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Can dogs tell if somebody is a good person?

A discussion about interesting dog behaviour we've observed

Dogs are incredibly clever creatures and seem to have the ability to sense human emotions. Many dog owners will have experienced moments where their dog is really in tune with them emotionally. Dogs also seem to gravitate towards people who are happier and more loving.

Can dogs really sense the good in people?

Dogs are truly amazing creatures and their abilities seem endless in supply. The skills that dogs possess help them to navigate their way through life’s challenges. Dogs are able to tune in to the emotions of humans around them, and alter their own behaviour accordingly.

Your dog will be looking out for signs from you all the time. They’ll pay close attention to your body language and tone of voice, as this will provide guidance on how they should behave. If you have a positive attitude, your dog will probably pick up on it and this will make them happy and content.

Sometimes you might feel sadness or grief. Dogs seem to understand this and will usually respond with sensitivity and provide comfort to you just by being there by your side.

Dogs are experts when it comes to facial expressions

Dogs are a good judge of character. They pick up on things that other humans would never have noticed. We already know that dogs can read body language very well, but they also have an excellent sense of smell. They’ll be able to tell if somebody is getting angry or tense based on that person’s body language and stance.

Dogs understand human facial expressions, according to a study in the journalย Learning & Behaviour. The study showedย that dogs are capable of using different parts of their brain to understand the emotions behind an expression from a human face. The research helps to prove just how connected dogs are to their owners.

With these special abilities, dogs clearly pay a lot of attention to your facial expressions. Humans are very expressive, particularly when it comes to anger and threatening behaviour. It’s therefore sensible to suggest that dogs can indeed sense people who pose a threat to them and their owners. They may respond by barking or growling with their tail down. They’ll probably try to protect the other members of their ‘pack’ if the threat feels significant enough.

What about if you’re a good person?

Dogs can tell. They’ll be more relaxed. They’ll be happy and their tail will be wagging. A dog is more likely to approach a stranger and take a liking to them if they sense positive vibes. They will probably sit with that person and be petted. Dogs know a good person when they see one.

Do dogs like strangers?

Every now and again our own dog will run over and introduce herself toย strangers. If you’re a dog owner you’ll be familiar with this behaviour. After receiving a little bit of attention, Poppy would then return to our side until the next suitable candidate came by.

Poppy was very discerning about the humans she approached. Some shoppers could pass by untroubled by her little dog antics. She was clearly making a choice about who she approached.

Lhasa Apso dogs are naturally suspicious

One of the characteristics of the Lhasa Apso breed is a healthy suspicion of strangers. This makes the breed particularly suitable as a watch dog. However, it seems remarkable to me that such a dog can interact affectionately with some strangers but not with others.

Your dog might be a mind reader

Well… they can’t literally read your mind, of course! Although, they certainly know a lot more about how to read facial expressions than many humans do. They have the amazing ability to spot things in us that we can’t even see ourselves. These incredible creatures are a blessing to us. If you’re out and about, you should probably trust your dog’s instincts about other people. They’re probably right!

2 Comments

  1. Hello ,

    I saw your tweet about animals and thought I will check your website. I like it!

    I love pets. I have two beautiful thai cats called Tammy(female) and Yommo(male). Yommo is 1 year older than Tommy. He acts like a bigger brother for her. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I have even created an Instagram account for them ( https://www.instagram.com/tayo_home/ ) and probably soon they will have more followers than me (kinda funny).

    I wanted to subscribe to your newsletter, but I couldn’t find it. Do you have it?

    Keep up the good work on your blog.

    Regards
    Wiki

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