Studies have shown that dogs don’t really understand deep emotions such as disdain. They can however understand other emotions like sadness, happiness, and fear. If your dog seems to be disinterested, could this actually be a sign that you are misinterpreting another emotion, such as fear, sadness, or happiness? Maybe!
Signs Your Dog Might not Like Someone
Let’s take a look at some signs your dog might be afraid of. A pooch who feels threatened by someone or something may growl or bark at the person to warn them. Your dog may growl or bark at the person if they don’t stop. If this happens, their ears might drop and their fur might stand up. They might bite if they are scared enough. Be careful!
Other things that dogs do when they are scared may not seem as aggressive. You might also notice your dog trying not to make eye contact with strangers, such as cowering or shaking. You might notice your pup running in the opposite direction if they see someone approaching. It doesn’t matter how your dog reacts to the person, it is important to be compassionate with them.
Could some of these signs be misinterpreted? You might think your dog is a bit irritable, but they may be really afraid of the person.
History of Dogs and Disdain
According to Psychology Today, humans wondering about dogs’ range of emotions goes back pretty far – all the way back to the times of René Descartes. You see, many, many years ago, the churches had a lot of influence over what people believed scientifically. The churches originally said people had souls and feelings.
They believed that animals didn’t possess a “divine spark” so they couldn’t feel the same emotions as humans. Descartes agreed with this theory, stating that animals were more like machines and humans than humans.
The research of today is quite different from those ideas. Recent research shows that animals can experience emotions and not just dogs. These emotions may not be as developed or complex as those of humans.
Science Behind Dogs and Disdain
Scientifically speaking, it appears that dogs have the same sort of brain structure that you have when it comes to emotions, which is pretty cool. However, it is important to note that humans don’t even have a full range of emotions until they hit developmental milestones.
Dogs’ capacity for learning new emotions is supposedly only around that of a two or two-and-a-half-year-old human, according to Psychology Today. According to the breed of dog, dogs can reach their full emotional potential within four to six months of their lives.
Dogs will experience basic emotions like fear, love, and happiness. Dogs feeling complex emotions is often linked to their feeling basic emotions, which humans perceive as higher-level emotions.
Train your dog to not dislike people
Looking to train your pup to not feel disdain for someone? It turns out, that the key might be that your pup is simply scared of the person, not hateful toward them. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a complex process. If you try to comfort your pup when they are shaking or scared, they’ll associate your comforting and praise with negative behavior, which is really detrimental. Praise and comfort are a reward. So, they will think what they are doing is good.
Cesar Millan, a dog trainer, mentions that dogs can learn to be helped by allelomimetic behavior. Dogs learn by mimicking others. This is usually only true for animals of the same species. However, dogs can learn to mimic humans. Cesar suggests that you be calm and assertive with your dog if they seem afraid. Their alpha (you), should not be afraid of anything. They will learn to not be afraid.
Can dogs feel disdain? It’s not a real emotion, according to research.