What Emotions Do You Share with Your Dog?

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 research results!]

So here’s your question: Which of these emotions can animals experience? (I ask the question as it was asked by the researcher. I’ll ask next about dogs specifically.)

Fear, Joy, Anger, Disgust, Guilt, Jealousy.

Answer by copying that list into a comment and force yourself (sorry) to say Yes or No after each of the 6 emotions listed. We’ll total up your answers and compare it with research done a few years ago, and with the answers we got from the audience in Madison at the Advanced Seminar.

Here are the same emotions:

Fear, Joy, Anger, Disgust, Guilt, Jealousy.

Now answer Yes or No if this time we’re asking about Dogs. Then answer for a different animal, a Hamster. We’ll report back on your answers and how they compare to the general public, the Madison audience and what the research says in about a week’s time. No fair writing about the research yet if you know about it, we’ll all talk about that after the ‘survey’ comes in.

MEANWHILE, back on the farm: Brrrrr. First real snow, along with bitter winds, sleet, rain, the whole nine yards. Tootsie has already explained to me that she couldn’t possibly walk on just plain old wet grass, so cold, snowy grass, she explained to me this morning, is out of the question. But we’re making huge progress. Here’s what has worked well so far:

1. Obviously, the best treats in the house came out once the rain began last week. Tootsie learned she gets cooked lamb heart for walking on wet grass, instead of commercial dog treats if it’s dry. She taught me it was much more effective to drop the treat on the ground rather than hold it in my hand, so I learned to drop a trail of treats from the garage to the grass to lure her out. (Thank heavens Willie has a great “leave it!” Boy has it come in handy lately!)

2. Treats helped tremendously, but I think the biggest factor in getting her onto wet grass (which she does now willingly) was that she wanted something even more. Tootsie was obsessed with cars when she came to the farm; I have absolutely no idea why. Does she associate them with her escape from the mill? Did someone drive up to feed her every day? (The Amish don’t drive but they often will be in a car that someone else does.) So I “Premacked” it. If she came out and peed on the wet grass (a low probability behavior) she got to run to the car and leap and dance around it, and even get put inside (a high probability behavior.. she’d do anything when I first got her to be allowed to run to a car.)  Why she loves this so much I may never know, but it clearly was what she wanted more than anything in the world–so much so it was hard to get her past a car for the first 2 weeks, so I just used it as a reinforcement.

So we’ve got wet grass taken care of, and house training has been going exceptionally well. Now on to the next challenge: walking on snow and ice. Oh my, poor little girl, this will be a challenge for her, what a switch for her after living all her life inside. Picture me cooking up lots and lots of extra good treats for snow falls…

Willie is being SO good with her. I would not say he is happy she’s there, but no more snake face and mostly he looks happy and content. Every once in a while I think he looks sad, and I assume it’s about her, but it seems less and less, especially as he gets more and more freedom and he’s learned that our belly rub sessions on the living room floor are still part of our day. She’s also getting a little less pushy (although we have a long way to go there, but one day at a time.)

Here’s Tootsie imitating Andy Rooney (note the eyebrows), considering put paw to snow for the first time:

 

Success! I lured her out with raw meat dropped on the ground. She paused at the border, so I gave Willie a bunch of treats as she watched.  Ah, the power of another dog!  Finally she ventured out onto the snow and got 3 treats for it. Then, bless her, she sniffed around and finally squatted and urinated. This got her 1) pieces of lamb kidney, 2) much clapping and ridiculous celebrating from me, 3) the chance to run back to the car and dance around it and 4) the chance to go back into the house (whence she also got more food, more excitement, and belly rubs.) I’m sure we’re not done with this, but she’s making great progress, none-the-less. I’ll be buying her a little coat soon. (I can not believe those words came out of my mouth. Me? Buy a dog a coat? Really? But she is truly so frail right now, I just can’t imagine her dealing with 30 below weather.)

 

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Animals
    Fear YES, Joy NO, Anger ?, Disgust NO, Guilt NO, Jealousy NO

    Dogs
    Fear YES, Joy (Happiness) Yes, Anger YES, Disgust NO, Guilt NO, Jealousy ?

    Bird
    Fear YES, Joy No, Anger YES, Disgust NO, Guilt NO, Jealousy NO

  2. says

    Okay, I’ll commit to your emotion research.

    YES to all of these for me, for people: Fear, Joy, Anger, Disgust, Guilt, Jealousy.

    For a dog: Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger NO, Disgust YES, Guilt NO, Jealousy YES.

    For a rat (’cause I’ve never met a hamster and I guess they’re pretty similar): Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger YES, Disgust NO, Guilt NO, Jealousy NO.

  3. lin says

    Animals (assuming you meant animals in general [including humans]):
    Fear – Yes
    Joy – Yes
    Anger – Yes
    Disgust – Yes
    Guilt – Yes
    Jealousy – Yes

    Dogs:
    Fear -Yes
    Joy- Yes
    Anger – Yes
    Disgust – Yes (although not as well or as often as cats)
    Guilt – No
    Jealousy – Yes

    Hamster:
    Fear – Yes
    Joy – Yes
    Anger – Yes
    Disgust – Yes
    Guilt – No
    Jealousy – Yes

    Very interesting; I found I was less willing to ascribe ‘Joy’ to a hamster. Somehow, ‘joy’ seems different than ‘pleasure,’ which I would definitely think a hamster would feel. But I figured that a hamster mother reunited with a lost young would feel something more than ‘pleasure,’ Although maybe I’m confusing hamsters with rats (I think rats are pretty darn complex rodents)

    Enjoying the Tootsie updates! I bet she would love a coat because it would garner her even more attention.

  4. says

    Fear – yes
    , Joy – yes
    , Anger, – no
    Disgust, – no
    Guilt – no (some breeds seem to show this but my Siberian Huskies haven’t got a clue what this is!)
    , Jealousy – no

  5. Laura says

    Hi,

    I’ve just started reading along and can identify with some of what you are teaching Tootsie.

    My first dog was a former racing greyhound, named “Doug”. He raced in FL then for then end of the season in NH, and was adopted by my husband and myself in November. We had much to learn together, and one of the big ones was that he couldn’t sleep through the night when the temp. was 60 in the room and it was 50 F. on the floor. He would circle and sigh and whine and so would we. We quickly got him a fleece indoor “coat” and an outdoor coat too.

    http://www.montanadogware.com makes both types for all types of dogs — if I may recomend :) Yup they are in Montana, USA!

