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Old 06-17-2005, 08:04 PM
Labowner Labowner is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Default Are dogs capable of feeling love/ real affection ?

I'm wondering about something that's fascinated me for ages.
When ever I read about canine behaviour & dog psychology, it always focuses on their rituals in the wild / pack behaviour ect... Experts have always claimed stuff like instinctive loyalty towards the pack ensures their survival.

If this is so... Why is it if anyone in my family cries or is sad, my dog automatically picks up on this & nuzzles into them / puts his head on their lap. He actually exhibits signs of comfort -of his own freewill. There are lots of other things along the same lines he does. Depending on circumstances, he has a certain look in his eyes which make you wonder if there's deeper thinking process going other than pre-programmed genetic trait. Is this just a result of generations of being around humans, some kind of behavioural evolution thing? I think experts donít give them half the credit they deserve as far as intelligence / sensory capability. Probably sound like a total nut here but is it possible they could have some kind of individual personality? More mans best friend than we think. Am I mistaken? Appreciate any thoughts.

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Old 06-17-2005, 08:34 PM
mom2two mom2two is offline
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Location: Oak Creek, WI
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Default I do believe this

I really do feel that dogs are capable of feeling love and having emotions. Like you mentioned when someone in your family cries the pup nuzzles and tries to make you feel better.

My dogs also know when my husband or I are sick and won't leave our side. If we are upset they need to know that you are ok, they become more protective of us.

I truely do believe dogs do have feelings of love and other things.

My bichons Gidget & Dexter own me
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Old 06-17-2005, 09:03 PM
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Bella's Mom Bella's Mom is offline
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Location: New York
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What a great topic, I know after being a dog owner for more than 30 + years they do love their pack and we as humans are their pack. As some humans go, they can't bond to anyone, BUT a dog will always bond with one or more persons because thats what they need to do and its in their genes. I have never felt un-loved by any of my dogs, they can show love in so many ways, even a look can show their emotions, they can talk without speaking.
In Loving Memory
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Old 06-17-2005, 10:57 PM
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kinda kookyee kinda kookyee is offline
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"they can talk without speaking"

So true Bellas Mom
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:14 PM
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DalPal_2000 DalPal_2000 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: TN
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Default I totally agree.

I've always believed that dogs are more complex than what people give them credit for. Yes they show signs of loyalty but also pure need to be around you. I know of this one dog in our neighborhood, we call him Shadow, that after his owner died he layed on his grave for 2 weeks before someone found him. He travels to all of the ponds his owner went to everyday in search for him and he has done this everyday for years. If thats not love I dont know what is. My Dalmatian gets depressed when I leave him with my mother for a day or two and will not eat until I return. He is worse than a child crying after his mother, he even follows me in the bathroom every time I go. So yes I do believe dogs can love and I also believe they have longer memories than what the experts say too.
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:28 PM
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BigDog2191 BigDog2191 is offline
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Most definitely.

As you do, I believe the behavior comes by evolutionary. From being with people for so long.
"No heaven can be heaven if my dog is not there to welcome me."
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Old 06-18-2005, 12:08 AM
necterine0 necterine0 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Georgia
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With every fiber of my body and soul i believe they feel sadness, love, pain.They feel fear and confusion. i see the love in the eyes of my own. I see the fear when it storms because Shenzie is afraid of them. I see excitement when they know they are going to go bye bye. And i could go on and on......

I sometimes think they are the perfect version of humans in fur coats.
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Old 06-18-2005, 03:47 AM
Falkor Falkor is offline
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They can't love the way we love, but they can "sense memory" feelings of comfort. If I hug my dog, give it kisses, and say "I love you" and he licks me, he isn't responding to the words (because he has no I dea what I mean ;-) ) but to the fact that I'm hugging him and giving him affection, which he likes very much.

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Old 06-18-2005, 05:36 AM
frokenvin frokenvin is offline
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I believe dogs and other animals feel as well as we humans do. Our minds are more highly developed than that of a dog, however I am under the impression that their intuition and empathetic qualities are quite keen.
Being that dogs are pack animals also incinuates the ability to communicate well -- to form bonds with others of the species. I think as well as we can understand our animal companions is akin to how well they understand us humans. That's communication -- it's a beautiful thing.
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Old 06-18-2005, 05:43 AM
bridey_01 bridey_01 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 760

I have no doubts that they feel every emotion we do, with the exception of all our ugliness such as hate, greed, selfishness. But it goes even deeper than that. What about when a dog goes and stands beside the front door, minutes before their owner is due home, regardless of previous experience?
There is something else going on there. I think they are like a simplified version of us, just happiness in its most pure form, unhindered by too much thought.
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