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Do Greyhounds Cry?


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All dogs have tear ducts. Without them, the eyes would be far too dry, and there would be many health problems.

 

Most sighthounds have drippy noses. Collies get this too. I don't believe anyone has figured out the reason, but it's probably something about the length of the muzzle. It's nothing, really. Mine get a little drippier when they are excited about something, but that's about it.

 

Dogs don't cry like humans do. That is anthropomorphizing them, and quite untrue. As far as I know, primates (including humans) are the only animals that tear and sob because they are sad, angry, or whatever. Dogs can and do get depressed, but they do not shed tears as a result.

Sarah, the human, Henley, and Armani the Borzoi boys, and Brubeck the Deerhound.
Always in our hearts, Gunnar, Naples the Greyhounds, Cooper and Manero, the Borzoi, and King-kitty, at the Rainbow Bridge.

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That makes sense. But they feel all the same emotions we do, dont they? Jealousy, anger, happiness, love, compassion? But no tears. LOL Thats ok.

 

So much debate on that, but I think to any of us lucky enough to be part of their world, we know that they do. One interesting theory I read is that they actually may have emotions that we don't and thus can't identify. The writer referenced that look they give you when they are just lying down watching you. In some ways it looks like love or adoration, but it has no other "love" signs with it. So, the conclusion is that perhaps that is some emotion that we have not identified in ourselves so we have no real word for it. Just food for thought!

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Robin, EZ (Tribal Track), JJ (What a Story), Dustin (E's Full House) and our beautiful Jack (Mana Black Jack) and Lily (Chip's Little Miss Lily) both at the Bridge
The WFUBCC honors our beautiful friends at the bridge. Godspeed sweet angels.

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I think quite often the drippy nose is due to condensation: their warm breath condensing on their cold noses, like warm breath on a cold window pane.

 

I do know that my guys never have drippy warm noses...

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Carl gets a drippy nose when he is happy-excited or when he has high anxiety. When I'm getting ready to put his food down he is so happy and excited, his nose is like a faucet! When we are in the car (which he really fond of) it also runs like a faucet. For my boy, whenever he has "high emotion" his nose turns on the water works. Claire, his littermate, doesn't get nearly as drippy as he does, if ever, in any highly emotive (anxiety or happiness) situation. Go figure! Carl is the only dog I've ever had with an emotive nose, though.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Guest PiagetsMom

Most of the time (but not always) when I've seen nose drips the dog has been in uneasy or in a situation out of ther comfort zone.

 

I've got one of each......Piaget never has a drippy nose and Mirage has a drippy nose often. I'll have to hope that he's one of those "not always" pups, because I'd hate to think that he was almost always uneasy or out of his comfort zone!

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Guest DylanGospel

Carl gets a drippy nose when he is happy-excited or when he has high anxiety. When I'm getting ready to put his food down he is so happy and excited, his nose is like a faucet! When we are in the car (which he really fond of) it also runs like a faucet. For my boy, whenever he has "high emotion" his nose turns on the water works. Claire, his littermate, doesn't get nearly as drippy as he does, if ever, in any highly emotive (anxiety or happiness) situation. Go figure! Carl is the only dog I've ever had with an emotive nose, though.

 

Emotive Nose! I love it!!! :)

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mine seemed to get the drippy nose when there were interesting smells, pee-mail, new vegetation, potential prey, etc. while on their walks.

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Guest KennelMom

Dogs feel emotions but they aren't humans, so they don't feel emotions necessarily the same way or for the same reasons we do.

 

Jealousy, anger, happiness, love, compassion?

 

Just my random thoughts on these specific emotions mentioned: I think they feel jealousy and happiness in similar ways to people. I don't think they feel anger like we do...I think they feel something more along the lines of frustration. Anger usually requires ego, which is not something I think dogs have like people do.

 

Compassion and love....love probably not like people either. Human love, again, usually involves ego and attachment and I don't think dogs are trapped by those things. I think they feel a very basic love, as in "positive feelings" towards something/someone. Compassion...this could just be my human eyes coloring what I see because I want to see it, but I think dogs are capable of basic compassion. Something more like empathy than compassion probably. I think this basic love and empathy is a survival trait for pack animals. If you don't care about your pack members, the pack does not have much binding it together. And the pack is important for survival of the species. I think the wild dogs/wolves that were most capable of feeling love and empathy/compassion were most likely to be domesticated and these are traits that we tend to breed for because it keeps dogs attached to us.

Edited by KennelMom
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First let me say I don't know. I have never seen a dog or horse cry. However a very reliable source reported on a horse one time that actually shed tears so maybe certain horses can. I don't know. To me its not so important because being sad is being sad whether tears are being shed or not.

