“A dog’s emotions”
Many researches on dogs have shown that a dog has EMOTIONS, a SOUL and FEELINGS too. We all knew that but still in the world many human beeing have doubts. The dog’s body and mind is like ours. New brain cells (limbic cells) reproduce themselves all the time but stress can destroy and block them from forming, this is why we need to make sure our dog’s life is a stress free and balanced one. Those limbic cells are very important for the good development of any dog. To make sure you have a well-balanced dog from puppyhood, you need to interact and teach him, have a lot of contact by touch and love him. Dogs with problems didn’t have the above developments, a dog left alone will search for human contact, and “love is the most powerful tool we have”… All we want for our dogs is a happy, healthy and long life.
STRESS is a big problem for many dogs and can cause health problems, emotional distress and lack of concentration which will result to frustration and fear. It’s a miracle dogs learn anything from us with all the stress we put on them. A friendly atmosphere is the best way for any dogs to learn, because as soon as the dog starts to gets anxious the brain stops working properly and this is where problems starts between the owner and its best friend. Humans are less trainable than dogs…
FEELINGS: see how your dog is feeling, look, observe and listen to your dog to see the emotions around him. Dogs are VISUAL animals; they look and observe what’s around them to get information. Dogs are also functional animals, when they talk it has a meaning, if angry there is also a reason for it, they were provoked or afraid.
EMOTION: dogs have their own language; we have to learn it to communicate better with them. We humans see one thing but dogs see the same thing differently and dogs have the same emotions than us: LOVE, COMPATION, CONSIDERATION, etc… A dog will show emotions to another dog by first getting: Tense then will show calming signals then more stress signals if that doesn’t work the dog will freight or freeze and the last result bite.
CALMING SIGNALS: it’s important to see and learn the calming signals or defense signals. The bite is the LAST thing a dog will do.
*Turn of the head: if you go straight ahead at a dog, he will turn its head to let you know you are impolite to come to him like that.
*Walking slowly – not going straight ahead but side ways: another polite way to come and meet another dog.
*Sniffing the ground – freezing position – nose down and ears down: all polite signals to introduce yourself to a dog.
*Eye going side to side – licking its lips – blinking – turning away – yarning – head down – lifting a front paw: all of those are calming signals if the situation is stressful for your dogs they will show at least one of those signals.
How to stop a dog from approaching: “HAND UP, don’t do or say anything” like if you were stopping someone from taking a picture of you. If a dog keeps coming towards you, stand tall and spread your arms and hands.
You can read those signals and more in Turid Rugaas’s book “The emotional life of dogs” and many more books related to dogs and their feelings.
NEEDS: The dog’s needs are simple, good food, water a nice comfy bed and a warm place to stay but they also need mental stimulations, they are very important to develop their limbic cells as well as physical stimulations for a healthy body. Dogs are social creature, they have no business alone outside away from humans and other dogs, they need friends and family like us to do thing as a group.
STIMULATIONS: a dog NEEDS to use its senses: his sight, hearing, body language and smell. We control our dogs too much, we need to let them be dogs and think for themselves in a safe way. I’m sure it has happened to you at least once “When the CHANNEL SNIFFING in ON, the CHANNEL HEARING in OFF” so you can shout as much as you want he or she will not hear you!!!! They will react to body movements to get them out of their little world or a simple touch.
SLEEP is very important for our dog’s well-being; it’s not a luxury but essential to a dog’s life. A dog will sleep between 12 and 18 hours a day depending of his activities and a puppy will sleep even more: 58% is for sleep 42% for activities. Dogs are POLYPHASIC sleeper, they sleep in phases and they are social sleeper too, they prefer to sleep in packs than alone. This is why I have 5 pugs in my bed every night!!!
A dog has 2 sleeping patterns:
*The slow way sleep: 47% of the total sleep (around 11 hours per day) this is the sleep of the brain when cells rebuilt themselves. The dog can be in any position for that kind of sleep as he is resting calmly.
*The REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movements): 12% of total sleep (around 3 hours per day) this is the sleep of the body. The dog will be resolving problems or figuring out think in that kind of sleep which can make him move all over the place or talk while sleeping “do not wake them up when they are doing it”. The dog will be sideways and knows that he is in a warm and safe environment.
So to re-cap, dogs need all the basic things that we need to have a nice and healthy life, good food, a nice place to sleep, warmth, and contact with other creatures and communicate, it’s so simple no?? But if you look around in the world many animals and humans are still living in dreadful conditions and unless we stop to think of ourselves all the time, many more animals and human being will live a sad and painful life.