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Home > Dogs > What Do Dogs Think About All Day? Understanding the Canine Mind

What Do Dogs Think About All Day? Understanding the Canine Mind

border collie dog thinking outdoors

Dogs may walk on four legs and might not be able to communicate with us through speech, but they do have minds of their own and have their own thoughts throughout the day. But what do dogs think about all day long? How can we know what they are thinking? Let’s delve deeper into this topic here.

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Dogs Don’t Think as Humans Do

an obedient poodle toy dog sits on the grass looking at the owner
Image Credit: Linas T, Shutterstock

Although dogs can learn words and phrases1 that humans say and respond to what they hear accordingly, they don’t think as humans do. They can’t learn human languages but instead, learn words and what those words mean based on how we communicate the words to them. We might use inflection or body language to help get the message across, and our dogs will respond as they have been taught.

When dogs are hanging out, they are not thinking about how their morning went or whether they have chores to attend to later in the day. They don’t dwell on things or anticipate possible problems. They certainly don’t think about television shows or movies that they have watched lately! Instead, they tend to focus on the present and their current wants and needs.

Common Things That Dogs Might Think About

While it is impossible to know exactly what a dog is thinking, there are a few basic things that will be on their minds at least some of the time — for example, when they are hungry or thirsty. Other things that your dog might think during the day include:

  • “I’m enjoying my surroundings.”
  • “I’m uncomfortable with my surroundings.”
  • “I need to get rid of some energy.”
  • “That game the kids are playing looks fun!”
  • “What is that thing making noise?”
  • “Something’s going on outside!”
  • “It seems to be time for a walk.”
  • “All I know is that I’m alone.”
  • “I’m so excited that my human is home.”
  • “I smell something good to munch on.”
  • “It’s time for a nap.”

Remember that dogs don’t actually think thoughts the same way we do, but rather in more general terms. Also, each dog is unique, so they all have their own ways of thinking and their own concerns to focus on. So, it’s not possible to know what any dog might be thinking at any given time. You may be able to figure out what your own dog is thinking by their body language and actions.

Things That Dogs Do Not Think About

dog owner using laptop
Image Credit: SpeedKingz, Shutterstock

There are a few things that we know that dogs do not think about, like what they are going to make for dinner. They also don’t tend to consider the possible consequences of their actions before they make a move. For instance, they might run in front of a car without realizing that they could get run over. Dogs also do not think about getting revenge because they don’t hold grudges. They also don’t seem to feel any guilt, though sometimes it might look like they do.


In Conclusion

Dogs are smart animals, so we should expect that they have their own thoughts and feelings. However, they don’t think like us. There is no reason to feel sorry for them when they look guilty, and we don’t have to worry about whether they will get revenge for the walk that we cut short earlier in the morning. By making sure all your dog’s needs are met each day, you can have peace of mind knowing that they’re having good thoughts even during their downtime.

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Featured Image Credit: SakSa, Shutterstock

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