Can dogs recognize that someone has autism?

HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
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.

Comments

  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    I think its that some of us can really relate to them, we communicate with them in a common language as such.
    They respond I feel, with a preference for the human they can follow or care for. It helps if thats also the person who feeds them. Lol.

    An example, I rarely lift up my small dogs, I estimate that the way other people pick up small dogs is how you would handle a baby, except they dont find that comfortable as they obviously dont walk upright like us. I feel their discomfort and understand their body language, I reckon anyone could do this, but not everyone could be bothered to develop affective empathy for an animal based on the animals real needs.

    If the small dogs cant get up on something because of their size I give them a "leg up" by letting them climb up with their front legs while I lift their hind legs mimicking the motion their legs would make in a jumping motion, but at a slow and gentle pace.

    They appreciate this in the moment.
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    I definitely find it a lot easier to relate to dogs and mimic their behaviour. I noticed most dogs (and other animals) I meet treat me a bit different than other people and have more patience for me due to that. I wish I could communicate with humans the same way. lol
  • My dog Honey, when she was alive could sense cancer. She would bark at it and not stop as if it was an unwelcome intruder. This happened with my father even before he was diagnosed. The first time it happened she barked at a friend who had already been diagnosed with  prostate cancer. The thing is, it was a different barking pattern to how she behaved with strangers, with cancer it would continue for days and I had to put my father in a different apartment. When he was healthy this never occurred. She sadly died of cancer herself.
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    Teach51 said:
    My dog Honey, when she was alive could sense cancer. She would bark at it and not stop as if it was an unwelcome intruder. This happened with my father even before he was diagnosed. The first time it happened she barked at a friend who had already been diagnosed with  prostate cancer. The thing is, it was a different barking pattern to how she behaved with strangers, with cancer it would continue for days and I had to put my father in a different apartment. When he was healthy this never occurred. She sadly died of cancer herself.
    What a wonderful little gift she had! Our Pomeranian used to sense when my mom was going to have seizures. I find the fact some dogs can sense things like this to be super cool.
  • It is actually amazing what dogs are able to sense. We should respect them greatly.
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    edited November 2
    I think dogs more take things as they are. They don't consciously think about it. They do react to how people interact with them and can detect basic emotions such as fear. They can also work out very quickly if someone is a threat to them or the rest of the group. The majority of dog intelligence is related to smell. However trained early enough with the right breed they could make an excellent companion to someone with a developmental condition. Though not typically a high energy dog like a Jack Russell as funny as they are.

    I also don't think developmental conditions are that important to them as relative to them it doesn't usually make a difference. As long as they are fed and walked, etc.
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    I agree that they don't consciously think about things like this. I think I was just curious about how much they actually "notice" about us, since animals (and especially dogs) have always treated me differently than other people. I think like people have said on here and another forum that we probably just connect quite well and communicate well with them.
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