Do Dogs Know How to Distinguish Our Anger?

In previous articles we have explained that dogs have an intrinsic ability to demonstrate empathy. This ability makes the person or animal who shows it feel the pain of the other in their own heart and do everything possible to try to fix it.

Now how can dogs do this? We know that they perceive our feelings and mood swings instinctively. The question that arises is, are they also able to distinguish our anger?

Dogs are able to distinguish our anger

perro-mujer-tumbadosDogs know very well when it is time to approach us or not. You may say, “But when he sees me sad, he always comes to play or lick my face. ” Don’t think he does it because he wants to play, rather he wants you to play. Your dog knows you’re sad, and that’s why he’s coming up, trying to relieve you.Right, just like you’ve noticed how it approaches in that case, you’ve also noticed that when you’re stressed out getting ready for a date or for any other reason you don’t even see it? Maybe you haven’t even figured it out, but it is.

These are just two examples that dogs have the ability to detect our mood and act accordingly. See what your dog does when you’re angry. But if we don’t even make a gesture, are dogs able to distinguish our anger just by seeing our face ?

Capable of distinguishing our anger only with our expression?

Many experiments and research have been done to scientifically prove the causes or motives of certain reactions in dogs. Well, we are happy to say that a study has been done which also demonstrates this fact: dogs are able to distinguish our anger only by seeing their faces.

This review was conducted by the Messerli Research Institute of the Veterinary University of Vienna, Austria. The examination consisted of this:

  • More than twenty dogs of different breeds and sizes were selected.
  • They showed 30 images partially. Sometimes they hid the bottom and sometimes the top, making the eyes or mouths of the people drawn visible . Some of them had a cheerful expression and some of them were angry.
  • They were showing them the photos gradually, sometimes in one half, and sometimes in the other, to know if the dogs were able to recognize faces they already knew.
  • The last thing was to train eleven dogs who were taught the full images and showed their different attitudes when they saw each. It was no coincidence, all dogs connected positively when they saw cheerful faces or negatively when they saw angry faces.
Mujer dándole un beso a su perroThis study made it clear that dogs are able to distinguish our anger only by seeing our faces. When the dogs in the experiment saw a happy face in one of the images, they approached, moved their tails and even one jumped.When they saw the angry faces, they looked away, some were frightened and others hid. They were no coincidence, as the experiment was repeated over and over again, leaving it clearly demonstrated that dogs are able to distinguish our anger. We don’t know how they do it, we just know they can do it.

So they can say that chimps are the smartest animals! Even they didn’t have the ability to distinguish our anger. Sometimes, humans underestimate dogs believing that they are nothing but sentiment animals and that they only serve to keep us company at home.

Well, thanks to great researchers like those from the Messerli Research Institute who devote their time, energy and money to taking tests of this kind, we learn more and more about our dogs friends. Undoubtedly, the dog is an exceptional species that does not leave, and we are sure that it will not stop, to surprise us.

Keep loving your animal, and don’t let him see you angry, you’ll make him suffer.

Image courtesy of Will Marlow.