The Simple answer is Yes, it can. When working in kennels and dog daycares I began to understand this theory a lot. We used to meet many dog, all with different personalities. The longer I worked there I began to build a rapport with their owners as I was caring for their dog all day or for many weeks at a time.
You know when they say dogs start to look and act like their owners... well I believe this to be true, not so much the looks part but the acting part, 100%.
The anxious dogs had anxious owners. The calm dogs had really laid back owners and obviously there were some in-between depending on the activity or the energy levels in there that day.
Now, there is actually Science to prove this theory. A study conducted at the University of Naples Federici II in Italy by Dr Biagio D'Aniello where he watched dogs inspect and react to human stress sweat samples. These were taken from people who were in a state of stress at the time and sweat samples were taken from people who were calm, happy and balanced. He had the most mind blowing discovery that dogs could differentiate via the receptors in their nose and in turn depending on the sample it changed their biochemical marker meaning the happy sample in turn put them into a happy state and the stress sample put them into a stressed/anxious state.
Dogs and humans emotionally mirror each other and their emotional states can impact each others physiology.
This study was taken from the Book " The Forever Dog" where Vet Dr Karen Becker and Pet expert Rodney Habib deep dive into why our Dogs Health and Life expectancy is becoming less and less- Highly recommend reading the book - You can grab it here .
We all know our dogs like to sniff us when we arrive home, this is them picking up on information on:
where we've been?
Who we've been with? (another dog, whaaaaat?)
How our day has gone?
If we return after a stressful day at work and our stress hormones are still sitting on our skin and clothes, guess what our dogs are going to pick up on and in turn take on themselves? Yep, our stress.
Our dogs nose is his most powerful sense- dogs have over 300million olfactory receptors in their nose and brain compared to our 6 million. This is how they use their nose to pick up many different forms of information at one time. This is why sniffer dogs are so useful in the workforce.
With clients I've worked with over the years I've seen their dog exhibit many of the same physical pain points as their owners too. Their owner has a sore hip- their dog has hip/joint problems. Their owner has digestive issues- their dog does too. This can be both the dog and owner holding emotions in that area for long periods of time without releasing and dealing with them. Of course many other factors can contribute to this but majority of the time when those factors have already been addressed, trapped emotions can be the root issue.
This is where I love to help anxious/ fearful and stressed dogs heal all areas of their life holistically and cover every avenue- I focus on their diet, environment, any stress or changes in their life, past traumas (this is common in Rescue Dogs) and of course how to help them release this naturally using calming remedies and energy work with both the dog and their owner.
If you'd like to know more you can book a Free 15 minute Discovery Call to find out how I can best support you and your dog and most importantly see if we're a good fit to work together.
Until then, lots of self-care can be beneficial not just for you but your Dog too.