We, humans, communicate with our dogs in many ways: with the voice, with the body, with the look. But very often we forget that we can also communicate in another way: with our emotions, through the emotional osmosis.
This concept becomes even more important when dealing with a special dog: working on our emotions can become a way to work on the emotions of the dog and consequently on his behavior.
Emotional osmosis is real!
The concept of emotional osmosis refers to the transmission and sharing of emotions between dogs and humans. This means that if I am scared, my dog can feel my fear and consequently experience this emotion. That’s why to work on behavioral problems caused by emotions, it is important to be able to work on your feelings too.
Personally, I have been able to experience this connection with Argos on several occasions. I happened to get angry and notice that the reactivity of Argos was definitely increased. The same thing happened to me with fear: if I do not feel calm for any reason, Argos shows fear even if apparently we do not understand why.
Some studies on this subject
All attentive owners of dogs will have noticed this emotional connection. It is not at all a suggestion, but it is a real connection, also studied by academics who deal with animal behavior.
Professor Biagio D’Aniello from the Department of Biology of the University Federico II of Naples demonstrated together with his team that this transmission happens thanks to olfactory signals: the dog literally sniffs our emotions.
A similar study was also conducted by Dr. Iris Schoberl, from the University of Vienna confirmed that dogs and owners are emotionally similar. In particular, analyzing more than 100 human-dog binomials, she noted that anxiety and fear are the emotions that most easily affect the dog.
How to work on our dog working on ourselves
Working on our emotions is very difficult, it’s true. But it is a fundamental step to be able to really work on the emotions of our dog and all the behaviors that come from them. For example, is your dog very fearful? Try to stop being afraid that he can be afraid. Try to see the world with confident and positive eyes: it will be the first step in a long work to help your dog get out of his shell.
Is your dog responsive to dogs or to people? Try to be more relaxed yourself, do not be afraid and try to convey calm and security to your dog. To reduce its reactivity, you must also work on your stress level.
Did you notice an emotional connection with your dog? Tell me about it in the comments!