Have you ever watched a specific behavior your frenchie was acting out and thought “Wow, that was very human-like?” Well, there is something to that! Dogs and humans may have more in common than you think.
While observing the interactions between my two female frenchies and while observing the interactions between my females and my male, I cannot help but make comparisons to human behavior. Both girls will share toys with Dozer and happily play with him. However, they are territorial over their toys with each other. Molly absolutely will not let Harley take a toy away from her. Both Molly and Harley play well when they are one-on-one with Dozer and they play well with each other when Dozer is not around. This behavior is intensified when the girls are in heat. If Dozer and Molly are playing and then Harley starts nipping at Molly, Molly will become very agitated and lunge at Harley. This leads me to believe that adding the male (in this case, Dozer) into the mix changes the dynamics of the relationships. With human behavior, females are known to compete for the attention of males and males are known to compete for the attention of a female. Is this what is causing the changing dynamics when Dozer is around? Do Molly and Harley compete for his attention? I do think so.
What other human-like traits do frenchies have? Well, for one thing, they pout. Yep, they will lay down, huff, and pout if they do not get their way. The areas of the brain that control emotions are very similar in dogs and humans and I do believe that frenchies get their feelings hurt.
Another thing we have in common is that dogs have an internal clock just like humans do. They understand the concept of time but they understand it differently than we do. They do not know the concepts of hours and minutes. However, they do know when it is time to get up, when it is time to eat, and when it is time to go to the bathroom. This is one of the reasons that routines are important for dogs. Since they understand when these things should occur, they expect them to occur at a certain time.
It has always been believed that dogs do not have a sense of self and while they do not recognize themselves in a mirror, they do know their own smell. Dogs sense of smell is greater than their sense of sight so it makes sense that this is the way they would recognize themselves.
Just as humans have distinct personalities, so do dogs. Dogs get scared, dogs get stressed, dogs feel love, and dogs can suffer from anxiety. Some dogs are more affectionate than others just like some humans are more affectionate than others. Some dogs are more independent than others, just like some humans are more independent than others. You get the point; they have personalities and OH do we love those quirky frenchie personalities!
Another commonality is that dogs love food just like we do. Interestingly, recent research has shown that the microbes in their digestive systems are the same as ours. Just like in humans, these microbes function better in healthy dogs than they do in obese dogs. So, not only do we have social and emotional similarities, we also have physical similarities.
Dogs and humans have been evolving together for an exceptionally long time and have developed an understanding of each other. The best example of this understanding is the fact that dogs look where you point. You can point to an object and the dog will look in the direction you are pointing. There are other animals, such as elephants, that understand pointing. However, no other animals understand our gestures like our canine companions do.
Take some time to just sit and watch your dog’s behavior and how they react to certain situations. If you really pay attention, you will see that your frenchie really isn’t that different from you.