Just like humans, dogs are able to feel a range of emotions — happiness, fear, nervousness, excitement, and even anger. The difference in dog emotions though, is that they aren’t able to associate blame to each one. So, even though your dog may be feeling upset or even angry, there is no evidence to show that they’re ever personally toward you.
Studies show that anger is very uncommon in dogs, though, and what we interpret as anger is most likely just fear, frustration, disappointment, or even annoyance.
Of course, there are time when a dog is visibly upset and you know exactly why, such as not letting them on the couch, or a little kid pulling their tail. In these cases, a dog may whine or pout, and you’ll know they’re upset.
The good news is that dogs are really forgiving. We promise you, you aren’t constantly annoying your dog, and your dog does love you. Even when you leave them home alone all day and they’re upset about it, they won’t hold a grudge when you get home, and will surely greet you at the door. Dogs express their emotions as soon as they feel them, and are incapable of hiding them as humans do. So, when you walk through the door and your dog is excited to see you, you’ll see it, and all upset feelings will immediately be forgotten.
If you come home and find that your dog has made a mess of your house, it’s important to know that it wasn’t an act of revenge, but simply boredom after having been left alone – your dog isn’t smart enough to plot revenge against you for leaving them home too long. Dogs need both physical and mental stimulation every day, and if they don’t get enough, they tend to act out accordingly.
But, if you do notice something is off in your pup’s paradise, here are some things to know. If your dog is acting out or refusing to eat, they simply may be fishing for more attention from you. Extra training and playtime outside can fix this pretty quickly – they just want be around you! Other time, dogs may just be having an off day, as humans do, and may want to just rest or sleep in peace. As long as this behavior doesn’t last for more than a day, it’s normal to want one day to themselves!
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet related topic.