Why do dogs get mad when people fight?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

Dogs can indeed become upset or agitated when they sense human emotions, especially during conflicts or fights. This is because dogs are highly attuned to their owners’ emotions and can pick up on the energy and tension in the environment. They have a remarkable ability to read human body language, facial expressions, and vocal tones, which allows them to gauge the emotional state of the people around them.

When a person is upset, angry, or agitated during a fight, their body language and energy levels change. They may exhibit tense movements, raised voices, and aggressive postures. Dogs are sensitive to these cues and can interpret them as signs of danger or potential harm. As pack animals, dogs have evolved to be attuned to their pack members’ emotional states as a means of survival and cohesion.

In addition to their natural instincts, dogs also form deep emotional bonds with their human companions. They rely on their owners for comfort, safety, and stability. When their owners are in conflict or distress, dogs can perceive this as a threat to their own well-being. They may become anxious, stressed, or even exhibit signs of aggression as a way to protect themselves or their owners.

It’s important to note that not all dogs will react in the same way to human conflicts. Individual dogs may have different temperaments, personalities, and past experiences that influence their reactions. Some dogs may become fearful or cower in response to fighting, while others may become more vocal or exhibit signs of aggression.

Personal experiences can vary greatly in terms of how dogs react to conflicts. For example, I have witnessed my own dog becoming visibly distressed and anxious when my parents had a heated argument. She would pace, whine, and seek comfort from me, as if trying to understand and alleviate the tension. On the other hand, I have also seen dogs that become aggressive during fights, barking or growling in an attempt to intervene or protect their owners.

It’s important for dog owners to be mindful of the impact their emotions and conflicts can have on their pets. Dogs are sensitive creatures and can easily absorb and mirror the emotions around them. To create a calm and harmonious environment for our furry friends, it’s crucial to manage our own emotions and strive for peaceful resolutions in our relationships.