A question for dog lovers (and cat lovers too I guess)

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A question for dog lovers (and cat lovers too I guess)

LaLaLouise LaLaLouise
So a debate I often have with people is whether or not dogs have the mental capacity to experience most of the emotions that humans do. Obviously they do on some level: anger, fear, jealousy, etc. But those are instinctive. Do you think dogs can experience love? Especially towards humans? I have a chihuahua and when I'm cuddling her I baby talk her like an idiot, lol, and I usually say, "You love your momma, don't you?" My ex boyfriend once said, "Do you think she REALLY loves you? Or just clings to you because you feed her and give her attention? Is it love, or just a reaction?" This coming from a dog trainer! I think, YES, she does really love me. I have seen happiness, sadness, confusion, you name it, in my dog. Do you think animals can experience these deeper emotions?
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
Yes, I think they can.
Kindred , Jaimes , Redboxbaby , caligaliber , LaLaLouise , toxie m , ElleBee , indiglo , sktb0007 , mandiegk , EvilHomer , B8trDude , Starkiller87 , GenderSexplorations , guard083 , Ivy Wilde , AndroAngel , daveysgirl , Rossie , pinkcupcakes , GravyCakes , ZenaidaMacroura , dv8 , slynch , CoffeeCup , Ace <3 , Alan & Michele , Errant Venture , EJ , Gary , El-Jaro , TitsMcScandal , Shellz31 , NaturalWoman , KrazyKandy , darthkitt3n , bayosgirl , A Closet Slut (aka nipplepeople) , Ryuson , Twitch , Valyn , BadassFatass , Beck , sexyintexas , Dawn (Lilac Distraction) , DeliciousSurprise , Mister Undies , oldhippy , Ms. Spice , ellejay , ss143 , Pink Jewel , kendra30752 , Ninja Bunny , SiNn , XzombehxbearzX , Illumin8 , wetone123 , Ash1141 , Sex'и'Violence , Papershotglass , AndromedaJane , Love Perpetua , shcoo
64  (93%)
No, I do not think they can.
married with children , gehuwd
2  (3%)
I'm not sure.
cheetahpita , Antipova , JessCee
3  (4%)
Other (explain).
Total votes: 69
Poll is closed
08/25/2011
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Kindred Kindred
There are different types of love. For example, I love my wife and I love my children, but obviously the type of love is different. I think the same holds true for animals. I think they love us as family/parents/sibling s. Although I did have that one dog that really liked humping my leg...
08/25/2011
Jaimes Jaimes
I wonder if it may be the type of love an animal instinctively has for a parental figure, or for a pack leader. I am fascinated by this question, and have done research to understand how animals physically communicate affection. And my dogs all display those signs when they are with my husband and I. When they are interacting with my friends or other family members, I can see the signs of 'like', but only see love with us. GREAT QUESTION!!
08/25/2011
Redboxbaby Redboxbaby
I think dogs are totally capable of loving their human pack, but I am not so sure about cats. Some cats, yes, we have had a few whom loved us, in a "pack" sort of way.

What I see more than anything with cats is the moment new people come into the picture (into their home, or their owners life in general) the are very anti-social, and sometimes down-right hateful (to their owners - peeing in their shoes, on their pillows, just being destructive; and their guests - hissing and attacking). I can understand the attack cat when it comes to strangers, but I am totally baffled by their vengeance with their owners sometimes.
08/25/2011
cheetahpita cheetahpita
Do they experience emotions? Sure. I've seen dogs happy, sad, angry, etc. Not so sure about the love thing, though.
08/25/2011
indiglo indiglo
Animals most definitely experience emotions, I think. But I also think they do not experience them in exactly the same way we do. That doesn't take anything away from the validity of their feelings and emotions, nor does it mean they are less important than us, but I definitely think they experience the world in a very different way than we do. I also find the differences between animals amazing - my parrot, for example, is much more capable of complex thought and emotion than my dog. Again, not that one is better or more valid than the other, just that the brains are all wired differently and made to experience the world in a different way. It's a beautiful thing to try to see the world through another's eyes!
08/25/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Redboxbaby
I think dogs are totally capable of loving their human pack, but I am not so sure about cats. Some cats, yes, we have had a few whom loved us, in a "pack" sort of way.

