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WATCH: Dog's Astonishing Act Of Mourning


DP Veteran
Oct 21, 2009
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Maybe he was burying it for food later. :shrug:

Seriously though, I think they might mourn for a short period of time, until they forget anyway. I've seen some pretty incredible things about elephants mourning too.
They just don't retain those emotions for as long as we do because their brain capacity isn't large enough to allow them to remember things like that for long enough IMO.

Or they're assuaged, as human emotions are.
Or they're assuaged, as human emotions are.

Indeed they are. It would also appear that they can remember things and for the long term. Which would appear to have nothing to do with their brain size at all.

There is scientific evidence supporting the claim that non-human animals can feel emotions and that human emotions evolved from the same mechanisms.

A distinction is sometimes made between "basic" emotions such as fear and anger, and "complex" human emotions such as jealousy and sympathy. However, this distinction is difficult to maintain, and animals are often said to express even the complex emotions.

There is considerable uncertainty and difficulty related to the interpretation and ambiguity of emotion: an animal may make certain movements and sounds, and show certain brain and chemical signals when its body is damaged in a particular way. But does this mean an animal feels—is aware of—pain as we are, or does it merely mean it is programmed to act a certain way with certain stimuli? Similar questions can be asked of any activity an animal (including a human) might undertake, in principle. Many scientists regard all emotion and cognition (in humans and animals) as having a purely mechanistic basis.

Because of the philosophical questions of consciousness and mind that are involved, many scientists have stayed away from examining animal and human emotion, and have instead studied measurable brain functions, through neuroscience.

In recent years, the scientific community has become increasingly supportive of the idea of emotions in animals. Prior to scientific support, evidence for animal emotion was based on anecdotal evidence provided from individuals who had frequent contact with animals. Recent scientific research has provided insight into similarities of physiological changes between human and non-human animals when experiencing emotion.

Most support for animal emotion and its expression results from the notion that feeling doesn't require significant cognitive processes.[8] Animals would not likely need to employ a significant amount of cognitive processes in order to have emotion, rather, they could be motivated by the processes to act in an adaptive way, as suggested by Darwin.


Research suggests that canines can experience negative emotions in a similar manner to people, including the equivalent of certain chronic and acute psychological conditions. The classic experiment for this was Martin Seligman's foundational experiments and theory of learned helplessness at the University of Pennsylvania in 1965, as an extension of his interest in depression:

A dog that had earlier been repeatedly conditioned to associate a sound with electric shocks did not try to escape the electric shocks after the warning was presented, even though all the dog would have had to do is jump over a low divider within ten seconds, more than enough time to respond. The dog didn't even try to avoid the "aversive stimulus"; it had previously "learned" that nothing it did mattered. A follow-up experiment involved three dogs affixed in harnesses, including one that received shocks of identical intensity and duration to the others, but the lever which would otherwise have allowed the dog a degree of control was left disconnected and didn't do anything. The first two dogs quickly recovered from the experience, but the third dog suffered chronic symptoms of clinical depression as a result of this perceived helplessness.

A further series of experiments showed that (similar to humans) under conditions of long-term intense psychological stress, around 1/3 of dogs do not develop learned helplessness or long term depression. Instead these animals somehow managed to find a way to handle the unpleasant situation in spite of their past experience. The corresponding characteristic in humans has been found to correlate highly with an explanatory style and optimistic attitude that views the situation as other than personal, pervasive, or permanent.

Since this time, symptoms analogous to clinical depression, neurosis, and other psychological conditions have also been accepted as being within the scope of canine emotion.

In addition, Psychology research has shown that human faces are asymmetrical, with the gaze instinctively moving to the right side of a face upon encountering other humans to obtain information about their emotions and state. Research at the University of Lincoln (2008) shows that dogs share this instinct when meeting a human being, and only when meeting a human being (i.e., not other animals or other dogs). As such they are the only non-primate species known to do so.

Finally, the existence and nature of personality traits in dogs have been studied (15,329 dogs of 164 different breeds) and five consistent and stable "narrow traits" identified, described as playfulness, curiosity/fearlessness, chase-proneness, sociability and aggressiveness. A further higher order axis for shyness–boldness was also identified.


The emotions of cats have also been studied scientifically. It has been shown that cats can learn to manipulate their owners through vocalizations that are similar to the cries of human babies. Some cats learn to add a purr to the cry, which makes it less harmonious and more dissonant to humans, and therefore harder to ignore. Individual cats learn to make these cries through operant conditioning; when a particular cry elicits a positive response from a human, the cat is more likely to use that cry in the future.

Growling can be a sign of annoyance or fear, similar to humans. When annoyed or angry, a cat will wriggle and thump its tail much more vigorously than when in a contented state. In bigger cats like Lions, what is and isn't irritating varies from individual. A male may let his cubs play with his mane or tail, or he may hiss and bat them away.[37] Domestic male cats have varying attitudes towards their offsprings as well.

Older male siblings tend not to go near new ones, and may even show hostility.

The father tom of kittens will tolerate his young for a time, but even he may kill them to drive a female back in heat.....snip~

Emotion in animals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I've had animals all my life. They are individuals, with varying capacity of selflessness, self-interest, extreme affection, aloofness. Each one is different. Animals do mourn. When we lost our beloved dog to old age, my four cats (littermates) looked everywhere for him. When they saw his food and water bowl gone, they actually stopped eating for several days. We found the dog's toys had been carried upstairs and put in his bed.

I saw a bull literally screaming over the dead body of a cow and her still-born calf. He protected their bodies, moaning in grief, for days, not allowing the rancher to bury them. The owner told us that the bull refused food, and succumbed for "unknown reasons" two weeks later.

Yeah, animals grieve. And sometimes they die of a broken heart. :(
My hamster got depressed when his brother/ cage mate ran away he got depressed would not run on his wheel barley came out of his hut till we found his brother ( he was under the refrigerator )
My hamster got depressed when his brother/ cage mate ran away he got depressed would not run on his wheel barley came out of his hut till we found his brother ( he was under the refrigerator )

You were lucky.
Our hamsters would escape and gnaw holes in the bottom of our dresser drawers.
Also, always buy the golden hamsters.
We once had to buy a gray hamster. (Emergency birthday gift--sold out of the golden ones)
When they're gray in color they seem much more rat-like.
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