    After he passed away, we adopted “Gracie”, a 30 lb “Sato”. She is a Puerto Rican street dog that looks very much like a protypical street dog/hound but has very short hair and is quite sensitive to the cold. Even after 2+ years here in NH she still feels the cold and you’ve guessed it — she has some fleece indoor coats and fleece/gortex outdoor coats too.

    Unlike “Doug” she has boots for the bitter cold as she feels the cold from the slushy snow/salt mix on the roads more than he ever did. Thank goodness she fits a basic whippet coat — I wouldn’t know where to shop after 10 years of shoping for sighthound stuff!

    Please tell Tootsie and Willie (with his all-weather coat and paws) and yourself, that boots and a coat are OK when they are for function, not for fashion, or anthropomorphism games :)

    I will look forward reading more.

    Best,

    Laura

  6. lunamoon says

    Animals In General
    Fear- Yes Joy-Yes Anger-No Disgust- yes (I think it is more dislike that disgust though) Guilt-No Jealousy-yes

    Dogs
    Fear- Yes Joy-Yes Anger-No Disgust- Yes Guilt-No Jealousy-yes

    Hampsters
    Fear- Yes Joy-Yes Anger-No Disgust- Yes Guilt-No Jealousy-No

  7. says

    The only difficult one was Jealousy. Is resource guarding jealousy?? If it is than Yes on both. Both words mean “I don’t want to share” but ?????

    Animals:

    Fear Yes
    Joy Yes
    Anger Yes
    Disgust No
    guilt No
    Jealousy ??

    Dogs:

    Fear Yes
    Joy Yes
    Anger Yes
    Disgust Yes
    Guilt No
    Jealousy ??

  8. Pike says

    Animals general:
    Fear – Yes
    Joy – Yes
    Anger – Yes
    Disgust – Yes
    Guilt – No
    Jealousy – No

    Dogs:
    Fear – Yes
    Joy – Yes
    Anger – Yes
    Disgust – Yes
    Guilt – No
    Jealousy – No

    Hamster:
    Fear – Yes
    Joy – Yes
    Anger – Yes
    Disgust – Yes
    Guilt – No
    Jealousy – No

  9. Kathy says

    Animals:
    Fear yes
    Joy yes
    Anger yes
    Disgust yes
    Guilt noooo, I don’t think so. . .
    Jealousy yes

    Dogs:
    Fear yes
    Joy yes
    Anger yes
    Disgust yes
    Guilt tough one, depends on what you mean and how specifically you mean it; I think they know when they’ve made a mistake or done something forbidden, but there’s a difference between “guilt” and knowledge that no reward and/or a possible punishment is due.
    Jealousy yes

    a hamster? I have no experience with hamsters, so I don’t really know, but I’d say this:
    fear yes
    joy yes
    anger yes
    disgust yes
    guilt no
    jealousy yes

    I think guilt might be a human construct and I also think it might be something that comes from domestication or training. As far as disgust is concerned, I’m pretty sure I know it when I see it in dogs. The dog my parents had when I was a tiny kid was a miniature poodle with fastidious tastes. He would catch any treat tossed to him, however, so of course, my brother decided to toss him a cherry tomato once. He caught it, his lips peeled back, he dropped it on the ground, sneezed violently, and with evident disgust, peed on it. He wouldn’t look at my brother for a while. He was both disgusted and angry.

    Interesting questions! I’m eager to see the results.

  10. says

    Animals (including great apes, right):Fear: Yes, Joy: Yes, Anger: is this the same as frustration, Yes, Disgust: Yes, Guilt: Hmmmm, No, Jealousy, No.

    Dogs:Fear: Yes, Joy: Yes, Anger: Yes, Disgust: Yes, Guilt: No, Jealousy: No.

    Hamsters:Fear: Yes, Joy: Yes, Anger: Yes, Disgust: Ha ha, hard to say, Guilt: No, Jealousy: No.

  11. julie says

    I tried to think of examples of where I think I have seen these emotions in dogs.
    Fear – yes, fight or flight response, not willing to approach a person or object
    Joy – yes, any dog rolling in something disgusting or chasing a tennis ball
    Anger- no
    Disgust-? perhaps during bath time
    Guilt – no
    Jealousy – yes or ?, perhaps resource guarding of prized human can show jealousy-I want her attention

    I don’t spend much time with hamsters. The only one I could feel comfortable saying yes to would be fear.

  12. Marie says

    Fear (YES), Joy(YES), Anger(NO), Disgust (NO), Guilt (NO), Jealousy (NO)

    DOGS:
    Fear (YES), Joy(YES), Anger (NO), Disgust (NO), Guilt (NO), Jealousy (YES).

    HAMSTER:
    Fear (YES), Joy (YES), Anger (NO), Disgust (NO), Guilt (NO), Jealousy (YES).

  13. ana lucero says

    fear-yes, joy-yes,anger-yes, disgust-yes, guilt-no,jealousy-yes : all for dogs, I know nothing about hamsters. I also believe dogs can worry, and grieve. They don’t grieve as long as humans do, but it hurts just as much while it is there.

  14. Jane says

    For all animals, including dogs and hamsters, I would say yes to all emotions, except guilt which would be no for all.

  15. Joanna says

    My answers are the same for all three. My assumption is that all mammals feel the same basic emotions (although human beings can feel the greatest range/most complex emotions), and dogs and hampsters being both mammals, I put the same answers. Now if I were answering for a bird or fish or reptile instead of hampster… no idea.

    I wasn’t sure about “disgust.” I do think that they can feel physical disgust, as when they’ve eaten something that tastes gross to them. But can they feel emotional disgust, as in, disgust at something that another animal just did? Leaning toward no.

    Animals in general:
    Fear – yes
    Joy – yes
    Anger – yes
    Disgust – no
    Guilt – no
    Jealousy – yes

    Dogs:
    Fear – yes
    Joy – yes
    Anger – yes
    Disgust – no
    Guilt – no
    Jealousy – yes

    Hampster:
    Fear – yes
    Joy – yes
    Anger – yes
    Disgust – no
    Guilt – no
    Jealousy – yes

  16. Joanna says

    Also, I love putting coats and custom harnesses on my dog. I make them for him just for fun. I think that you have nothing to be embarassed about!

  17. Kat says

    I can really relate to celebrating successes with Tootsie. Our new Finna (year old Corgi/GSD female) is very soft and has a lot of fear based issues. Every bit of confidence and assertiveness she exhibits is cause for celebration. Endless patience.

    Animals
    Fear, Yes Joy, Yes Anger, Yes Disgust, No Guilt Maybe, Jealousy.Yes

    Dogs
    Fear, Yes Joy Yes, Anger, Yes Disgust,No Guilt, No Jealousy. yes

    Hamsters, I don’t know a lot about

    Fear, Yes Joy,Yes Anger,no Disgust, no Guilt no, Jealousy no .

