Yawning is Contagious for Adult Dogs

October 29, 2012

yawning is contagious in dogs

It’s a well-known fact that if you see someone yawn, you’re likely to do the same. Interestingly, in a recent study, it was found that dogs are susceptible to yawn-contagion but not as puppies. They seem to grow into this behavior, similar to humans who will yawn when others do, starting around age four.

In 2008, a study revealed that 72 percent of dogs yawned after watching their owners yawn, but a similar study performed later couldn’t replicate the results.

This year, however, researchers from Lund University did a series of experiments and found that the majority of dogs did yawn if they were over the age of 7 months, which supported the 2008 study. Interestingly it was also discovered that even the sound could trigger a doggy yawn. It’s even possible that an owner’s yawn, may be more likely to compel a pooch to do the same, than a stranger’s.

Though the reason for this contagion is still somewhat unclear, “catching a yawn” is thought to indicate empathy. So, it seems that even dogs may be capable of such feelings!

Pretty interesting! Read more about how the experiment was done on Mother Nature Network.

Does your dog yawn when you do? Comment below!

Source: Mother Nature Network


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