dog, I thought I'd look a little more into this. What do dogs really think and feel? 

This video provides a look into a project run by researchers at Emory University. It aims to obtain fMRI scans from alert and awake dogs to analyze their brain activity and hopefully gain more information on dogs' cognitive thought processes. 

Did you know that dogs have the same brain structure that produces emotions in us humans? They have the same chemicals and the same hormones as we do. However, a dog's mental state is about the same as a 2 and a half year old. Therefore, they can experience emotions the same way humans do, but there is a definite limitation to those emotions because their cognitive ability cannot reach over that of a 2 and a half year old. A dog develops their emotions fully by the time they are 4-6 months old. They can experience simple emotions such as happiness, sadness, fear, anger, and even love. However, a dog can never develop more intricate emotions like guilt, pride, or shame. People tend to attribute human emotions, thoughts, and feelings to dogs, but dogs actually work in quite a different way than humans. We think our dog feels guilt when you walk in the door to find they ripped apart the trash, yet they are simply reacting to the fact that it is getting them in trouble. This emotion is fear not guilt. 


I think it is truly fascinating to look into the world of dog psychology. We live with these creatures every day, we might as well know what they are thinking! Dogs have a lot to teach us!


Here's a pic of my little dog playing with her favorite toy! Isn't she cute?!

screenshot dog.png


SOURCES:

http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2012/05/what-is-your-dog-thinking-brain-scans-offer-glimpse-at-canine-thought-process/

http://discovermagazine.com/2012/jul-aug/06-what-is-your-dog-thinking#.UjhjJBZIaTM


3 Comments

FIrst off, your dog is adorable! I have two little white dogs that look kind of like yours!

This topic is fascinating. It's interesting that dogs can't feel shame or guilt because I always thought they could! As for love, one of my dogs is definitely in love with another dog down the street. Every night, we let him out and he walks down by himself to the house of the other dog, Jordan. He waits outside and then her owner's eventually let her out. Then they play and my dog comes home! It's so cute.

Here is an article about dogs in love:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/07/130727-dog-cat-hug-friends-youtube/

Your dog is so adorable! I have a lot of dogs, probably going to be judged big time if I post how many I have, so I am going to avoid that light. Dogs are my favorite things in the world I miss my little pitbull so much! I had no idea that they don't feel guilt, but that definitely makes sense. I see how they scan their brain activity, but how do you understand the mind of animals and what they really are feeling?! That also is interesting that it takes a while for them to fully develop their emotions, but then if you look at their crazy and confused personalities when they are puppies, it all makes sense. Some cruel people do not believe that any animals have feelings, so they treat them so terribly. Here is a video of animals "experiencing feelings" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEA2_y9MVxc

I know exactly what you are going through . Every year it gets harder and harder to leave your dog at home and come to college. I believe that we feel this way because we treat our dogs like part of our family . This was a very good topic and I feel like it applies to many people. I feel like when I left for school this year my dog was confused and didn't really realize what was happening! Here is a really good article that proposes some reasons why we might love our dogs so much ! http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/03/18/why-love-our-dogs-so-much/

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