    Cats about which I do know a lot
    Fear, Yes Joy, Yes Anger Yes, Disgust, Maybe Guilt, Never Jealousy probably.

  18. Beth with the Corgis says

    First, Hooray Tootsie! Great progress.

    Second: I’m a little confused here because several people have said that animals are NOT capable of an emotion that they later said dogs ARE capable of. Since dogs are a subset of animals, it’s impossible to say that a dog can do something that an animal can’t do. When you go down in subsets, the list of possible behaviors can only get smaller, not larger. So maybe I misunderstood the question, or maybe some people meant “all animals” when they said animals. Hmmm. Anyway, I found that response very interesting and in itself an illustration of how we can think we are all talking about the same thing, but we aren’t.

    So here’s my list:

    Animals:
    Fear- Yes
    Joy- Yes
    Anger- Yes
    Disgust- Yes
    Guilt- Yes
    Jealousy- Yes

    Because I think that the great apes and probably dolphins and elephants are capable of all those emotions.

    Dogs:
    Fear- yes
    Joy- Yes
    Anger- yes
    Disgust – yes but rare, more common as someone said in cats for some reason
    Guilt- no
    Jealousy- yes

    Hamster
    Fear- yes
    Joy- no
    Anger- yes
    Disgust- probably not
    Guilt- no
    Jealousy- maybe, tough call. If we mean jealousy as simply desiring what another has and being frustrated when our efforts to obtain it are thwarted, then yes. If we mean being able to contemplate the unfairness of it all, then I’d say no. I do believe that dogs are capable of the second definition of jealousy, though and I think that there have been tests that show they have some sense of “fair.”

  19. Beth with the Corgis says

    I do have a funny story about my dog Jack showing what I could only describe as disgust.

    When he was a puppy, he had a funny habit of squatting to pee when he’d feel carpeting or something soft under his feet (needless to say, he spent most of his time in the kitchen til he outgrew this stage).

    We had a mat for his food and water dishes, one of those that is fuzzy on top (to catch spills) and rubbery on the bottom (to prevent sliding).

    I picked up his water bowl every evening about an hour and a half before bedtime. One night we were playing in the kitchen, he ran across the fuzzy mat and squatted and peed a little.

    Well, I take him out, we come back in, he makes a run past the mat, stops, and gets a look on his face that can best be summarized as “Oh my GOD, someone peed where I eat! That’s gross!”

    He grabbed the edge of the mat in his little teeth and tugged it (walking backwards, in classic “tug” posture) all the way across the floor. I laughed and laughed, washed and dried the mat thoroughly, put it down the next day….

    and he took one look at it, said “Not AGAIN!” and tugged it backwards across the floor, safely away from his feeding area.

    Needless to say that mat ended up in the garbage.

    Truly I have trouble describing any emotion other than disgust to that look. It was the same face a person would make if they found someone had used the kitchen as a toilet.

  20. Marcy G. says

    Humans: Fear, Joy, Anger, Disgust, Guilt, Jealousy. Yes to all.

    Dogs: Fear-yes, Joy-yes, Anger-yes, Disgust-yes, Guilt-no, Jealousy-no.

    Cats: Fear-yes, Joy-yes, Anger-yes, Disgust-yes, Guilt-no, Jealousy-no.

    Jealousy is a hard one for me, because I want to attribute some behaviors I’ve seen to jealousy (my human thinking), but from a more scientific perspective the behaviors most likely were caused by other motivations.

  21. says

    Animals
    Fear, yes, Joy, yes, Anger, yes, Disgust, no, Guilt, no, Jealousy, no.
    Dogs
    Fear, yes, Joy, yes, Anger, yes, Disgust, yes, Guilt, yes, Jealousy, yes.
    Hamster
    Fear, yes, Joy, yes, Anger, yes, Disgust, yes, Guilt, no, Jealousy, no.

  22. Patty says

    For dogs, a yes to all emotions. I believe they are outstanding at learning the human emotional response to all situations, so provided they are living with a balanced human, they will learn all emotional responses including those not listed here.

    For a hamster, I would say yes to fear and anger as these are more emotions of the natural world and no to the others. (Fear saves them from predators. Anger as part of the maternal response to protect defenseless young).

  23. folderol says

    Animals generally:
    Fear: Yes
    Joy: Yes
    Anger: Yes
    Disgust: Yes
    Guilt: No
    Jealousy: Yes

    Dogs specifically:
    Fear: Yes
    Joy: Yes
    Anger: Yes
    Disgust: Yes
    Guilt: No
    Jealousy: Yes

    Other (horses):
    Fear: Yes
    Joy: Yes
    Anger: Yes
    Disgust: Yes
    Guilt: No
    Jealousy: Yes

  24. folderol says

    Oh, Trisha, Shedrow make nice looking horse-style dog blankets that totally don’t count as playing dress up with your dog :P I know Greenhawk up here carries them, not sure about a US retailer. They are super stylish!

  25. Fjm says

    Dog:
    Fear Yes, Joy Yes, Anger Yes, Disgust Yes, Guilt No, Jealousy Yes.
    Hamster:
    Fear Yes, Joy Yes, Anger Yes, Disgust Yes, Guilt No, Jealousy No.

    I’m thinking of disgust as being the emotion elicited by the thought of eating something truly repulsive. And I have never kept a hamster, so those are best guesses based on a non-social animal.

    I love the description of Tootsie, the snow and the car – it has to be said that my two carefully raised little dogs would far prefer to have an inside toilet when the weather is bad. Snow is OK for playing in once or twice, but quickly loses its novelty, and they hate rain, I have resorted to carrying Sophy out under an umbrella before now. And I am contemplating snow suits for both of them if we have another hard winter …

  26. jackie says

    I have owned a hamster!

    Fear – yes for dogs and hamsters, Joy – yes for dogs but not hamsters, Anger – no, Disgust – yes, Guilt no, Jealousy yes for dogs, not hamsters.

    Lovely to read about Tootsie. We’ve introduced our own new rescue dog to our FA resident rescue dog in the last few days. Lucy seems to have had a good life before being dumped, and is being very patient with her hyper big brother. Playing has even broken out, though it’s a bit rough on his side. I have your Love has No Age Limits and Multi-Dog Household books to hand at all times!

  27. says

    What fun! OK, here goes. All caps if I’m sure. All lower case if I’m less sure.

