Do dogs know they’re being adopted???

4 min readDec 18, 2023
Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Do dogs have a sense that they are being adopted?
While we cannot know for sure, there are some signs that suggest they may understand.
Dogs are highly perceptive and can pick up on changes in their environment.
They may notice when new people are around and sense that something is different.
Dogs are known to be sensitive to human emotions and can pick up on excitement or nervousness.
They may also notice when their routine changes, such as going for more walks or car rides.
Some dogs may show signs of confusion or stress during the adoption process.
However, it’s important to remember that every dog is different.
Some dogs may seem unfazed by the change, while others may take longer to adjust.
It’s crucial to give your new dog time and patience to settle into their new environment.
Providing love, care, and a consistent routine can help them feel safe and secure.

Whether dogs “understand” they’re being adopted in the same way humans do is complex and debated. However, they likely pick up on cues that signal significant change and positive emotions, leading to some interesting observations:

Possible indicators dogs sense something’s happening:

  • Stress relief: Shelter dogs often show anxiety and stress. During the adoption process, they might appear calmer and more playful, sensing a shift in routine and human interaction.
  • Increased attention: The individual focus during adoption, petting, and treats could signal to a dog that they’re receiving something special compared to the shelter environment.
  • Reading human emotion: Dogs excel at interpreting human emotions. Positive energy, excitement, and smiles likely differ from the neutral or stressed interactions they might experience regularly.
  • New environment…




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