Sit, stay, yawn
August 9, 2013 6:21 AM Subscribe
We already know that yawning is highly contagious and, in humans and other primates, may be rooted in empathy. Human-dog yawning contagion is well known too, as previously shown in Metafilter, but its causes are contradictory, as yawning in dogs is also associated with psychological tension or mild stress. A new study confirms that dogs yawn more frequently when watching their owner than when watching a stranger, demonstrating that the contagiousness of yawning in dogs correlates with the level of emotional proximity, possibly indicating rudimentary forms of empathy in dogs.
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