What I see more than anything with cats is the moment new ...
I had a cat that would wait for me to come home and as soon as she heard my keys in the door, she'd jump up on the breakfast bar and meow. I'd walk over and she would stand up on her hind legs and nuzzle me with one paw on each shoulder. We had the communication thing pretty down. I like to think we were bonded because I saved her life. She was amazing and I miss her a ton!
08/25/2011
LaLaLouise LaLaLouise
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
I had a cat that would wait for me to come home and as soon as she heard my keys in the door, she'd jump up on the breakfast bar and meow. I'd walk over and she would stand up on her hind legs and nuzzle me with one paw on each shoulder. We ...
I wish my cat was like that. She's pretty sweet when she wants to be, but in the middle of cuddles will decide she's done and bite you. Not to mention how destructive she is and that she pissed on my brand new purse that my aunt had sent me from India
08/25/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by LaLaLouise
I wish my cat was like that. She's pretty sweet when she wants to be, but in the middle of cuddles will decide she's done and bite you. Not to mention how destructive she is and that she pissed on my brand new purse that my aunt had sent me ...
Ouch, I'd be extremely upset about that. Most cats are like that...want affection until they no longer want it anymore and they have no problem letting you know.

I got my cat when she was barely weaned and the very first thing I did as soon as my friend handed her to me was to take her into the bathroom. I cooed and petted while I let the faucet in the sink run until it got warm and then I stuck her under it. It was just a little stream of water, nothing that would scare or startle her. That was her first bath by a human. After I discovered she had a nasty case of worms, I spent three days coddling her and hand feeding her. We were inseparable after that. I couldn't keep her off my lap. She never hissed at me, never bit me and never tried to take a cheap shot. I'll never find one like her again.
08/25/2011
Starkiller87 Starkiller87
Everytime my dad goes in the hospital it is very evident on all my dogs. They will whine for no reason, and just act really upset. They dont do this when he just goes to the store, its only when hes in the hospital. I think dogs are in tune to human emotion and stuff like that.
08/25/2011
GenderSexplorations GenderSexplorations
Quote:
Originally posted by Redboxbaby
I think dogs are totally capable of loving their human pack, but I am not so sure about cats. Some cats, yes, we have had a few whom loved us, in a "pack" sort of way.

What I see more than anything with cats is the moment new ...
Cats go after their owners because they're more spiteful than dogs. "You, it's YOUR fault this new thing is here. I don't want this new thing here, fix it."

All animals have feelings and can express love. Dogs are just more blunt with their emotions than cats. Cats are more solitary by nature and so they'll give you little reluctant hints that they love you.
08/25/2011
guard083 guard083
I believe dogs can honestly know and love the family that they live with. I have seen dogs have favorites and it's not always the one that feeds them
08/25/2011
daveysgirl daveysgirl
dogs and cats are awesome.
08/25/2011
Ivy Wilde Ivy Wilde
I have several cats and they are all a little bit different, but I do believe that they love me. The other day, I was really, really upset about something and was crying on the bed. All of the cats came and cuddled up with me and one even licked the tears from my face. It was really comforting, and I do believe that they were trying to help me feel better.

Also not long ago when my husband had been out of town on a business trip for over a week, after he came home, one of our cats would not leave him alone. As soon as he sat down anywhere, she was in his lap begging for a belly rub. After he'd been home for a few days, she went back to her usual behavior of only asking for belly rubs occasionally. But I think her behavior demonstrated that she really did miss him while he was gone and was happy to have him back.
08/25/2011
AndroAngel AndroAngel
I've seen animals mourn the loss of a companion, sacrifice themselves to save a companion, and take care of a sick loved one. I've seen them express love toward each other in ways that I rarely see humans express love, and not because the other animal was providing for them in any way. I've seen them do the same for their human companions, and I find it hard to believe that they don't experience emotion.

On another note, animals seem to react to their trainers similarly to how soldiers react to their commanding officers, unless they make an effort to befriend their animals, the animals won't befriend them in return.
08/25/2011
Rossie Rossie
Dogs definitely have emotions. Our dog expects us to take him wherever we go, when he knows we're ready to take off, he'll be wagging his pompom tail while displaying a big smile. If we tell him to stay home, his wagging stops abruptly and the big grin's gone, replaced by a sad face. He'll immediately go to his spot facing the front door lying down. Makes us feel so damn guilty every time!

