What emotions do dogs feel?

What emotions do dogs feel?

At ScobyDog we have no doubt that dogs have emotions. From the moment you adopt puppies to their old age, they show us a range of feelings ranging from love to jealousy. When we get home, they are the first to greet us with joy and express sadness when we leave.

This is our subjective paternal gaze, yet what do the experts say? Over the past 25 years, neuroscientists have contributed a wealth of data and studies on canine emotional learning, claiming that dogs are perfectly capable of having complex emotions like those of humans.

Continue reading this article and know the answer to the question ” what emotions do dogs feel? “, You will discover some thoughts about the science behind your pet’s emotions.

Emotions in dogs and the experts

Science has come a long way, especially in the animal field. We have come to understand that dogs have the same brain structures, hormones, and chemical changes that human emotions produce. Each time we discover how complex they can be. Dogs even have the hormone oxytocin , the one we secrete when we are in love or feel affection for others. That said, you can imagine that your dog has tons of this hormone, because what he likes the most is giving you love and seeking affection from you.

Studies show that with respect to basic emotions, humans and other animal mammals are very similar and these emotions occur in deep areas of the brain. Similarly, they argue that although these parameters are similar, animals are purer in terms of emotions than people.

What happens is that the feelings that dogs experience are not connected with complex thoughts. Dogs do not question their own emotions, they only dedicate themselves to feeling. His emotions are 100% honest, your dog could never lie to you, or have ulterior motives about something he is feeling. But this does not make them less sensitive, it does not mean that they do not feel intensely, in the same way that we do.

Joy and love

No one can deny that dogs have a deep love for their human companions, which translates into loyalty like none other. If you build a good and solid relationship with your pet, your dog will always want to receive and give love, he will see you with eyes of unmatched appreciation, he will make you feel loved and appreciated and he will constantly show you. He will seek to lick you, kiss you and, if he could, also hug you.

In the same way, that love is mixed with joy. A healthy dog ​​is a happy dog ​​that enjoys life. His way of expressing how happy he is through play, jumps, and very spontaneous body language and sounds. Dogs certainly experience joy. The naturalistic scientist Charles Darwin mentioned: “under the expectation of any great pleasure, the dogs leap in an extravagant way and bark with joy”.

Emotional pain

Dogs don’t feel emotional pain in the same way as people, but they do experience the sense of loss and sadness when, for example, a member of their pack (their family) leaves or passes away. Although they do not cry, they express their grief and anguish in other ways, such as through fear, depression, loss of appetite, listlessness, anxiety, sleeping too much or too little. According to a study carried out, dogs can exhibit various behavioral changes after losing a companion, entering a mourning process that can last weeks or even months.


Do you come home and go to pet your dogs and one wants to monopolize your pampering and your affection? Dogs are territorial creatures, even on emotional levels. You are part of him and he will seek to have your full attention. If you have another dog or someone new to the family arrives, your dog will feel jealous of this “invader” and, therefore, when asked “what emotions do dogs feel”, this is one of the most common.

Dogs do not appreciate preferences when it comes to another creature, however, when it comes to them, they are very comfortable with the idea of ​​not sharing you. This does not have to be the rule. If you raise your dogs with a lot of love around them, a sense of confidence, and independence, in addition to their due moments of relaxation, you will not have why to have a jealous dog at home.


Your dog, of course, knows when he has done something wrong, such as peeing where he should not, biting, breaking, or eating something that does not belong to him. The typical guilty face, accompanied by the tail tucked between the legs, hunching up like a ball, and standing on its bed or in a corner, are clear signs that your dog is feeling shame. These are behaviors that dog sitters are very familiar with. But for dogs, this emotion is less complex than human guilt or shame. Submissive postures are the clear result of anxious anticipation of anger on your part. Your beloved and emotionally intelligent pet know that his actions were not correct and will lead to disciplinary action. However, this emotion that dogs feel is not usually long-lasting, so correcting the behavior after some time after it has been performed will not obtain results, since the dog will have already forgotten what he did wrong.


Dogs can also suffer from fears and phobias. They are creatures very sensitive to traumas and strong emotions that come suddenly. How many times have you not gone out for a walk with your dog and out of nowhere it runs to get between your legs? That is a clear behavior that expresses fear, in which your dog will seek your protection. Fireworks, vacuum cleaners, trucks, people in mysterious hats and suits, and even darkness, maybe just some of the factors that produce the emotion of fear in dogs. Nerves bring cravings, cravings bring fear, and fear results in fear. This is an expansive chain in which most dogs are trapped and that people, as their caretakers, must help to free them with love, patience, attention, and emotional education.

Now that you know what emotions dog feel, have you noticed that yours expresses any that are not on our list? Do not hesitate to leave your comment!