Do Dogs Feel Anger? 4 Common Causes of Anger



  • Scientific studies say that dogs do feel anger.
  • Fear, frustration, pain or provocation are some causes of anger in dogs.
  • Dogs can sense and understand the anger. They can get mad at you. Dogs feel rage.

Dogs are often thought of as happy-go-lucky creatures, always wagging their tails. But just like humans, dogs can also experience negative emotions like anger. While we may not know exactly what goes on in a dog’s mind, certain behaviors suggest when a dog is feeling angry.

Dogs are often thought of as happy-go-lucky creatures that are always wagging their tails. But just like humans, dogs can also experience negative emotions like anger. While we may not know exactly what goes on in a dog’s mind, there are certain behaviors that suggest when a dog is feeling angry.

If you’re wondering, “Do dogs feel anger?” read on to learn more about this emotion in dogs.

Do Dogs Feel Anger? Scientific Evidence Prove it

Dogs have long been known as loyal companions, but new research suggests that they may also feel a range of human-like emotions, including anger.

The study, conducted at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, found that dogs could feel a range of negative emotions, including frustration and boredom.

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brains of 34 dogs as they were shown a series of images designed to provoke different emotional responses.

dogs feel negative emotions - Do dogs feel anger

The results showed that certain brain areas lit up when the dogs were experiencing negative emotions. For example, the area associated with anger was active when the dogs looked at an image of another dog who was being aggressive or dominant.

While the study did not specifically address whether dogs feel anger, the fact that they showed a physical response to images known to provoke negative emotions suggests a strong possibility.

So, do dogs feel anger? The evidence suggests that they do, but we may never know for sure what exactly is going on inside their heads.

What Causes Dogs to Feel Anger? Common Causes

Several things can cause a dog to feel angry. Some dogs may be naturally more prone to anger, just like some people are. But there are also outside factors that can trigger this emotion in dogs. Common causes of anger in dogs include:


A dog may feel angry if they’re trying to do something but can’t, like getting a toy that’s just out of reach. Dogs may also become angry if they’re frustrated, such as when they’re trying to get your attention and you’re not paying attention to them.


A dog may become angry if they’re afraid of something or someone. If they feel threatened or frightened, they may lash out in anger as self-defense.


Dogs in pain may also exhibit signs of anger.


Another dog may make a dog angry by growling or snapping at them. Provocation causes anger in dogs and leads them to bite or get aggressive.


Boredom can also lead to anger in dogs. If a dog is bored, they may become destructive or bark excessively. This is often seen in dogs who are left alone for long periods with nothing to do.

Anger is a natural emotion, and there’s nothing wrong with your dog feeling it from time to time.

However, if your dog is angry more often than not, it could be a sign of a bigger problem. Talk to your veterinarian or a qualified animal behaviorist if you’re concerned about your dog’s anger.

What Does Anger Look Like in Dogs? Signs of Anger in Dogs

Anger is a natural emotion that all animals, including humans, feel. It’s a response to feeling frustrated, threatened, or helpless. When a dog is angry, you may see some of the following signs:

  • Ears pulled back
  • Tail down
  • Hackles up
  • Growling
  • Baring teeth
  • Lunging
  • Snapping
  • Barking

How to Help an Angry Dog? Some Ways

If you think your dog is angry, it’s essential to stay calm and avoid making the situation worse. Dogs can sense when we’re angry or afraid, and they may respond in kind if we show them these emotions.

If you need to move, you can slowly back away from the situation. If your dog is angry with another dog, keep them separated until they’ve calmed down.

Identify what’s causing the anger and remove the trigger if possible. For example, if your dog is growling at another dog, distance them. Distract your dog with a toy or treat.

causes that trigger anger in dogs

If your dog’s anger is a constant problem, or if it’s directed at people, it’s vital to seek professional help. A qualified animal behaviorist or veterinarian can help you figure out what’s causing your dog’s anger and how to deal with it.

Do Dogs Understand Anger? Yes They Do

It’s difficult to say for sure whether dogs understand the concept of anger. However, they are certainly capable of feeling this emotion in response to certain stimuli.

