If you’ve ever had a good cry in front of your dog you already know the answer to whether or not your dog knows you’re sad. I’m going to give you the science behind it that proves just how deeply our pups empathize with us. I’m Anai Fonte and I own the raddest dog hotel in Miami. With over a decade of closely caring for our furry best friends, I am going to give you some cool insight on our incredible bond.


In the article, “Canine Comfort: Do Dogs Know When You’re Sad?” by livescience.com they cite a small study conducted in 2012 “they were responding to the person’s emotion, not their own needs, which is suggestive of empathic-like comfort-offering behavior,” Mayer said in a statement…Of the 15 dogs that approached a crying owner or stranger, 13 did so with submissive body language, such as tucked tails and bowed heads, another behavior consistent with empathy (the other two were alert or playful).”

In a more recent study from 2018 also published in livescience.com researchers had a dog sit behind a glass with their owners on the other side. They used a door with magnets that the dog could use to reach his owner. They then asked their owners to cry and also hum. When the owners cried, dogs pushed through the door 40 seconds faster than when their humans were humming. Some dogs did not push through the door and were exhibiting stress presumably from being unable to be with their owners. “That result may be “reflective of empathy,” the authors wrote. But it’s difficult to conclude that for sure, Meyers-Manor said. And as to whether dogs want to help their owners or just want to alleviate their own sadness — that remains unclear.”


Does your dog know when you’re sad?


  • All signs point to yes.
  • Dogs respond in ways that indicate they’re attempting to provide comfort.
  • Dogs may also feel sad when you do.


You always knew it but now you know, know it. Just another reason dogs are the best!

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