    Animals:
    Fear: YES
    Joy: yes
    Anger: no
    Disgust: yes (depending on how this is defined — I know, I can’t help it, I’m a lawyer after all…)
    Guilt: NO
    Jealousy: yes

    Dogs:
    Fear: YES
    Joy: yes
    Anger: no
    Disgust: yes (I’m thinking of my Sophie’s ridiculous reaction to hot dogs and bologna here….)
    Guilt: NO
    Jealousy: yes

    Hamsters:
    Fear: YES
    Joy: yes
    Anger: no
    Disgust: no
    Guilt: NO
    Jealousy: no

  28. orietta siri says

    Animals
    Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger YES, Disgust YES, Guilt NO, Jealousy YES

    Dogs
    Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger YES, Disgust YES, Guilt YES, Jealousy YES

    Horse
    Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger NO, Disgust YES, Guilt YES, Jealousy YES

  29. LeeAnn says

    Fear, Yes
    Joy, Yes
    Anger, No
    Disgust, No
    Guilt, Yes
    Jealousy, Yes
    Also )
    Annoyance
    Contentment
    Boredom
    Greed
    Generosity
    Devotion
    Trust

  30. says

    Fear, Joy, Anger, Disgust, Guilt, Jealousy.
    Fear – Yes
    Joy – Yes
    Anger – Yes
    Disgust – Yes
    Guilt – No
    Jealousy – No – Competition – Yes

  31. rheather says

    Okay- for all animals-including human
    Fear-yes
    Joy-yes
    Anger-yes
    Disgust-yes
    Guilt-yes-tho’ for some humans not enough.
    Jealousy-yes

    Dogs
    Fear-yes
    Joy-yes
    Anger-yes
    Disgust-yes? There has to be something too nasty for them to eat or roll in? Right?
    Guilt-no
    Jealousy-yes

    Goats
    Fear-yes
    Joy-yes-happy dancing goats!
    Anger-yes
    Disgust-yes
    Guilt-heck no
    Jealousy-yes

  32. says

    Animals
    Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger YES, Disgust YES, Guilt YES, Jealousy YES

    Dogs
    Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger YES, Disgust YES, Guilt NO, Jealousy YES

    Rat
    Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger YES, Disgust YES, Guilt NO, Jealousy NO

  33. says

    Animals:
    *I’m including higher primates here, so I think that changes things in some respects…or does it? I guess that’s part of the question :)

    Fear – big yes
    Joy – yes
    Anger -yes
    Digust – no
    Guilt – yes
    Jealousy – yes

    Dogs:
    Fear – yes
    Joy – yes
    Anger – yes
    Guilt – yes (but only fleetingly)
    Jealousy – yes

    Hamster:
    Fear – yes
    Joy – no
    Anger – yes
    Disgust – no
    Guilt – no
    Jealousy – no

    Wow, this really got me thinking. It was difficult for me to decide how I felt about the hamster. I honestly don’t think my opinions count for much regarding them because, despite having owned many of the little critters over the years, I really don’t know a whole lot about hamster communication. My opinions are based solely on the responses I observed in my own pets.

    And I wanted to note that I was conflicted about anger as well. I don’t think all animals can get angry and hate as we do (thankfully!) but I most definitely do think they experience frustration, and can lash out in seemingly angry displays.

  34. KT says

    Animals in general
    Fear – yes
    Joy- yes
    Anger-yes
    Guilt-no
    Disgust-yes
    Jealousy-yes
    Dogs
    Fear – yes
    Joy – oh yes!
    Anger- yes
    Guilt – uh-uh..nope
    Disgust – yes
    Jealousy – hmmm.. I agree with someone else’s comment..might be more competition
    Oh..here’s a video of herding dogs at their best
    http://www.wimp.com/sheeplight

  35. Rachel says

    For dogs: Fear – YES, Joy – YES, Anger – YES, Disgust – NO, Guilt – NO, Jealousy – YES

    For hamsters: Fear – YES, Joy – YES, Anger – YES, Disgust – NO, Guilt – NO, Jealousy – NO

    I’m debating about disgust. It is supposed to be one of the human emotions with universally recognized facial signals, which indicates that it is a pretty basic emotion. And yet, it seems like a judgemental emotion and I don’t think animals can really be judgemental. Maybe I’m overthinking that. I’ve never seen any behavior that has led me to interpret that my dog is disgusted by anything. So there’s that.

  36. Heidi N says

    Trish, Would you consider writing about how to train a dog to pee in an indoor potty area (like a doggy litter box, or a box that has that astroturf stuff in it)? My dog pees outdoors in all types of weather, but she ALWAYS pees at least once when I leave her alone in the house. It’s classic separation anxiety, but I have to stop the peeing all over my carpet! Help!

  37. Fjm says

    Ooops – missed the all animals one!
    On the basis that humans are animals, Fear, Joy, Anger, Disgust, Guilt, Jealousy – Yes to all. I have a strong suspicion that guilt is a culturally acquired emotion, but I suppose there must be some predisposing factor for us humans to be able to learn it.

  38. kecks says

    Fear -yes!
    Joy – yes!
    Anger – kind of; more something like fury or rage?
    Disgust – i don’t know. a definite yes! for cats, so. they think some foods are disgusting – at least i think they do ;). i tend to say yes for dogs, too, because disgust is one of the very basic emotions shown by all people on this planet when tasting certain foods (eibl-eibelsfeld did research about this stuff)
    Guilt – no. can be reproduced by establishing the conditions that make the dog act “guilty”. we did this once with our last golden which behaved always very “guilty” when someone discovered her around the empty compost bin, all kind of disgusting rotten fruit lying around… she did the very same “guilty” thing when i started throwing the compost around in her presence. she just learned that compost in kitchen is a bad thing – better not be around that stuff, because it makes mom very unhappy with you.
    Jealousy – no. competition – yes!

  39. kecks says

    oh, and I’ll do a guiny pig ’cause i never really met a hamster:

    Fear – definite yes; freeziing, running in panic…
    Joy – kind of? they make certain sounds when getting particularly good food
    Anger – some individuals sometimes hate certain other piggies while being highly social with all other pigs in the group. when they see the “hated” one they chase it or even start attacking. anger seems to be a part in this.
    Disgust – no
    Guilt – no
    Jealousy – no. competition: yes.

  40. says

    I find it very difficult if not impossible to answer the questions for a broad based group defined simply as “animals.” Every species AND every individual is different. How can you compare an earthworm to an African Grey parrot, for example?

    Even with dogs, I find it hard to give a truly hard set answer. Am I answering for a border collie, who I perceive to be the smartest breed, or for a doodle (which, I’m sorry, I think they tend to be as dumb as posts — generally due to bad breeding).

