What do dogs think about?


Quick Answer

The average mindset of a dog is comparable to that of a two-year-old human. Though scientists have not been able to fully understand exactly what dogs think about, research has shown that dogs do think, learn, and even experience emotions.

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Full Answer

Dogs share the same emotion-producing brain structures as humans. Dogs even experience some of the same emotions as humans, such as happiness, anger, frustration, excitement, affection, disdain and love. Dogs do not experience deeper emotions such as guilt, pride, contempt or shame. A dog's emotions are fully developed by the age of four to six months. Dogs produce the hormone known as oxytocin which is associated with affection in humans.

Studies have shown that dogs do dream, and have also confirmed that they dream about regular dog activities such as bird-chasing or searching for a toy. Smaller dog breeds appear to dream more than larger breeds, while larger breeds experience longer dreams. Dogs may sometimes physically act out their dreams.

Scientists have discovered that dogs are able to smile. A dog's "smile" is a facial expression in which the animal's eyes are pulled upwards and its tongue hangs out of its mouth. Dogs even have the capability to laugh, which sounds much like panting.

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