Your Dog May Know You Better Than You Do
Think about who you spend the most time with in life. Is it your spouse? Your siblings? Your friends? Or is it…your dog? You know your dog’s answer is you. That pup spends a good portion of their time staring adoringly at you, studying your every move. They do this because their needs are dependent on you. If you’re unhappy, you’re less likely to play with them, or give them a treat. We express ourselves heavily through our words. Dogs don’t use or understand words, so they get to know us using their incredibly strong senses.
Did you ever wonder why your dog is so sympathetic when you’re feeling sick? Turns out dogs, with their intensely elevated sense of smell, can detect the chemical differences in your breath when you are under the weather. They can also smell the tiny amounts of perspiration that occur when you’re stressed or afraid. Unless your dog is trained as a guard, they will begin to feel that fear as well.
You thought it was funny that your dog had no problem picking out the friend in the room who didn’t like dogs, but your dog was simply observing the same body language you were. Your friend’s tensed posture and fixed gaze made your dog feel challenged, giving away your friend’s dislike. Dogs understand and remember physical cues, especially yours. They know your happy face and posture. They know the signals of a sad person, and are actually more inclined to approach and submit to someone who is crying or upset.
As much as you might wish your dog understood what you were saying, it’s just not the case. Your dog does, however, understand variations in your tone. They hear it when you are proud, or mad, of them. The canine ability to hear a much wider frequency of sounds than a human also enhances the ability to memorize and instinctually sort out the appropriate responses to those sounds.