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What Do Dogs Think About? – Understand Thoughts of Dogs


Dogs definitely have thoughts and feelings and can experience emotions just the same as humans can, just slightly different.

While it is not actually possible to see if dogs can and do have feelings, it is very possible to try and understand their behaviour associated with their emotions.

How To Understand The Thoughts Of Your Dog  - Training The Toddler, Training The Puppy

Trying to train a puppy is a complex task as it is trying to teach a toddler something.  Dogs work on a very “hear and now” basis.  Enforcement or punishment should be dished out immediately so that they will learn to associate the reaction of the owner to their previous behaviour.

One example of this can be feeding time:  if you feed your dog at the same time every day, at the same place and in much the same way, he will anticipate this happening. He will be very happy about the food being rewarded, but will also understand the surrounding behaviour and how things will pan out.


Dogs work on a very “hear and now” basis.

What do dogs think about?

Emotional Intelligence For Dogs

Dogs are emotional and intelligent creatures.  They don’t communicate the same way as humans, nor respond in the same way.  But if you take the time and just focus on their body language, a whole new world will be opening up for you to communicate with your beloved pet.  You will get an insight into what your dog is thinking as well as what he is trying to tell you.

Dogs can communicate a whole array of thoughts and feelings, e.g.:

  • “I am scared” – a tail between the legs might be a sign that your dog is not comfortable with a situation or a slight bit scared
  • “Let’s play” – when your hound enthusiastically tackles the ball in your presence, you may be required to spare some play time. 
  • “Wagging tail” – a joyous greeting when you get home from work will show just happy your pet is to see you.

A tail between the legs might be a sign that your dog is scared

Trust The Instincts And The Nose!

A wealth of people will tell you that if a dog does not trust someone, you should do the same.  Dogs have a keen sense of trust and can’t be fooled easily.  If they are not comfortable with a person or a situation, they will get your attention to it. 


Dogs have a keen sense of trust and can’t be fooled easily

Some dog species – the hounds specifically, have a superb sense of smell.  Their nose strength is leaps and bounds ahead of humans and they will be able to smell “trouble” a mile away.  Service dogs are used a lot for this purpose to “find” trapped humans or rescue the lost.  Communication on this front is done via the nose and communicated via excited bodily behaviour.

What do dogs think about? Listening To What The Dog Is Thinking

Currently, science is not at such an advanced stage that we are able to understand and decipher what our dogs are thinking or trying to say – we might even never know.

But what we do know is that we can work with what information we have available.  Take time to understand your dog, really listen to his body language and you will communicate on a completely different level.  

The Wondrous Service Dogs

Of all the dog owners in the world as well as the dogs around, I think service dogs and their handlers / owners are the best at knowing what their companions are thinking.  Both of them are so wonderfully in tune with each other.  The slightest movement or emotion sparks up a range of actions.

This relationship and symbiotic form of communication is based purely on trust – where each literally trusts the other with their lives. 

Related posts on NolongerWild
How To Put a Dog To Sleep (Home Remedies)
Why Do You Need Soothing Music for Dogs? (Which Music?)
I Think My Dog Has Autism (5 Potential Signs)


1. https://www.bhg.com/pets/dogs/dog-behavior/reading-dog-body--language/
2. https://www.dogfather.co.uk/articles-and-tips/What-is-my-dog-thinking/
3. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/10/explore-animals-dog-brain/

About the Author Cindy Grant

A pet lover from Boston, USA who is extremely passionate about all cute little pets, especially puppies, kittens and birds. I created NolongerWild as a community where all pet lovers around the world can meet and share their passion with each other.

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