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Why Dogs Really Do Feel Your Pain

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posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 01:46 PM
Greetings, ATS!

If you are one of the lucky folks who have a relationship with an animal, then this article will come as no surprise to you.

According to discovery news, dogs seem to be the best species at comforting humans.

The latest research, published in the journal Animal Cognition, found that pet dogs may truly be man (or woman's) best friend if a person is in distress. That distressed individual does not even have to be someone the dog knows.
"I think there is good reason to suspect dogs would be more sensitive to human emotion than other species," co-author Deborah Custance told Discovery News. "We have domesticated dogs over a long period of time. We have selectively bred them to act as our companions."

Now I'm a cat person; mainly because cats are so low maintenance and I just like their haughty attitudes. And while my cats are affectionate and seek my attention, I would not call them sensitive to my emotional needs. Dogs, on the other hand, do seem to empathize.

The majority of the dogs comforted the person, owner or not, when that individual was pretending to cry. The dogs acted submissive as they nuzzled and licked the person, the canine version of "there there." Custance and Mayer say this behavior is consistent with empathic concern and the offering of comfort.

I would love to hear some stories of your pets comforting you....or whatever else you'd like to share. Thanks, ATS!
edit on Fri Aug 31 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: EX tags

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 02:09 PM
I can vouch for that.
We tried, rather unsuccessfully to train our Siberian husky....but two surgeries when she was young thwarted the attempt.

Since then, she has gotten trained just by living with us.
She know when it is dinner.....she knows NOT to beg when I eat [usually]....she knows when my husband is leaving the house to run an errand.....a lot of little things she has picked up as she has adapted to us, her pack.

Thanks for sharing

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 02:16 PM
I've never had a dog, all I've had are cats.

They're not very affectionate either. They just seem to tolerate me.

I'd like to have a small low maintenance dog. But I'm at the point in my life where I just don't want pets at all.

At least not for a long while.

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 02:25 PM
Dogs deffinitely understand human emotions. My dogs always know and act appropriately to my moods. When I am angry like today they know to just stay out of my way and leave me alone. They also know when I need them and are always there. If I am upset they flock to me and try to comfort me. My dogs are great and mean more to me than most humans do. I also believe humans can pick up on the emotions of our dogs quite easily. I don't know for sure but there sure seems to be unspoken communication between me and my dogs. All I have to do is think about taking them out to play and they will come running most times. It's wierd but cool

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 02:31 PM
We live out in the country and have 4 dogs.
Sometimes my husband travels so I feel pretty safe most of the time.

One time while my husband was gone, our neighbor (about 1/4 mile away) called me to say that he had seen someone walking on our lane, approaching our gate as if they were going to enter our property. I called my avatar dog, Jaia, to me and he immediately sensed that I was scared and glued himself to my side! We walked outside and went outside the yard to the larger property. Instead of running off to play, like he usually does, he stuck right by my side as I walked out to investigate. I told him to "go on" and his nose slammed to the ground and he started following a trail that led all the way around the property on the inside of the fence. Once we got back to the gate, he stopped and started playing and running, like the goof that he is, letting me know that the danger had passed.

He's not trained to track or to protect, but he sensed my fear and the seriousness of the situation and he knew just want to do. Secure the perimeter. I've never been more impressed with this creature.

I'm constantly amazed how the dogs just "pick up" things, like DTOM was saying. They practically train themselves. But I was really impressed with Jaia's seriousness and maturity when it was needed.

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 02:37 PM
reply to post by EvilSadamClone

Cats are easy, if you leave the house for a long period of time they don't care.
Well, as long as you keep the food bowl loaded anyway.
Dogs actually need the interaction.
I don't mind cats, but they usually don't mind me.

No surprise here on the news of dogs.
Other than a few select 2 legged types, I prefer dogs.
They actually believe I am an astronaut, super hero, rock star for some reason.

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:02 PM
Dogs are amazing in picking up moods. I have three a lab, bulldog and a boxer. I believe my Boxer is the most attached to me as I rescued her from a abusive home. She knows when to be goofy, and then she knows when to be straight. She makes the baby laugh all the time by doing silly things. I have always enjoyed the company of dogs and I have never met one that has disliked me.

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:03 PM
Somehow, my dog can even tell where I'm going when I get ready to leave the house.

If I'm just going to the store or the beach, she'll stand by the front door, hoping to come along. But if I'm heading to work, she'll head to the back of the house and kind of pout, like she knows that I'll be gone for a while and is sad.

I don't know how she knows, maybe she can just sense that I'm bummed about having to go to work?

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:09 PM
reply to post by smyleegrl

I have two dogs, and neighbourhood dogs sometimes come to visit too. I also have three cats, so you can't call me prejudiced. Dogs are better empaths than cats and just about any other animal I can think of except, possibly, horses.

There's a reason for that; we made them that way. Humans and dogs co-evolved so closely that we have moulded them – and they, in their turn, have moulded us. I suspect their behaviour hijacks many of our instinctive childrearing and child-care impulses, in much the same way as a cat's miaow mimics the cry of a baby.

Man's best friend, indeed – though a closely bonded cat, too, often feels its carer's distress and will attempt to comfort the carer. This has happened with at least two cats I've sheltered over the years.

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:23 PM
I have a personal hypothesis about dogs.

I think I know why they became man's best friend.

They didn't want to be eaten and wanted to be protected from being eaten.

It may sound humorous, but this is something I think about from time to time.

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 11:10 PM
reply to post by EvilSadamClone

Before delivering my first child, there was absolutely no comfortable position to be had as I counted the minutes between the contractions, so I kept busy cleaning the house. From the moment the first contraction came, the dog lay down with his head against my calf or my foot, or remained glued to me as I walked around, even giving me a sympathetic little whine now and then, enough for me to want to comfort him! His eyes never left mine. He just knew something big was going down. I was amazed at how right he conveyed his readiness to be on hand. If only I'd trained him to serve a cold drink!

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 11:27 PM
My Lhasa Apso/Shi Zsu is 15 1/2 and literally in her last days, I know I need to put her down in the next few weeks. Several years ago I was at my lowest point in life and was sitting on the floor crying. Lil Roxy came up to me and started licking my tears away. It was so sweet & made me instantly smile. Awww

They can also be good to alert you to suspect people. My black cat, Luci Fur, hates people. If we have company she will hide until they are gone. I had a man come up to the door yesterday without invitation to give me an estimate on lifting up our oaks. That good kitty did something I'd never seen before. She came up to the door and straight up growled at him the entire time! I promptly got rid of him & locked all my doors!

I was an only child & wasn't allowed pets aside from the short term life of a state fair goldfish so I'm really grateful to have the experience of pet ownership today.

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