Scientific proof animals do have emotions like us - Page 2

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by Hundmutter on 22 May 2019 - 18:05

I'm sure they do, Mindhunt. Including the way dogs study the left side of human faces. The trouble with that approach - or, rather, the way it is popularly put across - is that it can ascribe too much e.g. planning ability to the 'bright' (which standards are we using ?) young humans, and then convey it onwards as "so dogs are capable of this also". (ie 'all' dogs; then extrapolated to chimps, cats, horses, pigs ...with very little supporting evidence). Children (even 'bright' ones) show a good deal of variation in capacity  [as do adults !] - so why put dogs (or any other species) all together ?


by Mindhunt on 23 May 2019 - 13:05

Again, from what I understand from the research, they also did PET scans of dogs to see which parts of the brain light up.  Even IQ testing which I do as part of my job, we learned can be influenced by many factors which is why we use 95% confidence level and a range because IQ is somewhat variable but not totally.  Same is true with animal research into cognition and affect as well as social behaviors.  The norm is 95% confidence level and a clear description of inclusion and exclusion criteria, methods and such.   I also believe you get what you believe you will get.  If you believe your dog is intelligent, your dog will be.  I like the idea dogs are similar to bright elementary school children, hopefully those who abuse, neglect, use outdated coercive methods will think twice, then again, they probably won't.


by Hundmutter on 23 May 2019 - 15:05

The trouble with the conclusions being drawn by a lot of the research, at least as reported to the general public (as distinct from peer review), is that the ideas generated are 'sold' as complete little stories that brook no objection or discretion. Brain scans show what parts 'light up' but they do not really tell us exactly WHAT is being lit up, or to what DEGREE that complies with comparisons. In humans or dogs.

I thought IQ tests for humans had been discredited years ago.


by Hundmutter on 23 May 2019 - 15:05

Another thought: "If you believe your dog is intelligent, your dog will be."
Well yeah I expect so, at least YOU will think YOUR dog is intelligent - not everyone will see the same, though; any more than I may have believed my brother was intelligent, and to me he was, but some others could never see how clever he was. A lot of things are not easy to exactly quantify, and remain 'in the eye of the beholder'.

Thought we were discussing emotional response though, not necessarily intelligence levels ?


by Mindhunt on 24 May 2019 - 16:05

Ability to have nuanced emotional responses is tied up in intelligence.  Animals like humans can have stunted emotional responses when traumatized.  Much like a child will become still, pull arms in, quiet voice with minimal word responses, pull in their emotions and intelligence around abusers, so can dogs become shadows of themselves and pull in their full range of emotions and intelligence.  I have seen both children who are shadows of themselves, 2 dimensional, seemingly dumb (hate the term but it will give you the picture) and when they show a flicker of their real intelligence, quickly squash it or divert attention from it by behavior, I have seen the same with dogs.  My 2nd German Shepherd was very abused and I believe he was punished for any flash of intelligence or any behavior beyond that of a robot.  He finally came out of his shell and was an amazing dog.  I do believe the research has quantified standards for cognition and affect they are using.


by Hundmutter on 24 May 2019 - 17:05

I think I see what you are saying, with the 'emotional response tied up in intelligence', and I too have seen 'shut-down' dogs eventually recover / come out of themselves. Perhaps I'm not making my argument clear about the sort of 'reports' that tell us how dogs have, shall we say 'equivalent', emotional responses to humans. I think we should be ultra careful about supporting any populistic approach to the question of how much this is true, and how universal it is (or isn't). That is IMO a responsibility those of us who do 'know' dogs (or other animals) have, to not over-defend a position that all emotional responses are the same, and all the same emotional responses apply to all species, because there are a lot of people out there who do not have that direct knowledge, and just swallow it as an absolute Truth. And it clearly isn't.

mrdarcy (admin)

by mrdarcy on 24 May 2019 - 19:05

Moved from OT guys as this is more about dogs than not, sorry.


by Hundmutter on 24 May 2019 - 20:05

No need to be sorry MrD - hope Mindhunt does not mind, but a similar thought had tonight occurred to me, that this is really about dogs as much as anything. Maybe bringing it onto Main will attract comments from some other people who don't normally hang out on the Off Topic forum ?

mrdarcy (admin)

by mrdarcy on 25 May 2019 - 16:05

Yes Hundmutter you may be right.


by Sunsilver on 25 May 2019 - 23:05

Friends of mine had a female husky and two of her offspring. The offspring were in their own kennel, right next to the mother's as she became aggressive with them once they reached maturity. All of them were neutered.

The female had lepto as a pup, and it damaged her kidneys. I think she was about 12 years old when she became very ill. They took her to the vet, and the vet said the damage to her kidneys had caught up to her in her old age, and there was nothing that could be done. Euthanasia was the best course of action.

Well, that night, anyone within earshot of the dog kennel didn't get much sleep. Her brother howled and howled. The next morning, he, too, collapsed and was taken to the vet. The diagnosis was a heart attack. As there was nothing much that could be done for him, he was euthanized as well.

If you wanted to get all anthropomorphic about it, you could say he died of a broke heart...

The mother dog seemed unaffected by the death of her offspring.


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