B2B NewsPet industry newsDogs Can 'Catch' Our Yawns: New Study Reveals

Dogs Can ‘Catch’ Our Yawns: New Study Reveals


- Advertisment -spot_img

A recent study by the University of Tokyo has found dogs can ‘catch’ human yawns. This has major implications for the human-dog bond, as it suggests what owners have long expected – that dogs can feel what they feel.     

Scientists are fascinated by yawning. The function and reason behind the development of the humble yawn is still fiercely debated. It is however likely linked to social cohesion, synchronizing sleeping patterns in ancient human groups, thus facilitating communal behavior. It is known yawning springs from the same part of the brain responsible for understanding and identification with the feelings of others. 


‘Contagious yawning’ as it is known, is when one person yawns after seeing, or hearing, another person yawning. It has been proven to be associated with our ability to understand and interpret other’s emotions and is therefore of considerable interest to scientist’s studying empathic responses in humans and animals. Contagious yawning has been recorded in humans, chimpanzees, bonobos and baboons – all social primates – but it has never been substantially recorded crossing the species barrier. That is, until now.
Scientists were aware previously dogs occasionally yawned in apparent response to humans yawning, but they weren’t sure why or if it was just coincidence. It may have been a sign of emotional connection, or a stress response, as dogs often yawn when they are anxious.
In order to study the behavior, researchers from the University of Tokyo gathered together 25 dogs, their owners, and a number of randomly collected volunteers. Each dog was observed whilst the scientists had their owner yawn at them, then a stranger. These yawns were both fake and genuine.


The results were surprising. Not only did the dogs respond to the yawning humans by doing so themselves, they also yawned far more when their owners were yawning than strangers. This suggests the yawning behavior was indeed mediated by emotional connection. The pets were also able to tell if a yawn was genuine or not, being more likely to react to the former, further supporting the theory dogs are ‘contagious yawners’.
In an interesting parallel, scientists discovered recently people are more likely to respond to the yawns of loved ones than other people.


Telemetric measures were taken of the dogs’ heart rate throughout the course of the experiment to determine if anxiety was at all at play. The idea was ruled out by the test. Their heart rates remained stable, proving it was empathy, not nervous arousal, which caused the dogs to pull sleepy faces.
The effect could possibly be linked to the domestication process where dogs who developed mental processes to better connect to their human masters were selectively bred. 

Feature image credit

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news


上海海洋大学的历史可上溯至1912年成立的江苏省立水产学校。2006年,位于杨浦区军工路的上海海洋大学前身——上海水产大学,积极响应上海市教委号召,成功组织了“阳光体育大联赛”。宣传、动员过程中,学校 Source link

「贵州日报·教育」聚势赋能 提质扩容——贵州财经大..

2023年11月21日贵州日报16版(点击图片,阅读全文)全省高等教育高质量发展大会对当前和今后一个时期全省高等教育工作作出部署,描绘了新时代贵州高等教育发展的新蓝图,干货满满、令人鼓舞、催人奋进。风 Source link


来源:新华社新华社台北11月6日电(记者刘斐石龙洪)台湾“历史教育新三自运动协会”6日在台北举行记者会,批评民进党当局为达成不可能实现的“去中国化”政治目的,进行不负责任的“去古文化”教育,牺牲学子们 Source link


8月13至16日,受中交疏浚邀约,来自云南怒江崇仁完小的19名师生代表来到上海,参加为期四天的“中交助梦?看世界”暑期访沪交流活动。崇仁完小坐落于海拔2000多米的横断山区。该校师生总共327人,学校 Source link
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

Bronchitis in Dogs: Signs, Causes, & Treatment (Vet Answer)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research. Learn more » In dogs,...

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment – Dogster

Astra, the 6-year-old Cocker Spaniel exhibited several vague clinical signs like not eating every few days and occasional...

Must read

Lady Gaga and Cardi B Meet at the Grammys

What was expected of her was the same thing...

Jennifer Aniston’s Ex Justin Theroux Wishes Her Happy Birthday on Instagram

What was expected of her was the same thing...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you