Does your dog try to help you to feel better when you are upset?

Previous studies had shown the dogs to understand their owners’ feelings. A new study shows that they will try to help them, as well.

They say dogs and humans make best friends. Now scientific evidence shows that it is more than you’ll ever know. According to new research, your pet dog may not only just empathize with your distress, as was established in a previous study, they also actively try to ameliorate the pain.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University wrote in a paper titled, ‘Timmy’s in the well: Empathy and prosocial helping in dogs’ – in an apparent nod to the female Rough Collie, Lassie from Lassie Come-Home, out in Learning & Behavior, detailing that they observed dogs push through doors in a bid to comfort their owners when they heard them crying.

Pet Behaviour

34 pet dogs of various breeds and sizes and their corresponding owners were invited into a lab. The owners, while stationed behind a glass partition were required to exclaim, ‘Help’, either in a monotone or with a hint of distress, every 15 seconds. Additionally, when the owners were acting out the distressed state, they were told to make crying sounds in between and while they wear acting out the non-distressed state they were required to intersperse it with a hum of a nursery rhyme, ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. The glass doors were constructed in such a way that the dogs just had to lightly touch it either with their paws on noses to open them.

Along with video graphing the entire proceedings, they also measured the canine’s heart rates for variability between beats, which could indicate stress. Those who bolted through the door were less stressed even though they were upset about their owner’s distress which meant that they were not too frazzled to initiate action.

All-time Love 

What they saw was not that the dogs would go in only or more often when the owners cried – dogs just wanted to be with their owners in response to the slightest encouragement and would go over about half of the times when their owners hummed – but that they would be about 40 seconds faster in reaching their owners when they cried than when they were humming.

Feelings To Actions

So it was seen that not only the dogs could sense what their owners felt they also wanted to get to them in order to help them even if it meant to go through a barrier.

It only means that dogs like Lassie, are not one-offs – its ingrained in their ‘Family’ scientifically speaking, that dogs have the ability to know when peop

Previous studies had shown the dogs to understand their owners’ feelings. A new study shows that they will try to help them, as well.

They say dogs and humans make best friends. Now scientific evidence shows that it is more than you’ll ever know. According to new research, your pet dog may not only just empathize with your distress, as was established in a previous study, they also actively try to ameliorate the pain.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University wrote in a paper titled, ‘Timmy’s in the well: Empathy and prosocial helping in dogs’ – in an apparent nod to the female Rough Collie, Lassie from Lassie Come-Home, out in Learning & Behavior, detailing that they observed dogs push through doors in a bid to comfort their owners when they heard them crying.

Pet Behaviour

34 pet dogs of various breeds and sizes and their corresponding owners were invited into a lab. The owners, while stationed behind a glass partition were required to exclaim, ‘Help’, either in a monotone or with a hint of distress, every 15 seconds. Additionally, when the owners were acting out the distressed state, they were told to make crying sounds in between and while they wear acting out the non-distressed state they were required to intersperse it with a hum of a nursery rhyme, ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. The glass doors were constructed in such a way that the dogs just had to lightly touch it either with their paws on noses to open them.

Along with video graphing the entire proceedings, they also measured the canine’s heart rates for variability between beats, which could indicate stress. Those who bolted through the door were less stressed even though they were upset about their owner’s distress which meant that they were not too frazzled to initiate action.

All-time Love 

What they saw was not that the dogs would go in only or more often when the owners cried – dogs just wanted to be with their owners in response to the slightest encouragement and would go over about half of the times when their owners hummed – but that they would be about 40 seconds faster in reaching their owners when they cried than when they were humming.

Feelings To Actions

So it was seen that not only the dogs could sense what their owners felt they also wanted to get to them in order to help them even if it meant to go through a barrier.

It only means that dogs like Lassie, are not one-offs – its ingrained in their ‘Family’ scientifically speaking, that dogs have the ability to know when people are in danger, more so if they are a pre-acquaintance and that they are always ready to spring into action.

le are in danger, more so if they are a pre-acquaintance and that they are always ready to spring into action.

Back to top button