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JMO,, dogs don't feel emotions like humans do,,, they do however feel postivness,, not jealously, as we know it,,,medically speaking to cry from emotions,, either sad or happy,, only humans can do that,,, an animal will howl in pain or fear,, or to call to others,, anxiety is just a precurser to fear this ending in flight,, I do beleive they have their own "dog" emotions just as they have their own language

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Guest Energy11

Dogs feel emotions but they aren't humans, so they don't feel emotions necessarily the same way or for the same reasons we do.

 

Jealousy, anger, happiness, love, compassion?

 

Just my random thoughts on these specific emotions mentioned: I think they feel jealousy and happiness in similar ways to people. I don't think they feel anger like we do...I think they feel something more along the lines of frustration. Anger usually requires ego, which is not something I think dogs have like people do.

 

Compassion and love....love probably not like people either. Human love, again, usually involves ego and attachment and I don't think dogs are trapped by those things. I think they feel a very basic love, as in "positive feelings" towards something/someone. Compassion...this could just be my human eyes coloring what I see because I want to see it, but I think dogs are capable of basic compassion. Something more like empathy than compassion probably. I think this basic love and empathy is a survival trait for pack animals. If you don't care about your pack members, the pack does not have much binding it together. And the pack is important for survival of the species. I think the wild dogs/wolves that were most capable of feeling love and empathy/compassion were most likely to be domesticated and these are traits that we tend to breed for because it keeps dogs attached to us.

 

Wow! This was very interesting! Thanks for posting this!

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That makes sense. But they feel all the same emotions we do, dont they? Jealousy, anger, happiness, love, compassion? But no tears. LOL Thats ok.

 

 

Not quite the same as humans do. An excellent book on this, btw, is "For the Love of a Dog" by Dr. Patricia McConnell. :)


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Guest mbfilby

I find the "dogs have emotions humans do not" theory fascinating..

 

I have thought about this in the past. I believe dogs are capable of a few human like emotions

 

Envy (not jealousy)

Fear

Depression

Excitement

Frustration

Contentment

 

I don't believe dogs are capable of joy, sadness, love (in our sense), or anger. There are other expressions, but IMHO are just varying degrees of the above. A dog that shows sadness is likely frustrated or depressed. Our Mickey will pout when she does not get what she wants, but this is likely mild frustration.

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I find the "dogs have emotions humans do not" theory fascinating..

 

I have thought about this in the past. I believe dogs are capable of a few human like emotions

 

Envy (not jealousy)

Fear

Depression

Excitement

Frustration

Contentment

 

I don't believe dogs are capable of joy, sadness, love (in our sense), or anger. There are other expressions, but IMHO are just varying degrees of the above. A dog that shows sadness is likely frustrated or depressed. Our Mickey will pout when she does not get what she wants, but this is likely mild frustration.

Can you describe the distinction between envy and jealousy as you see it?

Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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Very interesting. Thank you all so much for the educated analysis on dogs and emotions. I can only concur with my personal experiences. Since I was 6, I have had dogs in my life quite closely. I have turned to dogs as family members as I have had such bad experiences with human family. And when an adult, a lot of bad relationships, but dogs became my loves. I have attached myself to dogs on a level maybe none here have, I dont know. But in my many many experiences, I HAVE seen explicit emotions as jealousy, anger, love, compassion, and utter happiness. I can give you the thousands of examples, and many would agree. I have really tried to agree with the empirical knowlege above as educated, corrolations. However, in retrospect, the vivid memories prove those educated analysis wrong only to me.

 

Dogs have communicated amazinly to me and I to them through sight, touch, and voice inflection including vocabulary. I will continue on the many wonderful ways I communicate to my girls. I may be off the deep end to many here, but I would not trade my past experiences for any one nor anything.

 

Thanks so much for the information.

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Guest avadogner

This thread really caught my interest because I often find myself "reading greyhound behavior" and end up wondering if she is feeling what I believe her expressions say. I agree that they do experience emotions like surprise (the pert ears and stretched neck posture that says "oh I am so busted", happiness (that half opened eyes look when you scratch that right spot or the sun is just warm enough to sun in), fustration (whining when they can't see you while you are in another room), anxiety (see previous). But I do wonder if it is something we are not capable of understanding because it is so different than what primates feel. Any animal that will still adore a mean caretaker is proof of that. Humans would never forgive so much and keep such hope in such sad conditions. Don't get me wrong, people including myself have forgiven people who have hurt them but could we ever still adore them with no ambivilance? I am always saying to the DH "do you think they know how much we love them? I think they do but who knows for sure what they are really thinking. While typing this I am laying in bed with my trusty greys in their dog beds beside me. Ava is staring at me with this relaxed look of adoration. Augie who sleeps on his back has accidently rolled off the soft bed onto the hardwoods. He grunts whines and looks around like"how did this happen". I see fustration in his movements as he slowly gets up, kicks the blankets around the bed to make a pillow and burrows down into the corner. He sighs and falls back asleep. I may never know exactly what was going on in their minds at the moment but I like to believe it wasn't too far off from what I think I just saw emoted.

