Your Dog Can Catch Yawns— From You
Study: Man's best friend is more likely to yawn after an owner than a stranger
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 8, 2013 7:01 AM CDT
Updated Aug 8, 2013 8:33 AM CDT
Dogs are more likely to yawn when their owners do than they are when a stranger yawns.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you're showing signs of sleepiness, your pooch might do the same. It's already been suggested that yawning is contagious between dogs and humans, but researchers in Japan have taken things further: They've found that your dog is more likely to "catch" your yawn than a stranger's, HealthDay reports. The scientists investigated 25 canine subjects of various breeds. "Our results show that the emotional bond between people and their dogs is reciprocal," says a researcher.

Dogs are thought to yawn when they're stressed, NBC News notes. But the researchers tracked their heart rates during the experiment and found them to be steady, suggesting these were empathetic, not stressed-out, yawns. Contagious yawns have previously been linked to empathy among humans: Those who score high on empathy tests appear more likely to engage in shared yawning, HealthDay points out. Only a few other species, like chimps and bonobos, seem to "catch" yawns, too. (Click for video evidence of a different kind of human-dog connection.)

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Aug 8, 2013 7:22 PM CDT
I'm sure in the thousands of years humans have domesticated dogs that we've already noticed this
Aug 8, 2013 3:19 PM CDT
Would somebody just please look at the face on that angel
Aug 8, 2013 12:20 PM CDT
These scientists must have never owned a dog in their studious lives.