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Can Dogs Understand Our Pain?

| Filed under: Science!PetsDog

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When humans cry, do dogs cry with them?

Researchers from the University of London performed a study to determine whether or not pooches can empathize with their owners, surveying 18 dogs and their responses towards humming, talking, and crying.

In the study, 15 dogs approached a crying person, whether it was their owner or a stranger, compared to just six dogs approaching a hummer.

Out of the 15, 13 pups showed submissive behavior (tucked tails, bowed heads), a sign towards showing empathy.

Study researcher and psychologist Deborah Custance states the following:

The humming was designed to be a relatively novel behavior, which might be likely to pique the dogs' curiosity.

The fact that the dogs differentiated between crying and humming indicates that their response to crying was not purely driven by curiosity.

Rather, the crying carried greater emotional meaning for the dogs and provoked a stronger overall response than either humming or talking.

While excited about their findings, the researchers admit that they cannot claim dogs have empathy.

Thoughts? Do U think your doggie understands your tears?

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