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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Yawning Is Contagious...Between Dogs And Their Owners.

                 Photo courtesy of The New York Times
Most of us have read, (or have suspected by simply observing) that yawning appears to be "contagious" between humans-if you yawn, regardless of whether you politely cover your mouth, those humans in close proximity will likely yawn too-it's a sign of empathy, say scientists.

Now researchers have documented through several experiments, that dogs engage in contagious yawning, too-that is, when it's their owners doing the yawning. In testing over two dozen breeds, researchers discovered that dogs "were far more likely to yawn in response to its owner", as opposed to a stranger. And the dogs couldn't be duped, either, and were unlikely to burst into a contagious yawn in response to a "fake" yawn, even from its owner.

The conclusion of the researchers is that it's not surprising that dogs are able to "catch" human yawns because "Dogs are unusually skilled at reading human social and communicative behaviors...".

What about you? Ever catch yourself yawning in response to your dog or cat's yawn or vice versa? In the meantime, all this talk about yawning has made me sleepy...


Unknown said...

Yes we agree yawns are catching. Better stop talking about them now before we start..LOL! Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Best wishes Molly

Sagira said...

Sagira and Starr do the nervous yawn thing. :)

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