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Thread: Do Dogs Feel Love?

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    Elite Member silver024's Avatar
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    Default Do Dogs Feel Love?

    We feel tremendous love for our dogs, and our dogs sure seem to love us. But is a dog really capable of emotions? Or are we just projecting our feelings onto our dogs?
    Scientists avoid the subject because part of what sets humans apart from the animals is our ability to experience feelings. To say that animals actually have feelings, in the same way we do, would change everything – perhaps disrupt our entire position and standing in the animal kingdom.

    However, any dog owner knows that dogs love completely and have a greater capacity for love than most people. If one were to describe the main characteristics of a dog, they would have to be:
    1. strong affection
    2. warm attachment
    3. unselfish loyalty and benevolent concern for others

    Wait a minute – those are the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definitions of love. Probably why the author of Dogs Never Lie About Love, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson writes, “dogs are love.” So there isn’t a question of whether dogs love, the mystery is how they have such an enormous capacity for it. Dogs who are neglected or abused still show love for their human and wag their tails in hope of a little affection.

    Dogs taken from abusive situations hold no grudges toward the human race. A half an ounce of kindness from a new person results in an abundance of affection from the formerly mistreated dog. Humans rarely have the capacity to so completely forgive and love under those circumstances.

    Probably the biggest reason the dog has become man’s best friend is because we know that when it comes to love, a dog can always outdo us. The highest form of love, agape love, which is completely unconditional, is something that people often have to work at or grow into. Agape love seems to come naturally between parent and child, but it’s more difficult between husband and wife, and harder still between friends. To love someone regardless of what wrongs they have done you is very difficult for humans.

    A dog, however, is born with an endless capacity for agape love, and doesn’t even have to work at it. You can be a complete grouch, ignore your dog, and refuse him your love. When you decide you’re ready to be sociable again, your dog doesn’t pay you back by ignoring you too. He’s just happy you’re there. More amazing still, is that the love that dogs and owners feel for each other lasts a lifetime. This is the ideal love humans strive for, but often fail at.

    As Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson so beautifully writes in Dogs Never Lie About Love, “Learning to know somebody intimately is often the beginnings of dislike, sometimes even of contempt. Among humans, love often does not survive a growing acquaintance, but in a dog, love seems to grow with acquaintance, to get stronger, deeper. Even when fully acquainted with all our weaknesses, our treachery, our unkindness, the dog seems to love strongly – and this love is returned by most dog-loving humans. We, too, seem to love our dogs the more we get to know them. The bond grows between us and our dogs.”

    This is why we need dogs. They do something for us that rarely a human companion can do. No matter how much you mess up your life, or how much wrong you do, no matter how many mistakes you make or how often you make them, regardless of your looks, income or social standing, your dog never judges you. He always thinks you are wonderful and loves you with all his heart.

    -http://pets.yahoo.com/dogs/behavior-and-training/316/do-dogs-feel-love/


    I don't care what any scientist says, animals can feel love. Anyone that has ever had a pet knows this. Dogs are amazing when it comes to unconditional love, they really do love you no matter what.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Yes, they do!
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    Elite Member VenusInFauxFurs's Avatar
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    They feel love for sure!
    When your daughter plays "House," she pretends to be an annoying doctor with a pill-addiction and a limp.

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    They do feel love.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Well, it's a bit of a matter of the dog not really understanding abstract concepts.

    If your dog knew what murder was and you offed a bunch of peopl, he might think somewhat less of you.

    If your dog knew what kind of asshole you were for mocking cripples, he might think less of you.

    Dogs love unconditionally because they don't have the capacity to be aware of conditions. It's a bit stupid and disingenuous to attribute inflinching loyalty and affection from a pet that wouldn't understand how horrible you were if you were Hitler himself, to a grand understanding and dismissal of those terrible traits.

    Dogs dont care how you look, how much you earn, how many people you murder because they have no concept of these things whatsoever. You're the pack leader, you give them a pat on the head and provide food. Bout it.
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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    I love animals, especially cats and dogs, but Grimm is right.

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Yes they do <3

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    Gold Member Reptillycus's Avatar
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    Grimm is right, but I think they also recognize and return personal love, too. I don't see a contradiction here.
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    Elite Member Blackberry's Avatar
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    Can you feel love?! What a stupid question. I don't get these people... Dogs are living creatures, of couse they feel love!

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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    My religion teacher once told me animals are unable to feel love. Only humans were given the capacity for love. Something about grace or something.. I dunno. I'm religious, but I even thought that was a load of Catholic crap.

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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    They do!

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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    That's exactly what I shouted during the class.

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    Elite Member Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stylejunkiex View Post
    My religion teacher once told me animals are unable to feel love. Only humans were given the capacity for love. Something about grace or something.. I dunno. I'm religious, but I even thought that was a load of Catholic crap.

    Sounds like it. Something else to set us apart from animals that "only God could have given to us". It's all bout making this foolish Darwin guy a little less credible.

    Of course can dogs love!
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    Elite Member litupgirl's Avatar
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    I think dogs love like a small child loves. They are only aware of how you treat them. Others and conditions don't matter.

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    Great article! Yes I believe dogs(and other animals) feel love.
    If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning

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