Your Dog understands you better than you realise.
Have you ever just had one of those days where your job is a pain, you’re experiencing relational strife, and the world just seems a little bit more bleak? But then your dog approaches you, and puts its head on your knee. Sure, the problems don’t go away, but the load just feels fractionally lighter now.
This is not a coincidence. Studies have shown time after time that dogs are actually far more emotionally perceptive than we give them credit for - about the same as a human toddler or an adult male when the football is on. The University of London conducted a study to ascertain just how perceptive the average dog is. The experiment took place in the dog’s own home to best replicate the real world, and the owner would pretend to cry whilst sitting on the couch. Amazingly, 15 of the 18 dogs demonstrated submissive behaviour in their attempts to empathise and reassure their ‘grieving’ owner. This was no less effective than when the person crying was a complete stranger. We genuinely feel like humans would probably score a similar result in a similar environment. Remember that fact when you’re ordering a pet food delivery: These beautiful creatures want nothing more than for you to be happy. Do make sure you send some of that love and affection the other way.
So what does this empathy look like in a dog’s behaviour? It may well be that your hound has been showing these to you for years and you just haven’t recognised their benevolent intent!
Touch: One of the main ways they show this submission is by physically touching you. This might be a head resting on your knee, sitting at your feet, brushing by your legs, or even the old affectionate lick (though in some cases this is less than appreciated by humans if we have just seen them licking their nether regions - still, it’s the thought that counts, hey?)
Distraction: Your dog might recognise that you need to direct your energies somewhere else for a moment, and try to distract you with something else. It might be dropping a ball at your feet, or pawing at the door to go for a walk. It is only in the last few decades that psychologists have firmly established a link between physical activity and positive mental health. Dogs just seem to know it instinctively. And the fact that you receive a pet food delivery, you probably have more time in your week to get to the park.
Space: When your dog senses that you need some space, they will make themselves scarce so that you have time to recover. Their intuition is truly something to behold…
If you’ve ever looked deep into the eyes of your dog, and wanted desperately to believe that they understand you, we’ve got good news: They actually kinda do! It is important that you would repay that empathy in your pet food delivery. Make them feel as good as they do for you!