    Speaking of my dogs, with whom I obviously have the most experience:

    Fear: 100% Watch my border collie when a loud noise goes off like fireworks, gunshots or thunder. Her response can be classified as nothing but fear.

    Joy: Yes, I see this emotion when I hand out new toys to my dogs (who rarely get toys in the house). The happy & playful expressions on their face can easily be described as Joy.

    Anger: I do not believe I have seen what I would define as Anger from a dog. I believe they are, at their center, joyful beings. I do think that fear responses can sometimes appear as anger to some. But anger and rage as an emotion we experience as humans? I don’t think dogs feel that.

    Disgust: Not disgust as in how I am disgusted by the actions of certain people, but disgust as in how I look at yucky foods like escargot? Yes, I have seen that wrinkled up nose from my dogs. :)

    Guilt: They know if I’m mad at them and throw off appeasing behaviors, but I doubt there is any connection to the actual emotion of guilt. As in, if they do something while I am not home I know that nobody is curled up in a ball on the couch feeling horrible about the moment I come home to find what they’ve done. To me, that is what guilt would be — feeling bad about something when the human is not present.

    Jealousy: Absolutely. All three of mine have exhibited classic jealousy behaviors, namely when I have one outside playing, or if only one of them is in a room with me working on tricks. Or just try to give one a treat/chewy and not the rest — The look they give me is a cross between a withering death stare and heartbreak. lol

    I had hamsters as a kid and care for them at the shelter where I work:

    Fear: Yes
    Joy: No — Happy/Content/Satisfied: Yes
    Anger: No
    Disgust: No
    Guilt: No
    Jealousy: No

  41. em says

    Animals:
    Fear-Yes
    Joy-Yes
    Anger-Yes
    Disgust-Yes
    Guilt-No?- If this category does not include humans, I don’t feel that I know enough about the emotional lives of primates and dolphins etc. to make a judgement. I don’t think it’s impossible, but I don’t know of any animals I would say positively yes to.
    Jealousy-Yes

    Dogs:
    Fear-Yes
    Joy-Yes
    Anger-Yes
    Disgust-Yes
    Guilt-No, not exactly (waffling wildly)
    Jealousy-Yes

    Hamster:
    Fear-Yes
    Joy-Yes
    Anger-Yes
    Disgust-No
    Guilt-No, definitely
    Jealousy-No, not exactly

    Animals-I confess to having difficulty understanding what is meant by this category-does this include humans? If so, then YES to all, but then why not ask about humans? If not, I guess that I would say I DON’T KNOW/IT DEPENDS since I cannot possibly know about the emotional capacity of all animals and I would answer differently depending on which of the specific animals that I do feel that I know about was being discussed. I’ve owned hamsters, many years ago, and I would say that they are a cognitive step below rats-none of my hamsters ever seemed able to distinguish between humans but my pet rat could spot a ‘friend’ from across the room, readily learned how to ‘beg’ for treats by volunteering behaviors and seemed to comprehend situational context when it came to his own safety. (i.e. on my shoulder was ‘safe’ from the dog, on the dresser at the same height was not). Maybe it’s just my failure to notice, but the hamsters seemed barely sentient.

  42. says

    Hmm, I think I’m answering the same for all three, but really guessing on Hamsters. I’ll be interested in reading your follow up to this!

    Animals:

    Fear – yes
    Joy-yes
    Anger -yes
    Disgust-yes
    Guilt-no
    Jealousy-yes

    Dogs:
    Fear – yes
    Joy-yes
    Anger -yes
    Disgust-yes
    Guilt-no
    Jealousy-yes

    Hamster:
    Fear – yes
    Joy-yes
    Anger -yes
    Disgust-yes
    Guilt-no
    Jealousy-yes

  43. mungobrick says

    Animals:
    Fear – yes, Joy – yes, Anger – yes, Disgust – yes, Guilt – yes (I think humans only, I don’t know about other apes, though), Jealousy – yes.

    Dog:
    Fear – yes, Joy – yes, Anger – yes, Disgust – yes, Guilt – no, Jealousy – yes.

    Hamster
    Fear – yes, Joy – no, Anger – yes, Disgust – no, Guilt – no, Jealousy – no.

  44. Lacey H says

    I think we may have some variable definitions of feelings here. Saying “no” to anger for almost any animal seems strange to me – but perhaps the comment “more like rage” explains something of that. Also just where does jealousy begin? My dictionary says “very watchful or careful in guarding or keeping,” which is obviously true of many dogs.

  45. Lisa W says

    I, too, am puzzled by the three labels, but going with that, my best guesses are:

    Animals: Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger YES, Disgust NO, Guilt NO, Jealousy MOST LIKELY.

    Dogs: Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger YES, Disgust NO, Guilt NO, Jealousy MOST LIKELY.

    Hamsters: Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger NO, Disgust NO, Guilt NO, Jealousy NO.

    Go, Tootsie, you just won the lottery! Congrats to all.

  46. Tori says

    Fear, Joy, Anger, Disgust, Guilt, Jealousy

    Y Y Y Y N M Animals

    Y Y N N N N Dogs

    Y Y N N N N Hamsters

  47. Allison says

    Animals: Fear – Yes, Joy – Yes, Anger – Yes, Disgust – Yes, Guilt – Yes, Jealousy – Yes

    Dogs: Fear – Yes, Joy – Yes, Anger – Yes, Disgust – Yes, Guilt – No, Jealousy – No

    Hamster: Fear – Yes, Joy – Yes, Anger – Yes, Disgust – Yes, Guilt – No, Jealousy – No

  48. Lynn says

    My answers are the same across all three categories (animal, dog, rodent): yes to all except guilt.

    Besides a dog, I have several pet rats. When a rat tastes something she doesn’t like, she demonstrates enormous disgust; around here, we call it an “ickspression.”

  49. says

    Animals (incl. humans): YES to all.

    Dogs: YES to all, depending on the exact definition of “guilt” — I think they definitely have shock/regret in the immediate moment after doing something “bad,” especially unintentionally so, like accidentally biting me during play, but just as definitely I think they do not have the capacity to dwell guiltily on things that happened years ago the way humans can.

    Jealousy’s a much easier call for me — Pongu gets SO jealous of new foster dogs, I would venture to say his behavior almost reaches to “spite.” He will, for example, deliberately steal their toys, go into rooms where he knows the foster dogs aren’t allowed, and destroy their toys in front of them. He has done this repeatedly. And I *know* that the simpler/more accurate explanation is that he covets that particular toy because the other dog’s behavior indicates that it’s a high-value resource they’re competing over, and he takes it to the restricted-access room because that is where he can chew on it without fear of interruption, and he destroys it just because that’s what he likes to do with toys sometimes, and none of it is really about “spite” in the human sense at all… but man, watching his postures and expressions, it is tough to believe that on some level he isn’t taking just a little extra bit of glee in wrecking the other dog’s precious possession.

