30 Oct 23

What Do Dogs Think About?

What Do Dogs Think About?

Dogs! They are our best friends, our loyal companions, and the subject of countless internet memes, but have you ever asked yourself, "What do dogs think about?" or "do dogs think?" Well, the answer is a little complicated. It's a question that has long been debated by scientists and pet parents alike. Do dogs think like human beings, or do they have a unique way of processing information? What exactly are our dogs thinking about?

In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of dog cognition and attempt to answer the question once and for all! Stay tuned for some amazing insights into the inner workings of your furry friend's mind!

Do Dogs Think?

A dog posing for a photo

This is a hotly contested topic among researchers. Some believe that dogs are capable of complex thought processes, while others contend that their thoughts are more simplistic. However, there is one thing that everyone can agree on: dogs do think, and they do it in their special way.

All dog owners know that their pup is capable of forming complex emotional bonds. They can sense when we are happy, sad, stressed, or angry. They know when we've been gone for a long time and they miss us. They can also sense when we are about to leave, and they want to come with us. All of these things require a certain level of thought and emotion.

The Duke Canine Cognition Center has conducted extensive research on dog cognition. One of their most famous studies is the "strange situation test." This test is designed to measure a dog's attachment to its owner.

The results of this study showed that dogs form strong attachments to their owners, and they experience separation anxiety when they are away from them. This indicates that dogs are capable of understanding the concept of time, and they can anticipate when their owner will return.

So if dogs are capable of forming these emotional bonds, does that mean they are capable of complex thought processes? It's possible! Dogs have a brain structure that is very similar to humans. They even have a neocortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for higher-level cognition. This means that dogs are capable of complex cognition, but they might not always process information in the same way that humans do.

How Do Dogs Think?

A Dog staring out of a window

Dogs process information differently than human beings. They can see and smell things that we cannot, which gives them a unique perspective on the world. For example, dogs can use their sense of smell to track down lost people or animals. They can also tell when other dogs are sick or injured by smells that we cannot even detect.

Scientists believe that dogs process information in what is called the "subcortical mind". This is the part of the dog's brain that is responsible for instinct and emotions. This means that dogs are more in tune with their feelings and emotions than we are. They are also more likely to act on impulse, which can sometimes get them into trouble!

What Do Dogs Think About?

A dog laying on another dog

This is a difficult question to answer, as we cannot know for sure what is going on inside a dog's mind. However, we can make some educated guesses based on their behavior and action

It is widely believed that dogs are capable of thinking about past, present, and future events. This means that they are not only able to remember things that have happened to them in the past, but they can also anticipate future events.

For example, a dog may remember that he was taken to the dog park at 3 pm every day and begin to get excited when he sees you getting ready to go out at that time. This ability to think about the future is known as episodic memory, and it is something that human beings share with dogs.

Dogs are also capable of what is known as “mental time travel” – they can recall past events and use this information to make decisions in the present. For example, a dog may remember that he was given a treat for sitting patiently while his owner put on his leash, and he may decide to sit patiently, in the same way, today to get another treat.

So, what does this all mean? It means that dogs are quite intelligent creatures! They are capable of complex thought processes and have their unique way of understanding the world, we just cannot communicate with them the way we can with other human beings since they don't speak human language.

Do Dogs Have Good Memory?

A dog with a tennis ball in mouth

Dogs have an incredible memory. They can remember things that happened to them years ago ,and they can also remember people and other dogs they have met. Scientific American reports that several studies have shown that dogs have a “remarkable capacity for long-term memory.”

Dogs remember things differently than humans do, however. While we tend to store memories chronologically, dogs seem to store them more based on the emotion they felt at the time. So, if your dog remembers a time when he was scared, he may not remember exactly when it happened, but he will remember how he felt. Same with their encounter with people. They may not remember what the person looks like, but they will remember how that person made them feel.

This ability to remember based on emotion is likely due to the fact that dogs have a much better sense of smell than we do. Their sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than ours, which means they are able to remember things based on the scent they associate with that event.

How Do Pet Parents Tell What Their Dog Is Thinking?

A woman staring at her dog

There are a few ways to tell what your furry friend is thinking.

Observe Their Body Language

One way is to observe their body language. Dogs communicate a lot with their bodies, and you can often tell what they think by how they move and position themselves. For example, a dog who is standing still and staring at you intently is likely trying to communicate something. The question would now be, what is this dog trying to communicate? This can be determined by looking at the context of the situation and observing other cues, such as the dog’s facial expression and tail position.

Pay Close Attention To Their Vocalizations

A barking dog

Another way to tell what your furry friend is thinking is to pay attention to their vocalizations. Dogs make all kinds of sounds, from barks and growl to whines and whimpers. Each of these sounds has a different meaning, and they can give you clues as to what your dog is thinking or feeling. You just need to be attentive.

Dogs bark for all kinds of reasons, from excitement and happiness to fear and warning. If you pay attention to the tone of your dog’s bark, you may be able to tell what they are trying to communicate.

Your Dog's Facial Expression

Another way to tell what your dog is thinking is to pay attention to their facial expressions. Dogs express a wide range of emotions through their faces, from happiness and excitement to fear and anxiety. Also, make eye contact. For example, a dog who is baring his teeth is likely feeling aggressive or threatened, while a dog who has his ears back and tail between his legs is likely feeling scared or submissive.

Consider Their Behavior In Different Situations

A pug laying on a couch

This is another way to get clues about what your dog may be thinking. Dogs often behave differently in different situations, so observation is key. They behave differently when they are happy, scared, anxious, or angry, so by observing how your dog behaves in different situations, you may be able to get a better idea of what they are thinking or feeling.

For example, a dog who is usually very calm and relaxed may become agitated and start barking when he sees another dog on a walk. This could be because he is feeling threatened or defensive. Alternatively, a dog who loves to play fetch may suddenly stop playing and walk away when his owner tries to take the ball from him. This could be because he is feeling possessive or doesn’t want to share.

Ask Them What They Are Thinking

This may sound odd, but one of the best ways to find out what your dog is thinking is to simply ask them! Dogs are not able to speak words as we do, but they are capable of learning a limited number of words and commands. If you take the time to teach your dog some basic commands, you will be able to communicate with them more effectively.

You'll never completely understand what's going on in your pet's mind, but you can get pretty close by observing their behavior and using some logic.


Your dog understands a lot more than you think, and they have a unique way of looking at the world. However, since they cannot speak human language, it can be difficult to understand what they are thinking. The best way to try to figure it out is to observe their behaviors and use some logic. With time and patience, you will be able to get a pretty good idea of what your furry friend is thinking!