Do Dogs Know When They Hurt You? Surprising Answer!

Have you ever wondered if dogs know when they bite or hurt you? Of course, I am talking physically because dogs will rarely hurt your feelings. That is why people always say that dogs are better friends than humans because they will not hurt your feelings. However, dogs can hurt you physically and the question is, do they know when they hurt you? 

Do dogs know when they hurt you? No! Dogs do not know when they hurt you or other people. The reason why dogs don’t know when they hurt you is that dogs don’t understand the concept of pain in the same way human beings do. Yes! Dogs can feel shame or fear but don’t know what is harmful to humans. 

Dogs are cute animals, which is why we human beings keep them inside our house. However, even though dogs are cute and can be good friends, dogs don’t know when they hurt you. That is why you still have to be careful if you have a dog inside your house. Give your dog some anti-rabies vaccine to prevent severe infection when they bite you.  

Do Dogs Know When They Hurt You?

Like I have mentioned above, dogs don’t know when they hurt you because dogs don’t know what it means to get hurt in the same way humans do. Dogs can feel anger, grief, shame, fear, or love but dogs don’t know if they are already hurting somebody with their bite. 

Some people ask if dogs don’t know that we humans feel pain when they bite us, then why do dogs show some love or concern to us? The answer to this question is hard because there are still lots of debates on how animals think, feel, and what their emotions are. 

Throughout my life, I had lots of dogs. These dogs have one thing in common. These dogs don’t know that they are hurting me already. Here, let me tell you some story. 

I have had a dog named Max before, he is dead now. Max was a very playful dog and liked to bite or play with my hands using his mouth. Max will bite my hands hard but not so hard that my hands will bleed or break. If I try to pull my hands away, Max would think that I was playing with him and will chase my hands. 

Another story about Max, where he bit me so hard that I needed to go to a doctor. So, Max has had an injury before, a leg injury. I carried Max and accidentally pulled his injured leg. After that, Max bit me on my chin, which is dangerous because it was above the neck. 

To conclude, dogs don’t know when they hurt you but they do know if they are getting hurt already. However, if dogs are just playing with you, dogs will not bite you hard where you will bleed. But if you hurt them, dogs will fight back even though you are their owner because that is the biological characteristic of every animal. 

You must teach your pet dog to not bite so hard. To teach your dog not to bite as hard is easy and best learned when your pet dog was still a puppy. If your pet dog bites or scratches you too hard during playtime, you can shout “ouch” loud. After that, stop playing with your pet dog and give space. 

If you do that, your pet dog might feel sad because you stopped the playtime abruptly and you move away from your dog. This is a subtle way to tell your dog that biting and scratching are not allowed in the house and during playtime. 

Never get angry or upset with your pet dog when they hurt you. Dogs don’t have the same intelligence as us humans. Also, dogs have emotions but are not the same as us humans. It’s natural for dogs to bite too hard or scratch too much when they play and yes, it might hurt you if your dog didn’t realize how strong his teeth were compared to humans. 

Do Dogs Feel Bad When They Hurt You?

Yes! Dogs can feel bad or sad when they hurt you by accident. Dogs combine their senses to gather information to recognize the emotional state of their owners. They combine facial expressions and body language so that we human beings know how they feel. 

Dogs do respond to the voice and gestures of their owners. Dogs can show embarrassment, shame, or regret in their body movements or facial expressions. There is one study from the University of Lincoln that proves that dogs can recognize human emotions. 

When your pet dog hurts you, your dog will try to show that they care. We dog owners should respond in the same way our pet does something wrong as we do when our pet dog behaves well. 

We must show our pet dogs that we love them. However, dogs will not respond to the same type of affection. Every dog is different. That is why we must try different ways to see what makes them feel cared for or loved. 

Do Dogs Get Their Feelings Hurt?

Dogs are sensitive pets and they can pick up on our emotions and behavior as well. You can hurt your dog’s feelings easily. If you say or do something to your dog and it feels that it was mean, your dog’s feelings might get hurt. If you shout at your dog after doing something wrong, it will be hard for your dog’s feelings. 

Dogs cannot feel emotions as we humans do. However, scientists proved that dogs can feel primal emotions like happiness, sadness, or fear. Dogs can feel sad and show it to us, humans, through their body language. We humans can sense if we hurt our dog’s feelings. 

Dogs don’t always understand us, humans. However, dogs have great intuition and trust humans as their best friends. If you are not nice to your pet dog, your dog will not be nice to you as well and might stay away from you. So, love your dogs because your dogs will love you back for sure.  

Do Dogs Feel A Sense Of Guilt?

We all know that dogs are man’s best friends. Right? Yes! It is true and there should be no argument about that. But there is one question dog owners ask. Do dogs feel a sense of guilt? 

Dogs are capable of showing their emotions through body language as researchers stated. They can show anger, joy, fear, and disgust. However, dogs cannot show complex emotions such as guilt. So, no. Dogs don’t feel guilt. 

There are videos where it shows that dogs act guilty when they execute something wrong. Some people think that is just because dogs know that you are angry or disappointed in their behavior. It can also be a learned attitude from humans who consistently reprimand dogs for bad behavior. 

Yes! It might look like that your dog feels a sense of guilt or regret. However, what it is is a learned behavior. It is not innate. Dogs can learn to associate a stimulus. 

Do Dogs Have The Same Emotional Capacity Like Us Humans?

Dogs have emotions like us humans but not in the same way. Dogs don’t have a high degree of self-awareness or introspection. Dogs can get embarrassed by their actions. They know how to please people. That is why it’s reasonable to assume that dogs have empathy for what their owners or other dogs or pets feel. 

If it seems like you are sad or scared, your pet dog can sense it and show empathy by comforting you. Your dogs might also show empathy to other dogs or pets. Your dog will also be happy if your dog senses that you are happy. 

Final Words

Dogs are loyal and loving animals. If you show your dog that you love him/her, your dog can get hurt too when you get hurt. Dogs can’t feel guilt or shame just as humans do, but dogs have feelings that matter to them just like us humans do. Yes! Dogs can feel emotions but dogs are not smart or intelligent enough to know that they are already hurting their owners. In short, dogs don’t know when they hurt you.

Jake Willhoite
Jake runs and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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