    Hamsters – NO to all except Fear and Anger. I have had many hamsters over many years and my opinion is that they are hilarious little dimbulbs incapable of much beyond greed and grouchiness. I’ve never encountered an animal with such a disconnect between cute/cuddly appearance and homicidal maniac personality. I love ‘em but if they were people they would all be in Alcatraz.

  50. says

    For dogs:

    Yes to fear, joy, & anger.

    Yes to disgust. My older dog, after having caught many assorted small scurrying mammals in her life (she’s a survivalist) took up fishing in her old age — until she caught a fish. The look on her face the very short time she held that cold, scaly, wiggly thing in her mouth must have been disgust. Ptoooi.

    No to guilt.

    Yes to jealousy, as in; “Don’t pet her, pet MEE. DON’T pet her, pet MEE.”
    [ jealous, adv.: apprehensive of the loss of another's exclusive devotion ] – Webster

  51. Nicola says

    I’m not sure how you define joy and disgust, but for the purposes of research, here goes:

    Animals
    Fear – Yes, Joy – yes, Anger – yes, Disgust – yes, Guilt – no, Jealousy – yes.

    Dogs
    Fear – Yes, Joy – yes, Anger – yes, Disgust – yes, Guilt – no, Jealousy – yes.

    Hamsters
    Fear – Yes, Joy – yes, Anger – yes, Disgust – yes, Guilt – no, Jealousy – no.

    I am really guessing on hamsters – I don’t know I’ve even seen one outside a book!

  52. says

    All animals (meaning that at least one species within Kingdom Animalia can experience the emotion)
    Fear: Yes
    Joy: Yes
    Anger: Yes
    Disgust: Yes
    Guilt: Yes
    Jealousy: Yes

    Dogs
    Fear: Yes
    Joy: Yes
    Anger: Yes
    Disgust: Yes (depending on how you define this term)
    Guilt: No
    Jealousy: Yes

    Hamsters
    Fear: Yes
    Joy: Yes
    Anger: Yes
    Disgust: Yes (depending on how you define this term)
    Guilt: No
    Jealousy: Yes (though I have not interacted with Hamsters for a while, I presume they do experience this)

  53. Melanie says

    Okay, here goes…

    With regard to ‘animals’ I’m taking it to mean that Humanimals are included, and so it’s a Yes all ’round in that case. If ‘animals’ was not meant to include humans but to mean ‘any member of the animal family, but not necessarily All animals simultaneously’ then I would answer Yes to all but Guilt (although I’m not entirely comfortable with ruling guilt out of the animal repertoire because I think a few particularly ‘developed’ animals may experience guilt, but in general I think not).

    Re. dogs, Yes to all but Guilt (although the same caveat as above applies).

    Re. hamsters, well, I don’t have any experience of hamsters (we don’t have them here in Australia), so I’ll answer with rats and guinea pigs in mind – again, Yes to all but Guilt.

    Will be very interested to hear the results. :)
    Wonderful to hear of Miss Tootsie’s growing confidence and toileting proficiency!

  54. Kat says

    May I change an answer? When I replied above I was thinking of disgust as an aversion to a particular individual about whom something is revolting–being disgusted by someone. I don’t think animals pass judgement like that I think they draw a simpler less judgmental distinction, “you I like” “you I don’t like” or “you’re ok if there’s no one better to play with.” I hadn’t thought about it in reaction to a taste or someone pottying by the feeding station. I thing animals do experience that.

  55. Trish says

    Animals generally
    Fear: yes
    Joy: yes
    Anger: no
    Disgust: no
    Guilt: no
    Jealousy: yes

    Dogs
    Fear: yes
    Joy: yes
    Anger: no
    Disgust: no
    Guilt: no
    Jealousy: yes

    Hamsters
    Fear: yes
    Joy: no
    Anger: no
    Disgust: no
    Guilt: no
    Jealousy: no

    I feel like the issue is less whether animals feel humanized emotions like Fear, Joy, Anger, Disgust, Guilt, and Jealousy… than whether people feel them. I have the idea that what we think of as anger (in people) is at base more animal-like than that word suggests. So on for jealousy, joy, etc. Somatically speaking, people are animals. What we have that animals don’t always share are social networks and codes and within those social networks and codes, those somatic states take on new meanings. I suspect people attribute more emotions to dogs (than to hamsters) because dogs are such social animals who relate to us in our very intimate social forms, like families. So my border collie and I both share similar somatic states–highs and lows like fear and joy, but their social meanings vary because we vary, socially speaking, not somatically or emotionally. (Though socially speaking, I have more in common with my dog than my hamster.)

  56. Ravana says

    Animals:

    Fear–yes
    Joy–yes
    Anger–yes
    Disgust–yes
    Guilt–yes
    Jealousy–yes

    Dogs:

    Fear–yes
    Joy–yes
    Anger–yes
    Disgust–yes
    Guilt–depends on the dog. Most dogs–yes, my dog–absolutely not
    Jealousy–yes

    Hamsters:

    (I know gerbils, not hamsters so I’ll go with them instead)

    Fear–yes
    Joy–yes
    Anger–yes
    Disgust–yes (if by disgust you mean “what the HELL was that you tried to feed me?!)
    Guilt–no
    Jealousy–yes

  57. Christine says

    Animals:
    Fear-yes
    Joy-yes
    Anger-yes
    Disgust-yes
    Guilt-yes
    Jealousy-yes

    Dogs:
    Fear-yes
    Joy-yes
    Anger-yes
    Disgust-yes
    Guilt-yes
    Jealousy-yes

    Hampsters:
    Fear-yes
    Joy-yes
    Anger-yes
    Disgust-yes
    Guilt-no
    Jealousy-no

  58. Diane says

    Animals:

    Fear-yes
    Joy-yes
    Anger-yes
    Disgust-yes
    Guilt-no
    Jealousy-yes

    Dogs:
    Fear-yes
    Joy-yes
    Anger-yes
    Disgust-yes
    Guilt-no (remorse, yes)
    Jealousy-YES

    Fear-yes
    Joy-yes
    Anger-yes
    Disgust-yes
    Guilt-no
    Jealousy-yes

  59. Diane says

    I waited to read the other replies until after I had answered. I was surprised at how many people don’t think their dogs feel anger! My female is constantly telling off my male and I think anyone seeing it could only characterize it as anger. Usually it’s over a space dispute–she’ll have a prime spot, he’ll sort of push on her space bubble, she’ll cede the space to him but then spin around barking furiously before huffing off to another spot. What else could you call it but anger? On the other hand I’ve never seen my male overtly display anger, but he’s a much happier dog in general.