Dogs can tell when you are mad at them. If you think your dog has done something wrong, it’s important to be careful about how you express your anger. Yelling, hitting, or being aggressive towards your dog is likely to make the situation worse and cause them to become scared of you.

Instead, try to stay calm and use a firm voice when you’re talking to your dog. This will help them to understand that you’re not happy with their behavior without making them feel scared or threatened.

Can A Dog Be Mad At You? Dog Mad At a Stranger

A dog may become angry with someone if they feel that person is a threat.

For example, a dog may become aggressive towards a stranger who comes into their home or yard. However, it’s more likely that the dog feels fearful or territorial in these situations rather than actually being mad at the person.

How to Tell If Dog Is Mad At You? Some Signs of Madness

There are several signs that your dog may be mad at you.

One sign is if they start growling or barking at you. Another sign is if they turn their head away from you or avoid eye contact. If they start moving away from you when you try to approach them, the dog is mad at you.

If you’re unsure whether your dog is mad at you, it’s best to err on the side of caution and assume that they are. This way, you can avoid making the situation worse by doing something that upsets them even more.

Do Dogs Feel Rage? Intense Anger in Dogs

Rage is a strong, intense emotion that is usually characterized by feelings of anger, hatred, and aggression. Dogs may experience rage, although it’s unclear whether they understand this emotion in the same way humans do.

There are a few different signs that your dog may be feeling rage.

If they start growling or barking aggressively, snap or bite at you, or if their body is tense and their hackles are raised, the dog is feeling rage.

If your dog displays any of these signs, it’s important to back away and give them some space. Try to calm them down.

Signs of intense anger in dogs

Can Dogs Get Angry At Owners? Reasons Dogs get angry

A dog may become angry at the owner if he does something that upsets them, such as ignoring them or leaving them alone for too long.

However, it’s important to remember that dogs don’t think and reason as humans do. So, while they may be capable of feeling anger, they probably don’t understand it as we do.

A dog might become angry with its owner for a few different reasons.

One possibility is they’re feeling frustrated because you’re not paying attention to them or giving them the attention they want.

Another possibility is that they’re trying to tell you something and you do not understand what they want. For example, a dog may become angry if they’re trying to tell you that they’re hungry and you’re not feeding them.

It’s also possible that a dog may become angry if they think you’ve done something wrong. For instance, if you scold or yell at them, they may become angry because they don’t understand why you’re mad at them.

Finally, a dog may become angry or feel uncomfortable if they’re in pain. For example, a dog who is in pain from arthritis may become angry when you try to touch them.

Can Dogs Sense Anger? Yes, they Understand Human

Dogs are highly attuned to their owners’ emotions and they can pick up on changes in the mood very quickly. This means that they’re likely to sense when you’re feeling angry, even if you’re trying to hide it.

According to research, dogs can even tell when you’re feeling angry through your tone of voice. So, if you’re talking to your dog in a way that sounds angry, they’re likely to pick up on that and become agitated or nervous.

Dogs can sense human anger

It’s also worth noting that dogs can often sense when someone else is angry, even if that person isn’t the owner. This is because they rely heavily on body language and facial expressions to read people’s emotions.

If someone is standing in an aggressive stance or has a stern look on their face, the dog is likely to sense that they’re angry. This may cause the dog to become scared or defensive.

The Bottom Line

Dogs are emotional creatures and experience a wide range of emotions, including happiness, sadness, fear, and anger. While we don’t know what’s going on inside their heads, the evidence suggests that dogs feel angry. If your dog is angry, it’s important to stay calm and seek professional help if necessary.

Does your pet dog feel anger? Have you ever noticed the anger in your dog? Could you share with us in the comments?


  1. Müller, C. A., Schmitt, K., Barber, A. L., & Huber, L. (2015). Dogs can discriminate emotional expressions of human faces. Current Biology25(5), 601-605.
  2. When We’re Angry, Dogs Get the Feels by By Julie Hecht
  3. Yes, dogs can ‘catch’ their owners’ emotions by Stacey Colino – National Geographic.
  4. Dreschel, N. A., & Granger, D. A. (2005). Physiological and behavioral reactivity to stress in thunderstorm-phobic dogs and their caregivers. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 95(3-4), 153-168.

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