Can dogs know that someone has autism?

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HeroOfHyrule
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22 Oct 2021, 3:33 pm

I don't think dogs specifically can know that someone has "autism", but can they recognize that someone has a developmental issue or recognize that they have something "different" about them?

My dog treats me a lot different than other people and is very patient + gentle with me, and lets me do things (touch his ears, pat him, etc.) that he doesn't let other people do to him. The lady who had him before us had an autistic child so I think he's learned how to recognize things like that, but I'm not sure.


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Empathy Quotient: 34/80
Systemizing Quotient: 104/150
Friendship Quotient: 56/140
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funeralxempire
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22 Oct 2021, 3:46 pm

I'm sure they don't know it's autism, but I'd imagine just like some of us can kinda tell when someone is likely ND based on a gut intuition I'd imagine the dog probably can too.


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Dear_one
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22 Oct 2021, 7:23 pm

Just today I heard of an extremely smart dog who also had strong reactions to some mental disturbances that were not too obvious to humans. Usually friendly, he took an instant dislike to one guy, who was dumb enough to still want to pet him.



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22 Oct 2021, 10:06 pm

I understand well trained "emotional support" animals can sense when their human is about to have an anxiety attack, or in other cases a seizure, go over to the human and sit near them, calming the human. I find this absolutely remarkable.


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Dear_one
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22 Oct 2021, 10:37 pm

^^ I had a dog who knew if I was going out and leaving him. About half an hour before I left, he'd have gone to lay under the kitchen table. If I was going to take him, about ten minutes before I decided it was time to put my jacket on, he'd move to the door mat.



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23 Oct 2021, 3:45 am

I had a cat that, when I was struggling with depression or anxiety, would come and sit on my chest and purr like crazy. He definitely was doing it purposely to make me feel better. I miss him. He died two years ago. The closest companion I've ever had.


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23 Oct 2021, 4:26 am

^^^i hope you two meet again @ the rainbow bridge. :star:



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23 Oct 2021, 4:48 am

In dog world there is no disability, no race. Dogs read you by sensing your energy, and yes they can tell when you're anxious and what calms you. Because of this they may also manipulate you because they sense when you're angry and losing patience and are likely to give in so they don't have to do what you want.

Dogs which are disabled don't perceive themselves as disabled like we do. Because of this they are less likely to spoil such members or to understand why you spoil them or treat them with weakness. They also live in the moment, they have instinct, not thought. They may remember things like scent or visuals though not actively think about them like we do. Nose, eyes, ears - dog. Eyes, ears, nose(rarely smell anyone in our lives) - human. Scent is the first thing and most important to dogs. But unlike them, when we see people on the street it's not like 'that s an anxious person, a confident person, a calm, an aggressive person.' we usually say 'a black guy, an asian woman, red haired girl, a little boy. Size and breed don't matter to them as much and in the same way. And a pitt and chihuahua need the same level of discipline and calmness. They also need you to be quiet when you meet them, until they're finished perceiving you with eyes. They can sense your scent before you even know it, but may investigate closely like crotch or hand if it has been well guided. When they do that they want to make friends.


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Rexi
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23 Oct 2021, 5:01 am

Dear_one wrote:
Just today I heard of an extremely smart dog who also had strong reactions to some mental disturbances that were not too obvious to humans. Usually friendly, he took an instant dislike to one guy, who was dumb enough to still want to pet him.

That's very interesting. We can't read dog very small body languages like tension or slight curving of the body but most dogs give multiple signs before attacking. They also need space: they have intimate space > personal space > social space > public space. When you first meet a dog it's important to approach slowly and gradually and be wary of whether you are nervous, where you are looking and giving peace vibes and the dog is enjoying your presence. Not all dogs like to be touched, your energy is coming in too in their face. The chest is a good direction to approach. Most dogs enjoy it. Also if they get tense you freeze until they calm.


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23 Oct 2021, 6:00 am

Rexi wrote:
We can't read dog very small body languages like tension or slight curving of the body but most dogs give multiple signs before attacking.


I have had to convince a number of parents who got upset when my dog has growled at their young children who are trying to pet them and end up pulling their ears or something, that growling is a good thing. It's a clear sign that children can learn and good doggy behaviour. It's the dogs that don't give any warning before they bite that you have to worry about.



ThisTimelessMoment
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23 Oct 2021, 6:11 am

Thanks auntblabby.
Good points Rexi


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Rexi
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23 Oct 2021, 8:42 am

DuckHairback wrote:
Rexi wrote:
We can't read dog very small body languages like tension or slight curving of the body but most dogs give multiple signs before attacking.


I have had to convince a number of parents who got upset when my dog has growled at their young children who are trying to pet them and end up pulling their ears or something, that growling is a good thing. It's a clear sign that children can learn and good doggy behaviour. It's the dogs that don't give any warning before they bite that you have to worry about.

While it's not the worst thing to be growling, it's a serious warning for attack that shouldn't be ignored. The dog and child need to be separated and the behaviour corrected. Kids don't understand signals.

Erm although i highly dislike shock collars and they shouldn't be used, the theory is kinda good.


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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23 Oct 2021, 1:26 pm

Maybe a dog or cat is plenty smart enough, just thinks nonverbally?



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24 Oct 2021, 1:12 am

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
Maybe a dog or cat is plenty smart enough, just thinks nonverbally?

that is it.



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24 Oct 2021, 11:18 am

auntblabby wrote:
that is it.

and part of nonverbal is much more emphasis on right-now, right-here



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24 Oct 2021, 5:44 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
that is it.

and part of nonverbal is much more emphasis on right-now, right-here

the abstractions of human society are generally not visited upon others in the animal kingdom.