There are several different ways dogs may react to your negative energy. After all, this is not surprising.
Dogs are very in tune with our feelings and they sometimes appear to have some clairvoyant traits.
When you feel angry, stressed or afraid of something, you're not wrong in thinking that your dog is sensing your strong emotions. In one way or another, he's likely impacted and will show some signs of this.
Following are four ways dogs may react to your negative mood, whether you're openly manifesting your emotions or you're keeping them "bottled up."
Some dogs may react defensively when they sense the build-up of negative emotions.
If you are stressed, your dog may pace and look around in hopes of finding the source of your anxiety. He may act reactive to sounds outside or people approaching you.
Did you know? If you manifest your anger towards your dog, he may respond defensively.
According to a study conducted by Meghan Herron, DVM, DACVB, Frances Shofer, DVM and Ilana Reisner, DVM, DACVB, of the Matthew Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, it was found that when dog owners resorted to harsh confrontational techniques, dogs responded with aggression.
Putting Some Distance
When dogs sense our negative emotions, most likely these cause them to feel some level of unease. Some dogs may therefore respond by distancing themselves.
For example, your dog may move away from you or he may avoid making any eye contact.
Lying Still/Moving Slow
Dogs who do not put any physical distance, may "distance" themselves in their own world by acting sedate and lying still.
If you are angry or frustrated, some dogs may walk around very slowly as if they are hoping to calm you down.
Did you know? If you call your dog in an upset tone of voice or your body language denotes frustration or anger, your dog may still come to you, but he may do so walking very sloooowly.
This can be upsetting to some who think their dog is acting stubborn or "lazy," so they'll likely call their dog again in an even louder/ angrier tone.
In reality though, this makes dogs walk even slower. Walking slowly is an appeasement gesture, a way your dog hopes to calm you down. The dog is therefore simply reacting to your negative tone/ body language.
In order to help your dog feel safer and more comfortable, call him in a happy and relaxed tone of voice.
Also known as the "fool around" response, some dogs may start acting silly when they feel tension is in the air.
You may therefore find your dog trying to engage you in play, jumping on you, pacing, performing a play bow or showing some over-the-top hyper or anxious behaviors in response to your negative mood.
These behaviors may be ways the dog engages in hopes of "diffusing the situation."