Science Proves Dogs Will Do Anything To Save Their Owners
While it’s commonly known that dog owners love their furry friends dearly, science just proved the love is totally mutual. Thanks to a study published in the journal Learning and Behavior, we now know more about dogs’ willingness and ability to empathize with their owners.
Man’s Best Friend
Dogs are considered man’s best friend for good reason. They have an incredible ability to bond with humans and pull them out of depression. Dogs are even commonly used in hospitals and retirement homes to make patients and residents feel happier and more relaxed.
So we know how dogs make humans feel. Now, how do people make dogs feel?
Behind The Research
In the study, researchers instructed dog owners to either cry or hum behind a glass door, which the dogs could push open if they wanted to. Both sets of dog owners were also instructed to say “help” during the experiment, with the crying group talking in a distressed tone and the humming group with a neutral tone. Then, the researchers observed how the dogs reacted and whether they chose to push open the glass door to reach their owners.
About half of the dogs decided to open the door. Although there wasn’t much difference between the groups of dogs who heard crying or humming, one difference was evident: the dogs with owners who were showing distress chose to open the glass door far earlier than those whose owners were merely humming. But what does this tell us?
Furry Best Friends Furr-Ever!
“Some of this was that dogs want to be with their people,” Julia Meyers-Manor, the co-author of the study, said. “But they want to be with their people even quicker if the person is crying than if they’re humming.”
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