-ava and augie's mum

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Guest mbfilby

I find the "dogs have emotions humans do not" theory fascinating..

 

I have thought about this in the past. I believe dogs are capable of a few human like emotions

 

Envy (not jealousy)

Fear

Depression

Excitement

Frustration

Contentment

 

I don't believe dogs are capable of joy, sadness, love (in our sense), or anger. There are other expressions, but IMHO are just varying degrees of the above. A dog that shows sadness is likely frustrated or depressed. Our Mickey will pout when she does not get what she wants, but this is likely mild frustration.

Can you describe the distinction between envy and jealousy as you see it?

 

Envy is seeing something someone else has and wanting (or taking) it. Jealousy is holding feelings of resentment and anger toward another for the things they have, and being consciously fearful of loosing their own things.

Edited by mbfilby
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Guest mbfilby

Very interesting. Thank you all so much for the educated analysis on dogs and emotions. I can only concur with my personal experiences. Since I was 6, I have had dogs in my life quite closely. I have turned to dogs as family members as I have had such bad experiences with human family. And when an adult, a lot of bad relationships, but dogs became my loves. I have attached myself to dogs on a level maybe none here have, I dont know. But in my many many experiences, I HAVE seen explicit emotions as jealousy, anger, love, compassion, and utter happiness. I can give you the thousands of examples, and many would agree. I have really tried to agree with the empirical knowlege above as educated, corrolations. However, in retrospect, the vivid memories prove those educated analysis wrong only to me.

 

Dogs have communicated amazinly to me and I to them through sight, touch, and voice inflection including vocabulary. I will continue on the many wonderful ways I communicate to my girls. I may be off the deep end to many here, but I would not trade my past experiences for any one nor anything.

 

Thanks so much for the information.

 

We all project our feeling on our pets. Even though I feel that dogs are not capable of love in our sense of the word, I feel a strong bond with our pups, and they communicate their wants and needs to us very clearly. You are not at all in the minority here. There have been many times in my life that my dogs have been my sole support system in difficult times.

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If Greyhounds were born without tear ducts they would soon be blind unless careful care & adequate management could be implemented. As someone else mentioned, it is more likely related to, um, let's call it a plumbing quirk perhaps related to a combo of their long noses and the law of gravity. Apparently their tongues are capable of gravity defying ETS but not the ENT drainage. Perhaps the nose is the easiest route rather than the throat.

 

... Carl is the only dog I've ever had with an emotive nose, though.

Emotive Nose! I love it!!! :)

 

Me, too! It's like a mood ring, only messier. :lol My ol guy, Luke, always had a drippy nose & he too could really open the taps when excited. He also was a huge chatterer. Luke was an equal opportunity dripper, through excitement of both the good & not so good type like Hubcitypam's "out of comfort zone" description. His chattering almost always seemed to be related to good excitement. My girl, Venus, is a chatter when excited though not to the same extent & her nose does drip some when she is excited. She is more prone to chattering when excited, no matter the reason. Nose drips seemed to be more from anticipation, riding in car staring out window, at an event waiting to run, lots of dripping on the hard wood at dinner time, etc.

 

It is like their reasons for chattering & dripping were opposite. Sort of like some people are prone to getting the giggles only for funny things while others giggle more through nervousness or uncertainty. Some never cry from happiness but will let out a loud laugh, like a reunion with an old dear friend. Others would burst into happy tears for that same reason.

 

Yes, I believe dogs share many, if not all of the same emotions as us. Science is even starting to bear this out. And I will never understand why some still persist in thinking otherwise. Considering all the other neurological similarities it would seem safer & more logical to start with the assumption that they do have similar emotions. However, they do not express them the same way nor do those emotions seem to be elicited for the same reasons. So I believe it a mistake to try to read emotions into their expressions. So many anthropomorphisms lead to conclusions that are confusing, cause trouble for both hound & humans. That doesn't mean a caring, attentive owner will not learn to know their dog well. Still best to keep in mind that we are not in their mind. ;)

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