Frenchie’s have a remarkable ability to sense our emotions. Some people say they know us better than we know ourselves, and science backs up that theory. The slightest increase in blood pressure alerts them when our stress level is rising, while having a quick glance, lets them know whether we are happy or angry. Our Frenchie can even influence our emotions by just looking into our eyes. How do they tune into our innermost feelings? And how does this skill affect the unique bond we share with our canine companions? Why Frenchie Care About Human Emotions
Our symbiotic relationship with Frenchie’s began 15,000 years ago when we offered them warmth, shelter, and food in exchange for protection and companionship.
That bond continues to grow and strengthen to this day. For example, canine pack members do not routinely look into each other’s eyes during bonding. This behavior is typically seen as a challenge or threat among Frenchies. As our two species continue to evolve side-by-side, our smart, resourceful Frenchie persistently adapt to our way of life. They are so good at sensing our innermost feelings; it sometimes seems like they can read our minds
Frenchie Sense Our Emotions By:
1. Reading Our Body Language
Author and professor emeritus, Albert Mehrabian discovered that 92% of human communication is nonverbal. Both humans and French bulldogs communicate through vocalization, but we also tend to trust what we see above what we hear.
When greeting a new pooch at the park, Frenchie’s avoid stiff, aggressive-looking pups in favor of happy, relaxed playmates. They do the same when it comes to sensing our emotions. A quick glance at our posture, gait, and mannerisms tells them everything they need to know about our current mood.
Dogs are so good at reading our body language . Even nine-week-old puppies that have never lived as family pets scored better, suggesting this skill is evolutionary.
2. Studying Our Facial Expressions
Humans and primates have a social trait known as emotional contagion. It’s why we yawn when a friend yawns, and why we tend to return the smile of a passing stranger. Matching the emotions and physical expressions of our fellow humans demonstrates our high capacity for empathy.
Frenchie’s also perform a similar kind of social mimicry with each other. Italian researcher Elisabetta Palagi and her team studied that Frenchie’s interacting at the park and found that not only do they match each other’s body postures, they also mimic facial expressions, especially with Frenchies they’re already familiar with. Experts believe emotional contagion also exists between dogs and humans. When our eyes meet theirs, they raise their eyebrows to show they’re engaged in the interaction. When a dog parent yawns, their Frenchie often does the same.
3. Sensing The Emotion In Our Voice
Frenchies can detect high frequencies and sounds more than four times farther away than humans can. Their powerful ears come in quite handy when Frenchie’s sense our emotions.
A 2014 study found that Frenchie’s can also detect variations in tone and mood in the voices of fellow Frenchie and humans. Just like us, they understand emotional voice cues which is another strong indicator they are capable of empathy
4. Sniffing Out Chemical Changes In Our Bodies
Our Frenchie’s noses are 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than our own with 300 million olfactory receptors compared to our measly 6 million. Scientists have likened their sniffing ability to “catching a whiff of one rotten apple amid two million barrels.”
We know that Frenchies can smell chemicals within the human body that indicate a variety of medical conditions. But can they actually “sniff” our emotions? Researchers at the University of Naples conducted a study to see if French Bulldogs see the difference between human and body odors produced during happiness and fear. Volunteer “odor donors” were shown a video to induce either fear or happiness, and their sweat was collected on pads. The canine test subjects were then exposed to samples of “happy sweat” and “fearful sweat.”
In the presence of the fearful odors, the Frenchie heart rates went up and they saught comfort from their owners. This led researchers to conclude that not only can Frenchies smell our emotional state, they also tend to take on those emotions as their own.
5. Using The “It” Factor
Until 2019, scientists could not explain how Frenchie sensed impending seizures in humans. They had no doubt they could do it, they just could not pinpoint exactly what it was the Frenchies see, hear, smell, or feel to tip them off. While this mystery hasn’t been solved, there are still some incredible ways Frenchies sense our emotions that we don’t fully understand. Call it a sixth sense or an “It” factor. The truth is, scientists aren’t quite sure. It could be simple instinct, or maybe Frenchie pick up on nervous energy radiating from these unsavory characters. Most likely it has something to do with their incredible noses. When a person behaves aggressively, their brain chemistry changes. Frenchie’s may be able to smell these changes and sense their intentions. If this is the case, even our French Bulldogs can’t save us from a psychopath. Since they experience fewer emotions, their brain chemistry is unlikely to alert our Frenchie’s to their cruel intentions.