Empathy is the ability to immediately perceive other people’s frame of mind. It is a gift that few are blessed with and our four-legged friends are among the chosen few. In fact, according to recent studies, dogs are the animals most capable of sensing, understanding and feeling the emotions and sentiments of others.
The healing power of dogs
Dogs have an innate sensitivity that is rarely found in other living beings; we don’t need any teachers to explain it to us and even the most sceptical will be able to put an end to any doubt thanks to scientific confirmation. In fact, research conducted by the University of London Goldsmiths College validates this theory.
All dogs are able to perceive when we are happy and when we are not feeling good and, because of their nature, they do not hesitate to console and make a fuss of us, to bring a smile back to our faces and cheer us up. Have you ever been going through a particularly dark moment in your life, only to find yourself feeling better thanks to your furry friend’s presence, support and cuddles? In fact, he knows when you need help, company and comfort!
How to create empathy with your dog
The empathy in dogs allows them to read our hearts. If your greatest desire is to establish a deep relationship with your dog, just follow these simple tips:
1. LOOK AT THINGS FROM THE OTHER’S PERSPECTIVE. Putting yourself in your four-legged friend’s shoes is a useful exercise for creating a bond with him; keep his past, his history and his tastes in mind, in order to have a clear idea of what he is thinking in a given situation.
2. DO NOT JUDGE. Never criticize your dog’s fears or preferences. For example, if he hides when there is a storm, don’t scold him or make him feel uncomfortable, but try to be understanding instead and let him know that he is safe with you.
3. RECOGNISE YOUR DOG’S EMOTIONS. Based on how he moves his tail, the way he holds his ears and the position in which he sleeps, etc., we can understand our dog’s mood. By training ourselves to recognise the way in which he expresses himself outwardly, little by little, we will understand what he is feeling inside. From here, empathy is just a step away!
4. COMMUNICATE THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE EMOTIONS. Empathy means feeling understood: so, if your dog feels that you understand him, he will feel even more love and trust towards you. Listen to him, be close to him, cuddle him and talk to him and you will see how much your relationship improves!