Many of you believe that dogs have all the same emotions as people and can behave almost the same as we can. They can love or they can hate. Can dogs harbour grudges against you?
Many of you believe that this is true, and you all had some scenario where you saw the obvious. Your dog resents you. The actual answer is a bit more complicated, and you need to know a couple of things.
Can Dogs Feel Resentment?
The short answer here is, actually, no. This is a complex emotion, and only humans have it. Can dogs hold resentment towards you for a short or long period of time? No, they cannot. They will act in a way that you may believe they can, but in reality, this is not something they can do.
Dogs don’t have the mental capacity to hold resentment. They will forget that something happened to them within 2 minutes. This is because they have very short episodic memories. For example, if you yell at your dog, he will forget it within minutes.
Dogs have a very strong andadvanced associative memory. As a result, he will forget that you yelled at him, but he will sense and recognise that something bad occurred.If we use the same example as above, we can see that your dog may start to ignore you or run away from you. He doesn’t know why he is doing this, but he can feel that you will do something bad to him. Yes, yelling is bad.
To summarise, dogs cannot resent people. They don’t know how to hate or take revenge. They are not capable of deciding if an action is fair or not and cannot analyse the experience to deduce the obvious.
Dogs can feel a lot of emotions. They cannot feel complicated emotions like resentment. But they can still be angry, happy, sad, etc. All of this is not an extremely well-known thing. Scientists still don’t know all the details and don’t understand dogs’ emotions 100%. We hope this will change any time soon.
Dogs Respond To Torture In Their Own Way
Now you’re wondering if you ever hit your dog or if someone else did; will he remember and will he be angry with that person?The answer is still no.
Dogs cannot hate people, so if you hit a dog a while back (something you must never do), he will not hate you. This also implies that dogs who have been tortured for an extended period of time cannot hate that person.They will forget that, and they will continue living their own lives.
This is not a complete answer.
For example, if a person tortured a dog for a period of time or if this occurred in the past, the dog will be aware of it.He can link that person to bad things, and he will become aggressive, defensive, or just want to run away. This all looks like resentment, which is why many people believe dogs are capable of it.
In reality, your dog knows that something bad happened, and he is scared that the same thing will happen again. If he is tortured for weeks or even longer, he will try to avoid that as much as possible. It is far more accurate to say that they will respond to torture.
They will want to run away from it and avoid it as much as possible. Even then, they cannot hate a person, and they will not hold a grudge, not even for a second.
A severe issue here is that some dogs will lose trust in people. If an owner is a bad one and the dog is sad and scared for years, he can completely lose trust in people. Therefore, you can see some of the dogs on the street running away, even if you want to feed them.
This is why some dogs can become aggressive as soon as they sense something bad in a person. At the end of the day, they want to protect themselves and eliminate the risk of something bad happening to them again.
It may look like holding a grudge, but it is far from that. Resentment is far more complex and consistent. It is based on experience, making decisions, and deciding what is right and what isn’t. This is not something dogs can do.
The Final Word
There you go, can dogs hold resentment towards you? No, they cannot, but they can still act like they can. This is because they will want to protect themselves from something bad and not punish you.
If your dog acts like this, he probably has a reason why. Maybe you are that person or some other family member. You should try to solve the issue as soon as you can.