Can Your Dog Think?

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What’s in a dog’s mind?  That has been the age-old question that man has had about the lovable canine species. Dogs and humans have had a long-standing history together that dates as far back as 30,000 B.C. While there are many differences between the two species, there are also some surprising similarities that are worth exploring.

It is estimated by historians that in 30,000 B.C., Paleolithic humans hunted alongside wild dogs. Dogs were buried with humans as far back as 12,000 B.C., which depicts the love between man and canine and that dogs were valued just as greatly as people. Different dog breeds were domesticated and easily distinguished by 10,500 B.C., and then, by 1,500 C.E., the oldest modern dog breeds were formed. These include the mastiff, terriers, herding dogs, sight hounds, chows, Asian Spaniels, the Spitz and Native American dog breeds.

Dogs can also experience a disorder known as separation anxiety, which makes them feel overly anxious when they are not with their owner or the one person they love the best. This disorder can be quite serious and the dog can act out in a variety of ways that will cause grief to the owner.

Dogs, like humans, can experience phobias. The most common include thunder, being left alone, vets, strangers, stairs and even riding in cars. A phobia of course is an irrational fear of something. Dogs can experience dreams around 20 minutes after they fall asleep. You can tell when your pet is dreaming as it moves while asleep or makes soft noises.

Like humans, dogs have the capacity to feel love. This is due to the hormone oxytocin, which is found in both species. Dogs can also feel an array of additional emotions, such as anger, joy, fear, excitement, distress, contentment and disgust. However, unlike the human race, dogs cannot feel shame, guilt, pride or contempt.

Having 4 dogs myself and rescued hundred through our rescue group Green Pets America I can assure you dogs are quite smart. They have a better handle on their emotions than we do. They don’t carry grudges, don’t judge, and accept us crazy humans just as we are. A dog will not try to change you…he accepts you for just who you are and loves you as is.

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Author: Steve Monahan

Steven Monahan is a best-selling author and the Founder and Chairman of  GPA Charities and Black Dog Syndrome.org. Steve presents at school education programs and adult seminars. He shares his insights, expertise, and passion on the human-animal bond; including, pet nutrition, pet care, animal welfare and Black Dog Syndrome. Steve has been honored by the State of Georgia for his dedication to families and pets. He can be reached at Steve@GreenPetsAmerica.org