A study has shown that dogs, like humans, can be pessimistic. If a dog becomes especially anxious when left alone they show signs of pessimism. Like humans, dogs may look at a situation as “the glass half full” or “half empty”. But how is this possible?
Scientists at the Academy of Bristol took two dogs and taught the dogs when a bowl was placed in one room where the bowl was filled with food; this would be the positive position. In the other instance, the bowl was placed in another room where the bowl had no food in it; this would be the negative position. After they placed them at ambiguous locations to see the two dog’s reaction, the dogs displayed positive and negative reactions depending on the positive or negative situations.
The dogs that ran to the locations were considered optimistic because they expected a good result. The ones that were a little more hesitant were considered pessimistic. The “pessimistic” dogs were usually the ones that got very anxious when left alone, anxiety would be considered a pessimistic trait. Dog’s emotions cannot be labeled directly because these emotions cannot be told. Essentially, we can assume dogs emotions based on finds of the human emotions.
The study seemed to prove the point that dogs, like people, had different personalities and outlooks on life. Do you think if dogs can be pessimistic they can be depressed? Are there any treatments dogs can receive to cure depression? Is depression in dogs able to be passed down genetically as it is with humans?