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13 Things Dogs Can Sense About You

While science has yet to prove if dogs have truly been gifted with a sixth sense, there's no denying that they are observant creatures.

Our four-legged pals are intuitive, sensitive and smart enough to notice certain subtle things, especially when it comes to their bonds with their owners. Here are 13 things pet owners observed that dogs can sense about their humans:

Dogs sense when you don't like someone

1. If you don't like someone

Dogs can sense your negative feelings for a person through your breathing patterns, the sound and tone of your voice when you speak, and your stiff body movements. You also emit a subtle smell that tells them you don't like someone. This perhaps explains why your dog aggressively barks at your in-laws whenever they come to visit, as they can sense your discomfort around them.

Dogs sense when you're not paying attention

2. If you're not paying attention

Did your dog ever grab a sandwich off your hand while you were on your phone and when you're supposed to be eating it? They are such smart creatures that they know how to take advantage of the fact that you're not paying attention to what you were doing.

Dogs sense when you have an illness

3. If you have an illness

Thanks to their sharp sense of smell, dogs have the ability to detect illnesses like cancer, migraines, seizures or epilepsy, low blood sugar (diabetes) and narcolepsy. When properly trained and honed for this skill, dogs have a nearly perfect accuracy (99 percent) in detecting lung cancer, according to the journal Integrative Cancer Therapies.

Dogs sense when you're fearful or under stress

4. If you're fearful or under stress

Humans sweat a lot during a stressful or fearful situation and dogs can smell your body's response to these situations, even if you don't show it on your face. Dogs pay less attention to the visual cues but their olfactory senses are always so sharp. They can even tell if someone, who's likely not a dog person, is afraid of them because this person’s sweat releases molecules in the air, which dog noses can accurately detect.

Dogs sense when you're about to give them a bath

5. If you're about to give them a bath

Ever notice your dog hiding under the bed when you haven't even started his bath? Dogs can sense your intentions and might even understand that you're doing it for their own good. So, even if they mostly hate baths, or nail trims and other grooming rituals, some dogs will eventually submit to their owners after a few encouragements. Dogs look at your gaze to read your intentions. The same goes for when you bring them to the vet for their check-up.

Dogs sense when you're mad at them

6. If you're mad at them

Have you seen videos of dogs being reprimanded by their owners and many of them would usually respond by looking away? Experts from the University of Helsinki learned that dogs try to limit eye contact if they detect their owner's bad temper. And by looking away, they're hoping it would appease their owner's rage. It might be the intensity in your eyes or the facial expressions around your mouth area, but dogs can definitely piece together that you're mad at them, just by looking at your face.

Dogs sense if you're a pushover

7. If you're a pushover

Canines follow hierarchies and they recognize who's the Alpha in the family. If you're a pushover, or if you refuse to establish your leadership status by being inconsistent with training and molding their behavior, then your dogs will likely act up when you're around, knowing they can get away with it. Remember, dogs love to test boundaries no matter how well behaved they are. A leader, however, will know how to rein them in.

Dogs sense when you're leaving home or going on a trip without them

8. If you're leaving home or going on a trip without them

Over the years of bonding with you, your dog has learned to pick up the cues if you're leaving the house or going on a trip without them. Sometimes, they show their agitation and separation anxiety. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it's not clear why dogs exhibit this behavior, but perhaps the disruption in their routines and schedule is a trigger since dogs are creatures of habit.

Dogs sense if you're generous or selfish

9. If you're generous or selfish

Dogs can tell if you're generous or selfish based on how you interact with them. Experts in a study published in the journal PLOS One established that dogs could actually discriminate between a person who's generous or selfish, and then use the information they've retained from their interactions to know whom to approach, given a situation. The experiment showed that dogs are more drawn to humans who showered them with valuable resources during their encounters and avoided those who wouldn't share or told them to go away.

Dogs sense if you're not trustworthy

10. If you're not trustworthy

Dogs will stop responding to your commands if they sense you're not trustworthy. Japanese experts who did an experiment among 34 dogs learned that dogs are able to assess if a human can be reliable, as per the Animal Cognition journal. A big part of reliability lies in the dog owners' consistency with schedules and training. If something becomes irregular, dogs apparently become stressed so they develop behavioral disorders.

Dogs sense when you're favoring one pet over the other

11. If you're favoring one pet over the other

Despite their ability to love you unconditionally, dogs can actually get jealous and develop a rivalry, especially if you have more than one pet in the house. They can sense when you're favoring one dog over the other, according to a study from psychologists at the UC San Diego. They will make their jealousy known to their owner by pushing or touching their human who's playing with another dog, and they will constantly sniff their rival's rear-end.

Dogs sense when you're pregnant

12. If you're pregnant

Your four-legged companion might know you're pregnant even before you do because he can smell certain changes in your body chemistry. But your dog might also get cues from your changing mood and behavior. He might even notice how you're “showing” even before your baby belly becomes obvious.

Dogs sense when your baby is vulnerable

13. If your baby is vulnerable

Because dogs are instinctive and extremely protective of their family, they know when the youngest member is vulnerable. They are quite vigilant around the baby and would react at the slightest detection of a potential threat. When a visitor excitedly approaches the crib to carry your baby, don't be surprised if you hear your dog barking loudly.

The bond between a human and a dog grows deeper when they share a home together. But some dogs manifest a smarter understanding of his ties and attachment to his humans, while others might show more emotions than intelligence. Nevertheless, when a dog snuggles up on the couch if you’re feeling a little blue, it’s his way of saying how much he truly gets you.

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13 Things Dogs Can Sense About You

Shelly lives in Iowa with her husband and Australian Shepherd named Tex. She's been an animal lover since she was a child. Currently, she enjoys reading and writing about dogs, and spending time with her family and getting involved in all things pets.