Updated: May 29, 2020
Do dogs have bad days?
For some reason we often pigeon hole dogs emotions into neat little boxes.
Their tail is between their legs so they are scared. Their barking because they are excited. They lunge at other dogs because they are fearful. They are wagging their tail because their happy.
I'm not saying that any of the above statements are untrue but how often are you feeling just one emotion at a time? I often think of loved ones that are no longer with us and smile, happy at beautiful memories but also sad that they are not here. I can be excited about taking on a new venture but feel nervous about getting it right. I can feel happy in other people's company but also feel slightly anxious at the same time. I remember feeling pure joy when my dad and I braved a rollercoaster but also terrified. Emotions and feelings are not neat little things we can put in boxes. We don't always understand why we feel like we do. Sometimes we feel down, unhappy or sad for no particular reason at all. Or get up feeling motivated and brave, ready to take on the world. Our dogs are complex, social, emotional beings just like us. Their emotions, just like ours, don't fit into neat, easily understood packages. They can't tell us if they have a headache, woke up feeling a bit out of sorts, are feeling conflicted or a bit low in mood. So if they are acting a bit strange, barking more than usual, acting over excited or a bit lack luster. Try not to get annoyed, just remember, they are allowed bad days too. They don't always have to be on tip top form. Some days they may just need a bit more space, a bit more affection or just a bit more tolerance from us. Sometimes dogs have bad days too.