Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dogs yawn more often in response to owners' yawns than strangers

Date:
August 7, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Dogs yawn contagiously when they see a person yawning, and respond more frequently to their owner's yawns than to a stranger's, according to new research.

Basset hound yawning. Dogs yawn contagiously when they see a person yawning, and respond more frequently to their owner's yawns than to a stranger's.
Credit: cynoclub / Fotolia

Dogs yawn contagiously when they see a person yawning, and respond more frequently to their owner's yawns than to a stranger's, according to research published August 7 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Teresa Romero and colleagues from the University of Tokyo.

Related Articles


Pet dogs in the study watched their owner or a stranger yawn, or mimic a yawning mouth movement, but yawned significantly more in response to their owners' actions than to the strangers' yawns. The dogs also responded less frequently to the fake movements, suggesting they have the ability to yawn contagiously. Previous research has shown that dogs yawn in response to human yawns, but it was unclear whether this was a mild stress response or an empathetic response. The results of this study suggest the latter, as dogs responded more to their owners' genuine yawns than those of a stranger. The researchers observed no significant differences in the dogs' heartbeat during the experiments, making it unlikely that their yawns were a distress response.

Explaining the significance of the results, Romero says, "Our study suggests that contagious yawning in dogs is emotionally connected in a way similar to humans. Although our study cannot determine the exact underlying mechanism operative in dogs, the subjects' physiological measures taken during the study allowed us to counter the alternative hypothesis of yawning as a distress response.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Teresa Romero, Akitsugu Konno, Toshikazu Hasegawa. Familiarity Bias and Physiological Responses in Contagious Yawning by Dogs Support Link to Empathy. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (8): e71365 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071365

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Dogs yawn more often in response to owners' yawns than strangers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130807204847.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, August 7). Dogs yawn more often in response to owners' yawns than strangers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130807204847.htm
Public Library of Science. "Dogs yawn more often in response to owners' yawns than strangers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130807204847.htm (accessed March 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff&apos;s Office discovered two elephants keeping a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck in some mud upright on a highway. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Newborn Hippo Makes a Splash

Newborn Hippo Makes a Splash

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 25, 2015) A newborn hippopotamus makes a splash with its mum at the San Diego Zoo. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Giant Triassic Salamander Acted More Like A Crocodile

Giant Triassic Salamander Acted More Like A Crocodile

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) An ancient crocodile-like salamander more than 10 times the average size of its modern-day counterparts has been discovered in Portugal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins