Looking deeper into the dog!

Yet another fascinating guest post.

Another post from Alex. The last one from him was back in November, 2016.

I should repeat the fact that Alex has an interest in promoting his articles:

I am writing to you on behalf of Premier Pups, one of the main partners of Doctorpup.com. We have read your materials and we found them very interesting for dog lovers.

But this one, as with the previous one, contains much useful information and although I hardly need to say it, I will repeat the fact that I have no financial or commercial connection with Alex, Premier Pups or Doctorpup.com.

Here is that guest post:

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Customer Reviews from Premier Pups strengthen 3 lesser known findings about dogs

Dogs are a special species, preferred as companions due to their loyalty and love they display towards their owners. Although dogs are considered man’s best friend, there are many things that are still unknown about them. At Premier Pups Reviews, we are fascinated with dogs and their temperaments. From time to time, we analyze dogs’ behaviors based on our customers’ testimonials. Premier Pups Reviews is a division of Premier Pups, in charge with managing customer satisfaction and testimonials.We are glad to share with you some of the lesser known and catchy things about dogs.

Cute Dog Animal Snow Mammal
Source

  1. People choose dogs with similar personalities

Every dog has a unique personality and his own preferences. After coming in a new family, dogs personalities adjust to match their owners’ characteristics. Dogs are pack animals that love to follow their leaders and imitate them to better fit into his new family. That’s why, dogs are like children, they watch, learn and mimic their family members.

On the other hand, it is known that people tend to choose dogs that look like them and have similar personalities and characteristics. Studies have revealed that the similarities go deeper. You may notice that a calm and quiet person prefers a quiet pup, while an extroverted person has an affinity for joyful and outgoing dogs.

  1. Dogs communicate with specific facial expressions

Dogs tend to communicate with specific facial expressions when their owners are looking at them without necessarily looking for food. Are you familiar with those puppy eyes? Puppy eyes are the response to the human gaze and are dependent on the attention state of their audience. Dogs are sensitive to humans’ attention and they are using expressions as an attempt to communicate.

Scientists have revealed that animals have the capability to produce facial expressions such as a happy or a sad face, but they are usually involuntary twitches. Recently, scientists have used the technology FACS – the Facial Action Coding System to analyze facial expressions in various species of animals. They have discovered that dogs are capable of displaying 16 facial expressions compared to humans that have 27 distinct facial expressions.

Dogs tend to engage in the same social gazing behaviors as people. They scan faces and eyes to determine intent and identify threats. We have some reviews with funny stories about how dogs adopted from Premier Pups analyze their reactions and intents, trying to establish a way of communication with their owners.

Scientists analyzed a small sample of 24 family dogs of various breeds and filmed them to catch their reactions in the response to their owners’ face. The owners faced them, offered them food or looked away. Scientists found out that dogs were prone to have more facial expressions when their owners were facing them than when they turned away or gave them food. According to Juliane Kaminski of the University of Portsmouth, dogs tend to make more facial expressions when their owners pay them attention as an attempt to communicate.

  1. Behaviors associated with guilt are driven by fear

Another interesting fact that surprised us is related to that “guilty” look, which is not actually driven by guilt, but by fear. You might be familiar with the face a dog makes after doing something it wasn’t supposed to do.

Behaviors like pooping on the floor, chewing home stuff, are assimilated with a reaction of guilt. A study conducted by Dr. Alexandra Horowitz in 2009, called “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know”, has shown that dogs don’t feel any guilt, but fear. They are conscious of their mistakes. When scolding a dog for something he has done, he tends to express fear which is always confused with guilt.

People tend to wrongly interpret dog emotions through the scope of human emotion, misattributing dog emotions based on human emotions. Dogs show the white of their eyes while looking up at you and pin their ears back to the head, yawning and licking the air because they feel fear.

Our customers left reviews on our website, Premier Pups Reviews, that confirms the fact that the so-called guilty look is more pronounced in obedient dogs than in those who are disobedient. This comes as a response of this type of dogs to their owner cues. Dogs have memories, but they don’t work in the same way human memories work.

