Have you ever noticed once someone yawns, you suddenly feel the urge to yawn, too? Better yet, have you ever noticed your dog yawning immediately after you do? If so, you’re not alone.
A new study conducted by a research team at the University of Tokyo revealed that dogs tend to yawn after their owners. The study concluded that the dogs were more sensitive to yawns from their owners rather than from strangers.
The researchers tested a total of 25 dogs, including Pit Bulls, Papillons, and Poodles. Two cameras were used to record the responses of the dogs while their owners called the dog's name followed by a yawn, or the owner yawned after making direct eye contact with their canine.
Read More: All About American Pit Bull Terriers
The research team measured the heart rates of the yawning puppies and adults, and concluded that the heart rates were stable. The results showed that the yawning response from the dogs was a sign of empathy and not related to anxiety or distress.
"Our results show that the emotional bond between people and their dogs is reciprocal," says Teresa Romero, an animal behavior researcher at the University of Tokyo who conducted the analysis.
This isn’t the first study that tested the yawning patterns in dogs. Back in 2008, biologists in Britain showed that yawns were contagious between humans and their canines.
This behavior trend has been observed in other animals, including chimpanzees, bonobo monkeys, and gelada baboons.
All we know for sure is that we can now say that our furry friends know exactly how we feel.
Image via MilisiArt/Shutterstock
What do you think of this new study? Did you ever notice your dog yawning right after you? Please leave your comment in the section below.