Yup, Dogs Can Be Disgusted!

Emmeraud 2

Well, it seems appropriate now to talk about disgust after a weekend of gluttony. (But what fun cooking paprika chicken and pot roast and roasted brussels sprouts and home made bread and pumpkin and cherry/raspberry/rhubarb pie. Not to mention eating all the turkey that others cooked and I ate up as if I was starving.) It's been interesting reading about whether dogs people believe that dogs can experience disgust. Recall that 66.2 % of seminar participants said yes, and 78.3% of blog readers who responded said yes (this may have changed as later responses came in, but not significantly). (The Morris research listed only 34% of people responding yes, but a blog reader commented wisely that the question wasn't "Can your dog..." but "Have you observed your dog experiencing Read More

What Are You Thankful For?

Tootsie back 11-23

Well, I keep putting off writing about the emotion of disgust (and soon jealousy and guilt), but it's Thanksgiving tomorrow and it just didn't feel right to be writing about such a negative emotion. Emotions are catching; maybe writing about disgust disgusts me enough to put me off? Sounds amusingly logical, but I think it's more that I'd rather take this time to reflect and savor some gratitude. Disgust sounds like a good topic after I eat too much this weekend. Gratitude is a good topic for today, yes? (Question: Is it an emotion?) Gratitude is good for us, and often what is good for us is good for our dogs and other companion animals. I don't say that in a vague, gosh-gee-whiz kind of way. There is some good research showing that taking time to be grateful, whether it's writing a Read More

See you in Orlando!

salmon rose nz

Eeeps, where'd the day go? I was going to write about the emotion of disgust, but it'll have to wait til tomorrow. But before the day is over I wanted to remind you that the Early Registration for the Jan 7-8 seminar I'm doing with Kathy Sdao is over tonight at midnight. I'm doing a new day-long seminar on Canine Communication: communication of all kinds between dogs, from dogs to people, and from people to dogs. Lots of it is interactive: you'll be working like a dog searching for scents (sort of!), interpreting visual signals, and translating dog vocalizations.  I'll be adding in all the new research that relates to communication, so if you want to up your understanding of all things dog, you definitely want to come. It's in Orlando, Florida too... not a bad place to be in January, and Read More

Results: Survey on Emotions in Animals

sheep backlit fall 2011

THANKS to you all for contributing to the survey! I'll give you the results of the blog survey first and then compare them on the right with a survey done at the Madison Seminar (thanks!) and with research done by Morris et. al. in 2008 (Cognition & Emotion 22(1), 3-20). First, emotions and dogs (of course!) CAN DOGS EXPERIENCE THE FOLLOWING EMOTIONS? EMOTION   BLOG YES                SEMINAR YES                      MORRIS 2008 YES FEAR                   100%                               100%                                       93% JOY                       100%                              99.5%                                      99% ANGER                85.7%                             95.1%                                       65% DISGUST            Read More

What Emotions Do You Share with Your Dog?

Tootsie to snow lst 2011

Surely you'd agree that both you and your dog can be frightened, but what about feeling jealous? Guilty? Ashamed? Ah, now it gets trickier, doesn't it? Emotions like jealousy and guilt are called "secondary" emotions, and many biologists, psychologists and philosophers believe that non-human animals can't experience them. The argument is that they can't be experienced without a relatively high level of cognition, particularly the ability to be self aware and knowledgeable about the mental state of others. I'll talk in the next post about research related to whether dogs feel guilt or jealousy, but for now, I'd like to replicate another piece of research that asked people what emotions they think animals experience. [If you came to the Madison Seminar, no fair answering after you saw the Read More