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Yawning is Contagious: from the Master to the Pet

by Kathy Jones on October 25, 2012 at 6:51 PM
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 Yawning is Contagious: from the Master to the Pet

A new study has found that similar to human beings; pet dogs also copy the yawns of their owners in a show of empathy though puppies are immune to such a habit.

The study was conducted by researchers at Lund University in Sweden who found that adult dogs display behavioral trend which shows that they are susceptible to contagious yawning.

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Numerous studies have shown that we often mimic the yawns of people who are close to us, such as friends or family, as a show of empathy. Researchers have also found this to be true among baboons, chimpanzees and dogs.

Lund University's Elainie Alenkær Madsen and Tomas Persson observed around 35 dogs aged between four and 14 months to test whether such empathy exists between owners and their pets. The researchers found that dogs that are at least 7 months old copy their owners' yawns while those younger than 7 months are immune to such contagious yawning.

The study is published in the journal Animal Cognition.

Source: Medindia
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