Scientists don’t know exactly how dogs experience emotions and memory, that’s why people tend to use their own language and patterns to explain dogs’ behaviors and personalities.

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Want to close with two items.

The first is what Alex sent me in terms of his background. His bio!

Alex works as a Marketing Executive for PremierPups and Premier Pups Reviews. He is passionate about animals and loves to help people find the right dogs for them. In addition to reading and writing about animals and psychology, Alex enjoys spending quality time with his beloved dog.

The second is that the next post will be this coming Sunday, the 8th April. This next post will explain that from the 8th right through to the end of April there are going to be no more posts published on Learning from Dogs but that we will be back in May!

9 thoughts on “Looking deeper into the dog!

  1. Interesting piece. Yes, dogs have different understanding to our own. I just spent two weeks retraining a little terrier mutt for the owner while she was away.
    She treated her rescue dog like her baby (including the ‘little diddums’ kind of language), which isn’t unusual. Unfortunately, it led to antisocial behaviour so that she couldn’t take her dog anywhere.
    Her little dog had a mad, wild look on its face most of the time. It would bounce all around the room and beg for tidbits which it would snatch aggressively. It chewed her clotheshorse and generally ignored her commands until she screamed at him. He barked, growled and launched himself bodily at fences, trying to attack anything beyond, especially any cats in the street.

    I knew, as soon as I saw the dog’s facial expressions, that he had taken on the role of ‘Alpha,’ despite being a juvenile of only a year old. He held the role with a degree of anxiety and fear, coupled with aggression.
    Two weeks later, his expression was soft, his brow less furrowed with worry and all the antisocial behaviour gone. I was now the Alpha, and he was so much happier in a subordinate role. He would look up at me expectantly for a command and then happily carry it out. His facial was expression soft and eager as his eyes searched for signs of approval from my own expression.
    The owner spent a day with me going through the new routine. She almost cried at the change. Gone was his aggressive behaviour, replaced with a love and willingness to please.

    I did the training for free as a part of our housesit. She told me that she couldn’t afford a trainer and had been unable to do anything with him. She actually could do a lot, just with consistency and a reward system.

    People can learn a lot from a dog’s face. Yes, whale eye, lip licking and yawning, are all signs of stress and anxiety, and trying to teach an unruly dog with new commands like, ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ ‘come,’ and so on, will invoke those facial clues until they get it. But rewarding a good response (with small treat, fussing and a big smile from you), will put them at ease right away and encourage them to repeat the right behaviour. Then it will just be a relaxed facial expression and a waggy tail…then you know they have got it, and an old negative behaviour is replaced with a positive new one.

    1. Colette, what a fabulous and very instructive response from you! Thank you! Your account of that ex-rescue will, I am sure, resonate with many others dog owners.

      Quick question? When you described dogs having a “whale eye” look could you explain that? For I was unsure of the description and I bet that I am not the only one!

      1. ‘Whale eye’ is when the whites of your dog’s eyes show up… Usually looks a bit like an expression of fear or confusion. Nearly always accompanied by lip licking. Dogs will often do this when meeting new people for the first time, usually with a submissive dropped head and waggy tail. It is a submissive sign.

  2. This article is really informative. It really lays out what I see owners do with their dogs all the time. I take my dog Chip every where and he behaves so well that a lot of times people think he is a fake animal or toy instead of a real dog. Yet when I got him he wouldn’t even house train

  3. This article truly amazes with facts I have never known before. Not until after I finished this post do I realize that I have mistaken dogs’ emotions for more than twenty years. I used to think that people choose which dog to buy just because they simply love it at the first sight, but it is actually because people unconsciously realize that they share some similarities. Furthermore, the article is backed up with detailed scientific evidence, so it is much more convincing.
    Moreover, I used to think that the act of pinning their ears behind their head is because they feel guilty after doing something wrong. After reading this article, I realize that it showcases their fear, not their guilt. This article has a huge impact on my understanding of my dog because I can understand her emotions better. I also realize why I chose to adopt Amy – my hyperactive dog. In my opinion, I think that is because Amy was the most active dog I saw at the pet shop, and it truly matches my characteristics.

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