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Do dogs and humans mirror each others emotions, behaviour and moods?

by Renee Jernigan 18 May 2022
Do dogs and humans mirror each others emotions, behaviour and moods?

It's hard to resist a cute dog. A naughty or cheeky dog. A clever dog. A funny-looking dog. In fact, it's hard to resist DOGS in general, even the ill-mannered or aggressive dogs, it's generally their environment or (lack of) TRAINING more than it is about the DOG themselves. 

Dogs can be replacements for having your own children or they can be a beloved addition to your family, or a companion for singles living on their own. There are many reasons why people want to adopt a dog, and there's even a scientific reason why we love dogs. Watch it below!

Great video, right?! DOGS are so expressive! Cats are not so expressive 😆 (don't get us wrong, we absolutely love our cat, too!)
Interesting, how studies have found that oxytocin spikes in both dogs and people, when we make eye contact. It's no wonder that our dog feels as loved as a child, it's because they are!

How is it possible to love our dog anymore than we already do? Well, perhaps if they're LIKE us! So, are dogs really like their owners?" 

According to PetMD, there's research published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science where pet parents were asked to rate themselves on five major personality dimensions known as "The Big Five." These are Neuroticism, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and Openness. The result was pretty shocking, as pet parents (aka pawrents!) said that they share all five personality dimensions with their pups.

Veterinary behaviour technician, Jenn Fiendish, said that people tend to select animals who complement them on many levels. For example, a happy and outgoing person will often choose a happy and outgoing dog. In addition to that, Fiendish believes that people do this subconsciously. 

Dogs follow their owners' emotions

New studies show how behavioral and chemical cues from humans can affect dogs in ways that enable them to not only discriminate between their owners’ fear, excitement, or anger, but also to “catch” these feelings from their humans. Dogs pick up chemical and physiological cues from people that allow our moods to become "contagious." So YES, our moods are catching! 

Dogs respond to human faces that express six basic emotions— anger, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, and disgust—with changes in their gaze and heart rate.

Dr. Mahaney said “I have observed pets in households where the owners are under a lot of stress [who will] subsequently exhibit behaviour problems which could be attributed to the owners’ lack of calming energy."

An example of how stress and tension can exacerbate your dog's behaviour, if your reaction is negative: If your dog barks, growls, or lunges at other dogs, people, or cars while you’re walking him or her on a leash, you might feel embarrassed or stressed out, which can cause you to tense up and exacerbate your dog’s fear and anxiety. This in turn “can be a trigger for the dog doing it again,” which can lead to an unfortunate cycle.

Dogs' personalities are not set in stone

The dog you've adopted is not the same dog you'll have 5 years from now. Dog behaviours change over time as they grow older, and are directly influenced by their experiences. Just like our experiences change us humans, too. 

To understand dog behaviours further, watch this video below!

Enhance your dog's behaviour through play

When dogs are happy, they'll behave better. Likewise, when they're bored, this is when we'll see more bad behaviour, such as barking, chewing (on things that are not chew toys!) and toileting where they shouldn't. 

So, more time together, more playing, more walks, more cuddles will lead to more happiness and more life enjoyment for you AND your dog! 

We've written an article to help you enrich your dog physically and mentally, so they're as happy and lovable as they can possibly be. Read more about that here!

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