Dogs Feel Your Pain, Studies Show It With Relevant Facts
written by: kenn65
If you try yawning next to your pet dog, she may do exactly the same thing. Even though it seems simple, this contagious act is considered remarkable. Furthermore, just a few animals can do it, and dogs are the only species that cross this species barrier. Right now, new studies are emerging, which show that dogs feel your pain. Even when they hear the sound of yawning without necessarily seeing that person, they’ll start yawning too, and that’s solid evidence yet that these canines may empathize with human beings.
Over a long period of time, dogs have been considered man’s best friend, and studies are showing it already. According to one study, published in a journal named ”Animal Cognition”, dogs may approach people who are in distress than people who are relatively calm. Deborah Custance, one of the experts carrying out the study was quoted saying there are many reasons to believe that dogs may be very sensitive to human emotions than other species.
In order to prove Custance’s statement, another study was set up at Goldsmith University by researchers who were interested in the same area (Custance was included). A total of 18 dogs, all coming from different backgrounds were individually exposed to 3 scenarios. The first scenario involved two people talking, the second one was about a person humming in an awkward manner with the intention of inciting the dog’s curiosity. The third scenario involved a person pretending to cry. The experiments were conducted in the presence of the dog owners and strangers. More dogs ended up approaching individuals in distress than those who seemed perfectly normal.
It’s surprising to discover that the dogs approached strangers more often, just like they would have done to their owners, a sure sign that their empathy did not discriminate the familiarity or unfamiliarity of the people involved. Scientists now suspect these traits might have been passed on from one dog to the other over thousands of years as they interacted with human beings.
Custance and her team reasoned that the fact that dogs can differentiate between crying and humming is a sure indication that their interest for people who cried was purely driven by more than just curiosity. In other words, the act of crying was interpreted by the dogs to mean a stronger emotional feeling and thus it provoked a stronger emotional response compared to talking or humming.
They continued to argue that if the dogs’ action during the crying moments were motivated by comfort-seeking, they would simply approach their owners, who are their usual source of comfort as opposed to strangers. These dogs randomly approached whomever seemed to be in distress regardless of their identities.
That’s solid evidence that dogs feel your pain. In all the studies that were conducted, the results showed that dogs were responding to people’s emotional distress rather than their own needs, which highlighted their empathic-like traits.
If you used to doubt about the fact that dogs feel your pain, the studies above are a sure indication that you should start trusting man’s best friend—the dog.