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Will Your Dog Yawn After You Do?

Andrew Walker/ Getty Images

Isn’t it funny that when you see someone yawn you almost always follow with one of your own?  Well, now according to a study by scientists at the University of Porto in Portugal, dogs can do the same.  

According to their study, they recorded dogs listening and watching their owners yawn and in many cases the dog followed with a yawn of its own.  It is believed that humans watching another human yawn are actually empathizing with the yawners and then yawn after them.

Now a new study finds that dogs yawn even when they only hear the sound of us yawning, the strongest evidence yet that canines may be able to empathize with us. No wonder they are man’s best friend. Studies have found that dogs tend to yawn more after watching familiar people yawning. In their study if a person unfamiliar with the dog yawned, the dog was less likely to yawn after that person.

On average, canines yawned five times more often when they heard humans they knew yawning suggesting that dogs have the capacity to empathize with humans.”  So if you are an owner of a dog, try yawning and see if Fido follows with one of his or her own yawn.

Let me know how that works out.

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