We call our dogs our best friends, and it may very well be true! An article on Discovery.com cites a study that shows dog brain functions are similar to humans. It found that dogs listen for emotions underneath what someone communicates. Can you tell when someone is upset even if the sentences say, “I’m fine?” Yeah, so can dogs.
The co-author, Attila Andics, states that dogs and human share similar social environments and process social information in similar ways allowing for clearer communication and giving dogs a better understanding to the environment around them. If you are talking to your dog, s/he may understand your emotions even if the words just sound like, “blah blah blah, walk, blah blah blah.”
Dogs are sensitive to how you feel more so than what you say.
It’s possible your dog sees through your emotional shield and defenses of pretending everything is fine. In the study, the dogs’ sound region brains areas responded stronger than humans which suggests they are very aware of what’s going on. Just as they may be hearing your tone of voice, they may also be hearing a bird chirping outside, the sound of cars driving by, and footsteps approaching your door.
To read more about the study, check out the article here.