  60. says

    Animals Fear – yes; Joy – yes; Anger – yes; Disgust – yes; Guilt – no; Jealousy – yes
    Dogs Fear – yes; Joy – yes; Anger – yes; Disgust – no; Guilt – no; Jealousy – yes
    Hamsters Fear – yes; Joy – yes; Anger – no; Disgust – no; Guilt – no; Jealousy – yes

  61. Marguerite says

    Interestingly, Dr. Stanley Coren writes about primary and secondary emotion in his blog of 11/11/11. No peeking!

  62. Amy says

    Not on the topic at all, but I just finished your last article in Bark magazine. Your column is my favorite – it’s the first thing I read when I get the new issue. Very sad to hear that you won’t be writing regular pieces anymore. Thank you for all the wonderful articles over the years.

  63. Susan says

    Fear yes, joy yes, anger yes, disgust yes, guilt yes (humans are animals after all), jealousy yes
    Same for dogs except I would not know how to recognize dog guilt so I do not know on that one
    No experience with rodents, but yes to all for cats

  64. Jeanine says

    Can you define for me how jealousy differs from possessiveness? I don’t know hamsters well enough to even guess at their range of emotion, but I would think all animals can and do experience the entire range of the six mentioned emotions except guilt. Guilt requires a remembrance of an action in the past and my impression is that animals live very much in the present.

    (Elephants are supposed to remember, so maybe they can feel guilt but I really don’t know enough about elephants to say.)

  65. lyn says

    animals (which presumably includes humans): yes to all

    Dog: yes to all except possibly guilt, depending on how you define guilt. if it is concern about have done something displeasing or liable to lead to negative consequences, then yes. if it is an awareness of having transgressed an ethical boundary, then no.

    Hamster: same as dog.

  66. Larry C. says

    I have a hangup on the terminology. I have a problem with anthropomorphizing animals. I expect them to be animals, and not share human responses. I see them as dogs, not four footed furry people.

    Dogs:
    Fear

  67. says

    Animals in general:
    Fear: Yes
    Joy: Yes
    Anger: yes
    Disgust: yes
    Guilt: yes
    Jealousy: yes

    Dogs:
    Fear: Yes
    Joy: Yes
    Anger: yes
    Disgust: yes
    Guilt: yes
    Jealousy: yes

    Hamsters:
    Fear: Yes
    Joy: no
    Anger: no
    Disgust: no
    Guilt: no
    Jealousy: no

  68. Noora says

    I think being able to have a general positive or negative feeling is common to all animals, and also the more specific feelings of fear, hunger and pain.

    Dog
    Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger YES, Disgust NO (if this applies to bad tasting food of a bad smell, then yes), Guilt NO, Jealousy YES

    Hamster
    Fear YES, Joy YES, Anger YES, Disgust ?, Guilt NO, Jealousy ?

  69. M says

    Humans all yes

    Dogs:
    Fear: yes
    Joy: yes
    Anger: yes
    Disgust: yes
    Guilt: yes
    Jealousy: yes

    Hamsters:
    Fear: yes
    Joy: yes
    Anger: yes
    Disgust: yes
    Guilt: no
    Jealousy: yes

    I have 3 beatufil dogs, anda I have had dogs all may life, and also I’ve had rabbbtis, chikens and other small animals,I think the dogs especially can feel all the same emotions as humans…really

  70. M says

    Not exactly ALL the human emotions, because I don’t think they can hate, or they can become resentful, they don’t know about revenge…etc…

  71. Angel Stambaugh says

    Animals:
    Fear Yes
    Joy Yes
    Anger Yes
    Disgust No
    Guilt No
    Jealousy Yes

    Dogs:
    Fear Yes
    Joy Yes
    Anger Yes
    Disgust No
    Guilt No
    Jealousy Yes

    Hamsters:
    Fear Yes
    Joy Yes
    Anger No
    Disgust No
    Guilt No
    Jealousy No

  72. says

    Animals in general: Yes to all 6.

    Dogs:

    Fear – yes. Joy – duh. my dog is usually joyful. Anger – yes. Disgust – yes. My dog shows his disgust by sneezing; it’s extremely obvious. Guilt – Never seen it in my dog. Jealousy – yes, my dog used to get very jealous of our cats whenever the cats were getting attention.

    Dolphins: Yes to all six.

  73. Rebecca Rice says

    I am going to make some assumptions here, since the question is about “animals”. Obviously, if we include humans as animals, it would be yes to all. But I get the feeling that they want the minimum set felt by all animals. So, I am going to go with:

    Animals:
    Fear – yes
    Joy – yes
    Anger – yes
    Disgust – a qualified yes. I think that at its most basic, disgust is felt for things that can physically harm us, like plants with poisonous compounds, etc. And I think that animals will feel disgust about things at the same level. Disgust on a more abstract level, for example because a Jew is dating a Catholic, I think is beyond them.
    Guilt – no
    Jealousy – yes

    Dogs:
    Get the same answers as above

    Hamster:
    Gets the same answers as above until we get to jealousy. I have to say, I would have to watch hamsters in order to make a decision on that. I believe that other animals can feel jealous, so by extension hamsters should be able to, but I have not dealt with hamsters enough (ever, actually) to have any empirical evidence either way.

  74. Nancy C. says

    Animals:
    Fear – Yes
    Joy – Yes
    Anger – Yes
    Disgust – Yes
    Guilt – No
    Jealousy – Yes

    Dogs:
    Fear – Yes
    Joy – Yes
    Anger – Yes
    Disgust – Yes
    Guilt – Maybe
    Jealousy – Yes

  75. Linda says

    I love your story about Tootsie! It should be required reading for all those people who think positive reinforcement does not work & one should dominate, frighten, or shock a dog!

  76. Julie Hirt says

    Animals:
    Fear – yes, Joy – yes, Anger – yes, Disgust – yes, Guilt – yes, Jealousy – yes

    Dogs:
    Fear – yes, Joy – yes, Anger – yes, Disgust – no, Guilt – no, Jealousy – yes

    Hamster:
    Fear – yes, Joy – no, Anger – no, Disgust – no, Guilt – no, Jealousy – yes

  77. JJ says

    Thanks for sharing your stories about Tootsie. I’m going to really enjoying following her.

    Emotions. For “animals”. Trisha has historically defined “animals” to mean “non-human mammals”, so I am going with that definition. Note that this definition would include our closest primate cousins and even some aquatic species.

