The HABRI Foundation is calling for research proposals to investigate the health outcomes of pet ownership and/or animal-assisted activity or therapy, both for the people and the animals involved. To learn more, visit close

You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Do we understand what it means for dogs to experience emotion? / About

Do we understand what it means for dogs to experience emotion?

By Lasana T. Harris

View Link (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles

Psychologists who study humans struggle to agree on a definition of emotion, falling primarily into two camps. Though recent neuroscience advances are beginning to settle this ancient debate, it cannot solve the private-language problem at the heart of inferences about social cognition. This suggests that when we consider the emotional experiences of other species like canines, biological and physiological homologs do not provide enough evidence of emotional experiences similar to those of humans. Secondary complex emotional experiences are even more difficult to attribute to non-humans since such experiences rely, by definition, on social cognition. Given the contextual differences between human-human and canine-human interactions, the communicative function of emotions may also differ in canines.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2017
Publication Title Animal Sentience
Volume 2
Issue 14
Pages 4
DOI 10.51291/2377-7478.1254
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Dogs
  3. Emotions
  4. Human-animal interactions
  5. Mammals
  6. open access
  7. Pets and companion animals
  1. open access