Has your dog ever comforted you when you were down? Shown real empathy by immediately trying to comfort you when you were crying? Well, now a new study seems to demonstrate that it's not just your imagination if you think your pooch is actually trying to comfort you when you're having a tough day: An article in yesterday's Science Section of the Huffington Post discusses a recent study conducted by University of London researchers and published in the journal of Animal Cognition, that seems to show that most dogs respond with submissive behavior and offers of comfort to people who are crying. Although this study doesn't prove conclusively what the dogs were thinking, and it's even "possible that dogs learn to approach crying people because their owners give them affection when they do...," 13 of the 18 dogs studied did approach their owners or a stranger with submissive behavior like tucked tails and bowed heads (behavior consistent with empathy).
But scientific studies aside, what do you think? Do dogs have empathy, and do they understand our emotions well enough to purposefully try to comfort us when we're sad? Let us know!