This article provides the brief for animal emotional capacity. In short, those supporting the idea that animals have emotions state that animal (like dog) brains have an amygdala just like human brains which is the source for many human emotions. This side also notes the importance of emotions evolutionarily, so animals with extend lifespans and intelligent capacity experience emotion.
An ABC repot states that “animals definitely have primary emotions like fear. They can also feel anger. And now there is growing evidence that they have secondary emotions like love, jealousy and greed.” This is largely attributed to the presence of the amygdala.
From my personal experiences with dog, I’d have to say wholeheartedly that dogs experience intense emotions.
It is fair to say a dog can feel emotions, and we can see this through their actions. If a dog has been abused or had a traumatic experience, it is common for that dog to have fear, anger, sadness, or mistrust. These are all various forms of emotions.
Having worked at Veterinary Hospital for a year I can say that, in my opinion, dogs certainly have emotions. You need only observe a dog that comes into the lobby of any vet. They come in all anxious, not exactly knowing what’s going on. Their taken to the exam room where a stranger pokes at them, they constantly try to get back to their owners, feeling a sense of security with them I’m sure. And no more are their emotions seen(and felt) then when they’re put in the kennel. Barking, feeling trapped, some lay fearfully in a corner, wondering what’s going to happen to them.
So in short…Yes.
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