Is your dog a pessimist?

He might wag his tail when you take him for a walk or feed him his dinner, but is your dog a 'bowl half full', or a 'bowl half empty' king of a guy?
Sad-looking dog
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It could be worth knowing because according to the latest scientific research, dogs can be divided into those that are optimists and those that tend towards a more pessimistic outlook.

As bonkers as it may seem, researchers say that it could explain why some animals suffer badly with separation anxiety.

Professor Mike Mendl, who led the study, told the Daily Mail: "We can use findings from human psychology research to develop ways of measuring animal emotion. We know happy people are more likely to judge an ambiguous situation positively.

"Our study shows that this applies similarly to dogs - that a 'glass-half-full' dog is less likely to be anxious when left alone than one with a more 'pessimistic' nature."

The research team enlisted the help of 24 dogs at two animal shelters, assessing each for separation anxiety (barking or scratching the door when left alone).

As well as this, each dog was trained to expect a meal when a bowl was placed in a specific location but that should the bowl appear in another, it would be empty.

Once the dogs recognised that this was the case, the researchers placed bowls in "neutral" locations - those that ran to the bowl expecting food were classified as optimists, while those that ignored the bowl were seen as pessimists.

And of course, those that displayed the symptoms of separation anxiety tended to ignore the bowl.

Professor Mendl concluded: "Our study suggests that dogs showing these types of behaviour also appear to make more pessimistic judgments generally."

The question is, are they really making pessimistic judgments or is it another case of humanising our pets? Leave your comments below...