Can dogs experience disappointment?

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I found an interesting post on a blog called “A City Mom” on the Chicago Now website. Kim Strickland asked the question – “Can a dog understand a broken promise?”

It seems she promised her dog they would go on a morning jog, but circumstances pushed back the outing. Her dog exhibited some unusual behavior, in expressing displeasure with the delay.

Dogs do indeed experience emotions such as this. Recent studies have even suggested there is special and unique mental connection people have with their dogs, quite possibly the result of a shared bit of evolutionary process, over thousands of years of living together as buddy species – if you will.

I’m glad other bloggers and writers are sharing their stories that highlight the human-animal connection.

3 thoughts on “Can dogs experience disappointment?

  1. Of course they can, and thank you for writing about this. They know when I promise something and they know when I don’t deliver. Well done!

  2. There was a program, I believe on National Geographic, that explored the evolution of the domestic dog. One of the most interesting things, for me, was the dogs’ ability to understand gestures and to follow eye gaze of humans. They are the only animals that consistently use our non-verbal cues. Given a choice between two cups, one concealing a treat, the other empty, the dogs repeatedly chose the cup that a human either pointed at or gazed toward. Chimps, one of our closest animal cousins, completely ignored both cues. The more we learn, the less special we are in the animal world. šŸ™‚

  3. I think this bond we have with companion animals is really special. Notice how your dogs even shows facial expression.

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