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Any dog lover will tell you that dogs have a sixth sense when it comes to understanding human emotional needs.
They also listen better, respond appropriately to your emotions, and seem to genuinely care about your feelings. The same emotional connections that dogs experience in packs can transfer easily to any group setting, including cross-species situations. Of course, there are many other fascinating things that your dog understands about you that you may not be aware of. Here is a look at 15 things your dog can sense about you along with some insight into how dogs do these things and what it all means. When you feel sad, your dog will immediately pick up on this and adjust his behavior accordingly. The scientists insist that this study does not prove that dogs experience empathy, but it certainly goes a long way to supporting the claim.
Dogs lick for a number of reasons, some of which are purely biological: Bitches lick their newborn pups to arouse them from their postpartum daze. Dogs, like people, engage in a number of "displacement behaviors" when nervous or stressed, and many of these behaviors involve self-grooming. Dogs do not experience the stop-go conflict of the traffic lights but they do have their own share of dilemmas. Some sensitive dogs in stressful environments compulsively groom themselves to the point of self-injury. I don't believe dogs express their sometimes quite profound feelings for their owners by licking or "kissing." In fact, I don't believe dogs really "kiss" at all.

Dogs nuzzle and lick humans they think are in distress - behaving in a submissive manner designed to offer comfort, say Goldsmiths, University of London researchers.
For dog lovers, the idea that man's best friend can feel our pain is not in doubt - and now research is lending weight to the idea.Dogs nuzzle and lick humans they think are in distress - behaving in a submissive manner designed to offer comfort. Significantly more dogs looked at, approached and touched the humans as they were crying as opposed to humming, and no dogs responded during talking. Sometimes their abilities can be downright spooky, but there are strong scientific explanations for your dog’s behaviors. After a while, he may come over and lie down at your feet or gently rest his head in your lap.
What is more, dogs will approach anyone who is upset the same way, regardless of whether that person is their owner or not. It also clearly indicates that dogs can identify sadness as an emotion that is different from other feelings. In this situation, licking serves to remove clingy membranes from the pup, freeing him up to move and stimulating him to breathe.
You only have to glance to the side the next time you are stuck at a red light to see what I mean. For some dogs, it seems that they engage in face licking because they can get away with it and because it gets a rise out of the person.
Perhaps some dogs are so awed by their owners that they feel the need to signal their ongoing deference by face licking.
Eighteen pet dogs were tested with their owner - and then strangers - talking, pretending to cry, or humming.

The motivation for face licking appears to vary for different dogs and different circumstances.
The driver next to you will likely be stroking his hair, looking in the mirror, or trying to pick something out from between his teeth. We vets expect our more anxious patients to begin nervously licking their own lips as they enter the clinic. If the recipient of the licking interprets this behavior as "make-up kisses," that's just fine. When licking is performed for such a reason, it may be component of the "center stage," attention-demanding behavior of dominant dogs.
A dog’s master is the center of his entire world, so sensing your feelings of sadness will have an effect on him too. Whatever the outward expression of compulsive licking, the mechanics underlying the disorder are the same. Licking their own lips, limbs, and trunk removes traces of the last meal that would otherwise begin to decompose and smell.
Quite apart from the hygienic aspects of this behavior, it also serves to keep dogs relatively odor free and thus olfactorily invisible to their prey.

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