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Surprising Things Your Dog Can Sense About You

Whenever we think of dogs, the sobriquet 'man's best friend' comes to mind. If you're wondering why dogs are referred to as man's best friend, the points mentioned in the story should satiate at least some of your curiosity. Besides providing companionship and security, there are many other things that a dog can sense about its master, that will (or should).
I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.
Doris Day
The above quote truly justifies the amazing relationship that a human and a dog share. Even though your beloved pooch can't speak or give advice on important matters, it surely does a lot of things that even best friends or close peers can't.
For centuries, people have been turning towards dogs for love, affection, and companionship. And why not? Dogs are unbelievably perceptive, emotional, and wise. Even though their brains are not as sharp as humans, dogs do understand if their masters are feeling weak - emotionally or physically.
Dr. Stanley Coren, author of 'The Intelligence of Dogs', has stated that a dog's mind is equivalent to that of a two-year-old baby. However, they also are socially aware of everything around them. Hence, they are probably the first to notice any change in the behavior of their masters. Let's do some deep-digging with this story.

They Sense Grief

Isn't it strange? Every time you are distraught or feeling depressed, your dog just knows. This isn't a delusion, even research backs it up. A study published in the Animal Cognition Journal says that dogs are known to approach people who appear sad or depressed.
It doesn't matter if the person is their owner or a random stranger, they have an ability to detect sadness and are attracted to troubled souls. Animal experts, though, aren't sure if this behavior can be classified as empathy.

They Understand When Ignored

Dogs can easily tell when you're playing favorites, and if you reward or play more with other pets, your dog might notice and feel insecure.
A report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that dogs become depressed if you reward or play with other pets more than them. As they can't say what they feel, they tend to act aggressively - scratching, yawning, and licking their mouths.

They know When Priorities Shift

Almost all dog owners have experienced this scenario. This instance is quite common in houses where a baby is born or welcomed. With the arrival of a baby, all the love, focus, and attention is directed towards him/her, and this can adversely affect your pet.
It may feel ignored and slowly become recluse or fall into depression. Dr. Coren suggests wrapping the baby in a swaddling blanket, and placing it where the dog sleeps. This way, your pet will associate the baby with a scent it already likes, and will slowly learn to be comfortable around the new member.

They Smell Fear

Let's say you are confronted with your worst fear. What would you do? Would you get scared and run away, or face it? Before choosing an option, remember that you would be setting an example for your pet.
Research shows that dogs often enact their masters responses in drastic situations. Unless you have a guardian breed like a German Shepherd or a Doberman Pinscher, if you are scared of something and choose to back away, chances are your pet is going to do the same thing.

They Detect Health Problems

Not many believe this, but your dog may have more in common with your physician than you can imagine. We've all known that dogs have a strong sense of smell, and that smell is a million times better in comparison to humans. In addition to sniffing out thugs and criminals, dogs are capable enough to detect fatal conditions that can affect health.
Research shows that various types of cancers cause the body to emit odors that are easily detected by dogs. So in future, if your dog is sniffing out a certain mole, rash, or breathes frequently, it is a good idea to pay a visit to the doctor.

They Understand Anger

Your pet will often give you that innocent puppy-dog face if you are in the mood for disciplining it.
Dogs can tell when you're angry and will act submissive, play nice, remain quiet, and even whine to cool you down. However, don't mistake these traits for remorse because as per a recent study, dogs don't feel guilt and often cower if they are being lectured.

They Know When No One's Looking

Remember this, your pet will be on its best behavior under your watchful eyes. But as soon as you shift focus, it will give in to its temptations.
So think twice before leaving a delicious steak on the counter, your pet will gobble it up in seconds. The same goes for grapes, chocolate, raw meat, and certain house plants that are dangerous to its health. So even if you have the most disciplined pet in the block, caution has to be exercised at all times.

They're Watching You

We are all raised as respectable individuals who are taught to respect elders, obey the law, and help out those in need from time to time. However, not all of us take these three aspects seriously. But if you have a dog at home, it is time to be serious about them.
Research from the University of Milan involved dogs observing two actors - one who was shared his meal with a beggar, and the other who shooed away the beggar harshly. It was found that dogs readily approached the generous man, and it seems that the friendlier attitude towards the beggar was the deciding factor.
So just be careful around your pet, it may judge you on how you behave with others.
Most often, we are so caught up in our daily hectic schedule that we have very little time for our pets. We tend to ignore the behavior of our pets, noticing problems only when it becomes too late. Besides the above, dogs are very faithful and loyal, and in spite of being given only a few minutes of attention, will still love you unconditionally.