Dog Love: Decoding Your Dog’s Emotions

Do dogs have the same emotions that we do? Board certified veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Lisa Radosta takes us on a journey of exploration in this fascinating video.


Here are some of the topics explored and the time stamp where they begin.


1:45 Your dog’s emotions can be understood by looking at specific parts of their body and the signals that they are displaying.

2:00 Facial expressions are similar in dogs, cats, chimpanzees, and people. Check out the play-face comparison between a dog and a child!

2:34 This is what relaxed and happy dogs look like. They express it in their body posture, expressions, and body language.

4:13 Scientists have taught dogs to lie quietly in an fMRI machine to investigate how dogs express their emotions and how specific parts of the brain respond to different scenarios and emotional states.

5:30 Meet the caudate nucleus in the brain. It releases the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which is the center of the brain for:

  • reward anticipation
  • concentration
  • motivation
  • energy

6:03 The researchers measured the emotions of the dogs inside the MRI. Find out what lit up the dogs’ pleasure and reward system the most!

8:00 Have you ever heard a dog laugh? Listen to it here. Other dogs recognize this sound and respond to it in a positive way; the other dog’s laughter changed their emotional state.

9:08 Oxytocin is the love hormone! When your dog is petted, oxytocin is released.

9:48 Unfortunately, dogs also express negative emotions too. Learn to understand the signs.

10:20 Do dogs grieve? Find out.

11:28 How do you know if your dog loves you? Look for these signs of love.

12:38 Here are the body postures that indicate stress and fear. Learn what can cause these emotions, even in your home toward you.

13:20 Is an attached, “velcro dog” a good thing or not?

14:20 How can you improve your relationship with your dog? Even a good relationship can be made better.

16:15 Here are some relationship-boosting ideas.

18:28 Make “bad things” such as nail trims, medication applications, or vet visits fun.