Advances in science and technology have allowed us to demonstrate that various animals, especially mammals, they experience basic emotions in a similar way to humans. And, although emotions must be differentiated from feelings since the latter involve a conscious evaluation of the neuronal, chemical and hormonal responses that predispose us to act in a certain way when faced with a certain stimulus (what emotions are, come on). However, any dog owner who observes him long enough in his home will discover behaviors that will surprise him.
Let’s make it clear in advance that science and technology have so far not allowed us to prove that the complex and reflective thinking What is needed to affirm that a living being has feelings is present in dogs. However, anyone who lives with a dog throughout his life will see him experience a wide range of “feelings” ranging from love and sadness to jealousy and envy.
In fact, what neuroscientists have been able to confirm through studies on canine emotional learning is that dogs are perfectly capable of have complex emotions like those of humans.
It is also true that often our subjective gaze it can misinterpret and humanize behaviors observed in our pets. However, we live with them so many moments that baffle us and fill us with unanswered questions that it seems inevitable not to try to fill in the gaps.
He’s just so kind
♬ Can’t Help Falling in Love – Haley Reinhart
This is what happens to us, for example, with the video that has gone viral on TikTok of a dog playing with its favorite stuffed animal in a most touching way. The clip in question has been uploaded to the platform by the @gideonthedachshund account and is starring a dachshund puppy.
This little dog, named Gideon, just got a bowl of his food. Nevertheless, instead of eating, he takes his stuffed animal and puts it on the food. The most curious thing is that it is a habitual behavior and, after observing it, its owners interpret that it does it “so that its bear eats first”.
While we can’t know his actual intentions, much as we wish he was actually taking care of his stuffed animal. What we do know about it is that, in packs of wolves and dogs in their habitat, the leader eats first and, after him, the rest of the dogs that follow him in the hierarchical order.
So when a dog waits for its packmate to eat first, it is offering the pack leader the respect due to the nature of the pack’s rank structure. So, going back to the video, it is not at all unreasonable to think that this behavior is what it seems: a sign of respect towards his packmate. And who knows if in the future it can be shown that something else.
Cover photo | @gideonthedachshund
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