Can Dogs Tell If You’re Happy or Sad?


Have you ever wondered if your dog could tell when you were happy or sad? If they could register emotions that humans can on a basic level? The answer is yes. A study proves that on some level, dogs can process the two most basic human emotions, happiness and sadness.

A study was done on 30 dogs to see if they could tell the difference, by hearing, whether or not they were happy or sad. Before, there were studies done proving that dogs could combine hearing and facial expressions to register emotions. This particular study was trying to prove if dogs could differentiate between the six main emotions that humans can. Happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, and surprise.

The test was very simple. Each dog was placed in the center of a room with a bowl full of food and two speakers, each evenly spaced away from the bowl. The speakers played human noises that were nonverbal, such as crying or laughing, while the dog was eating. The scientists wanted to see which way the dog turned their head, even though both speakers were playing the same noise. Previous research has proven that dogs tend to process positive emotions on the left side of their brain, and vice versa for negative emotions. Keep in mind that the left side of the brain in dogs, and humans too, controls the right side of the body. The same thing goes for the right side of the brain, it controls the left side of the body.

The results of the tests showed that dogs turned to the left when they heard either sadness or fear. The trend in anger was a little inconsistent, but some dogs did turn to the left. The dogs also did turn to the right when they heard happy emotions. The dogs had no trend when it came to the emotions disgust and surprise, because the two species interpret these emotions differently.

This relates to engineering because the scientists had to design the test to prove their theory.

For more information, click this link:

A video further explaining how dogs process human emotion!