Cats are hard to figure out, I think they're more temperamental. Some cats are very mellow and gentle, love their owners 100 percent. Then there are the crazy ones that scratches and bites their owners, not knowing when it'll happen!
08/25/2011
Ace <3 Ace <3
I'm a really firm believer that animals reciprocate the feelings their owners give to them. If the owner gives them all the attention in the world and spends time with them, the dog (or other animal) will give you her heart for her entire life. That is true of mine at least. And I LOVE every minute I have with her.
08/25/2011
Errant Venture Errant Venture
I'm not sure about that 'entire life' comment. That's something, I feel, that we can't know for certain. If your dog expresses love for you, and then you pass that dog onto a new owner, after a while (unless the new owners is quite cruel) the dog will love its new owner. So, I suppose in a sense, dogs are some of the most disloyal pets around. Now, once the dog is with its new owner, we'd have no way of measuring its love for its old owner. Indeed, even if it was confronted with its old owner, there's no guarantee that any exuberant behaviour it displays is a show of love. It could be, of course, but at the same time it could just be an expression of fondness.
08/26/2011
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Chihuahuas are dogs?!?! (I'm kidding)

I'm positive animals feel emotions. Aren't emotions evolved instincts?

I think dogs have more "pack leader" tendencies and cats have more "CEO" mindsets.
08/26/2011
Shellz31 Shellz31
I think they do, but I think it also depends on how intelligent the animal is too. There's some highly intelligent breeds and then there's some that leave ya wondering if they have a brain at all...hehe.

Both my dogs have shown the different emotions. They are both highly intelligent to the point where my first one would actually become apart of conversations - as in she knew all the words that were being said and would watch the person speaking at the time.
I'm hoping my puppy will learn more - he already knows a lot of words.
08/26/2011
KrazyKandy KrazyKandy
I am sure my dog loves me
08/27/2011
NaturalWoman NaturalWoman
I am positive that animals feel emotions and can intuitively pick up on our emotions. I feel I know this from growing up with, working with and studying animals. I am a wildlife biologist and have witnessed many interactions that have left me without a doubt that animals have emotions.

A very interesting book to read on this is "When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals" By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson & Susan McCarthy
08/27/2011
Ryuson Ryuson
I feel that animals feel emotions just as well/strongly as we do, they just experience them in different ways.
08/27/2011
Twitch Twitch
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
I feel that animals feel emotions just as well/strongly as we do, they just experience them in different ways.
agreed.
08/31/2011
Beck Beck
I have five cats now had six, they love me. You can tell, when we come home from being gone who comes to greet us at the door. When I go to bed they follow and choose to sleep with me. In fact right now I have one on my lap, one on the back of the chair, one at my feet, and one staring at me from across the room. They give me kiss and love bits. They know when I am said and they come to comfort me. My one cat, even knows when I am horny or actually doing it. She comes in the room meowing at me acting like she wants to join. We have one cat that every time we do it he has to lay on the vanity next to the bed and he watches us.

I talk to the cats like they are my babies. They are kind of, they come to me when I say come see mommy. We can not wait to get a dog. I have many as a kid but can not have one where we live so waiting till we can going to get one of link
08/31/2011
sexyintexas sexyintexas
Lol at your cats beck...too funny. We have to run my boxer out of the room because he thinks that my husband is hurting me and starts growling at him. My dog is awesome, he gets sad, excited, happy, sometimes just wants to be loved and cuddle. I think he definately has emotions and shows them all.
08/31/2011
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
My cat is so sweet. She's my baby. It's amazing how she can sense my moods and if I'm upset or depressed about something, she's on top of me mushing on me and purring. She shows me tons of affection, follows me around, and waits for me at the door when I come home. I really believe cats and dogs have emotions. I know cats can get irritated. I know they can love and develop a special bond with people.
08/31/2011
LaLaLouise LaLaLouise
My cat's a bipolar dick. I love showing her affection and most of the time she just doesn't want it. And she picks on my dog. And the other day she jumped on the counter and pissed on my electric can opener. I love/hate her.
08/31/2011
oldhippy oldhippy
We have had both dogs and cats. We recently lost our house cat, and our dog who is the oldest member of the dog family and who was raised by the cat, misses her still. The cat passed almost 2 months ago, but hey both played together in the morning while I was making the dog's breakfast. The dog now waits in the living room, looking for the cat, shile I make her breakfast, while the other dogs are in the kitchen waiting for their breakfast. Yes, without a doubt, dogs and cats can feel love and loss not only for us, but for each other.
08/31/2011
ss143 ss143
I fully believe that animals experience emotions even love with their animal and human family members.
08/31/2011
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Total posts: 41
Unique posters: 35