2 min read

Your Dog Really Does Get How You Feel, Scientists Say

It's not your imagination, Rover really does get you.

Pet owners have always known their canine companions could sense their feelings, but a new study shows that dogs genuinely recognize our emotions, understanding them at a level previously only seen in other humans.

According to researchers in England and Brazil, dogs read moods by combining both visual hints (like frowning) and auditory hints (like shouting), suggesting they have distinct mental categories they use to classify the feelings of others.

Furthermore, the research team says dogs are the first non-human animal shown to do so while observing another species: us.

Images of humans and dogs used in the study.University of Lincoln

Images of humans and dogs used in the study. | University of Lincoln

"There is an important difference between associative behavior, such as learning to respond appropriately to an angry voice, and recognizing a range of very different cues that go together," said Professor Daniel Mills, a co-author of the study. "Our findings are the first to show that dogs truly recognize emotions in humans and dogs."

The discovery is unlikely to surprise any dog lovers, of course, but it's nice to know your pup might actually understand why you're eating an entire tub of ice cream.