    “ANIMALS”: Fear, Joy, Anger, Disgust, Guilt, Jealousy – YES TO ALL

    I say “yes” even to guilt, which is the most “iffy” one to me, because as the years go by, we learn that there is very little, if anything, that is truly unique to humans. If humans have an emotion called guilt, then probably at least some animal has it to one degree or another, even if not at the same level as humans. If humans have guilt, I would expect at least some high-level primates to also have it.

    I think “guilt” might even be more common than we think. I remember reading a couple years ago about some research that tried to define if animals have a sense of “fairness”. A sense of, “this is the way things *should* be”. The answer was “yes”, whatever animal they were studying (I don’t remember right now which species it was) did have a sense of what is “fair”–at least according to that study. I think that if only humans could be more clever, we would find a lot more evidence of a sense of “fairness” in many species. And if a creature has a sense of “this is how things *should* be”, then it is a small step to “oops, I did something that breaks fairness. I feel a bit bad about that. Maybe not enough to stop myself, but I know I did something wrong and I do feel bad about it.”

    The thing that I think most humans mess up is assuming that animals and humans share the same of what is right and wrong. If it is possible for dogs to feel guilt, then it would definitely be guilt over different things than concerns humans. Dog says: “Hey, buddy, you left the steak on the counter. What were *you* thinking? I know you don’t want me to take things from the counter, but you know perfectly well that I will. So, what is the problem here? I’m really confused.”

    DOG: Fear – yes, Joy – yes, Anger – yes, Disgust – yes, Guilt – maybe, but I lean more toward ‘yes’ than ‘no’, Jealousy – yes

    FERRET: Fear – YES, Joy – YES, Anger – YES, Disgust – YES, Guilt – maybe, Jealousy – YES

  78. Connie says

    Without reading the blog first…

    Fear – yes, & can think of an example why I think so
    Joy – yes, same reason
    Anger – yes, again same reason
    Disgust – not sure but would guess yes
    Guilt – not sure but would guess no (unless it means more ‘remorse’, which I would guess yes)
    Jealousy – yes, think I have seen an example

    Might comment again after I finish reading the blog.

  79. Connie says

    Whoops, didn’t read down far enough before commenting, but here is my distinction;

    Same answers as above for dogs:
    Fear, yes
    Joy, yes
    Anger, yes
    Disgust, yes
    Guilt, no
    Jealousy, no

    For hamsters, and I think it is different because I perceive them as NOT a ‘group-living/social species’ like dogs;
    Fear – yes
    Joy – not sure but would guess yes (wouldn’t finding a nut as a hamster feel pretty great?)
    Anger – not sure but would guess no
    Disgust – not sure but would guess no
    Guilt – no
    Jealousy – no

  80. Karin says

    Animals in general:
    Fear – yes
    Joy – yes
    Anger – yes
    Disgust – no
    Guilt – no
    jealousy -no

    Dogs:
    yes to all

  81. says

    When a pup bites his/her dog friend too hard, and the friend turns around, lots of growling noise and bites the pup–not to hard but hard enough–then it’s over. Isn’t that pain followed by spike of anger???? Trish would you explain your and the many responders about the answer NO on anger. Thank you.
    Also Jealousy versus resource guarding?

  82. Fjm says

    I’m not sure which emotion this would be – the sense of unease or annoyance we get when a regular pattern is disturbed? – but Sophy had an interesting reaction the other day. The dogs have been taught to Wait for Bicycles – either by coming to me at the side of the path, or if we are taken by surprise, by freezing wherever they are (I reckon the cyclists are more likely to avoid them that way, although I wish bells and their use were mandatory!). We saw a very small child on a very small pink fairy cycle, complete with stabiliser wheels, bombing along behind us, and I asked the dogs to wait. Slightly before she reached us, the child also decided to stop and wait for her parents to catch up. I released the dogs, and walked on, and then realised Sophy was still – rather impatiently – waiting for the bicycle to go by. The pattern is see bicycle, wait, bicycle passes, reward and/or praise, walk on. In the end Sophy got so frustrated that the child was not fulfilling her part of the bargain she started barking at her! The only way of making everyone happy was to ask the child to cycle past, at which Sophy relaxed, and off we went. I was reminded of the child that argues “But you said we should always do it this way!”

  83. Kat says

    Was talking about this with my 18 year old this morning. I loved her take on whether cats can feel guilt. Her attitude is that cats are capable of feeling the emotion of guilt but that they don’t do it. Made me laugh, I can believe that about cats.

  84. says

    I am really looking forward to reading the results of the research. You have got me thinking! All of these emotions seem so second-hand to a human, perhaps it isn’t fair to put that burden on an animal we don’t entirely understand. But since I consider humans to be animals here are my thoughts:

    Animals:

    Fear- Yes
    Joy- Yes
    Anger- Yes
    Disgust – Yes
    Guilt – Yes
    Jealousy – Yes

    Dogs:

    Fear- Yes
    Joy- Yes
    Anger- Yes
    Disgust – No
    Guilt – No
    Jealousy – Maybe?

    Hamsters:

    Fear- Yes
    Joy-
    Anger-
    Disgust –
    Guilt –
    Jealousy –

    Honestly? I just don’t know enough about hamsters. I believe all animals experience fear as it is necessary for survival. But joy or disgust? I remain unsure. It’s certainly possible as I don’t have a clue how to read hamster body language. Maybe they experience a whole world of emotions we are unaware of. That’s what makes it so fascinating.

  85. trisha says

    Just to be clear: I haven’t yet made a comment regarding anger or any other emotion (but I will soon, Katie and I are working on the results of the survey now!)

  86. says

    I’m really surprised at how few people have commented about the shifty definitions of these words. I wouldn’t be able to answer your questions until I knew how you were defining the words. In any case, my answers would be the same for dogs and humans. I just don’t think that jealousy and guilt are emotions. They are purely cognitive processes, which humans and many other animals can learn to experience. In order for us to be on the same page, you’d have to define the words differently than my current understanding.

  87. says

    @DeAnna, I think this is somewhat the point of the survey, ie to see what pet owners actually believe. For example it seems clear that many many people believe that their dog, hours after the deed, ‘knows’ they did wrong and the look with ears pinned and nose down indicates guilt. Now I think most of us on this site know it is just a response to the owners displeasure, or words like “Fido! what did you do…..Bad boy….”

    @Kat, I LOVE your daughter’s comment that cats can feel guilt but won’t do it!

    Yet an other question for Trishia: I think you would get MUCH different survey answers if people at the dog park were asked or people on the street than asking trainers or folks who are and have been interested in animal behavior like on your site, including all of us either in businesses relating to animals or training?

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