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Human Yawns "Contagious" for Dogs

Recent research has revealed that dogs can "catch" yawns from humans. Apparently, it's the first demonstration that canines are stimulated to yawn at the sight of a person yawning. Not only does this put them in a heretofore primate-only club, according to the researchers, this is also the first evidence that dogs have the capacity to empathize with humans. Very cool. Now, I'm wondering: Can catch a yawn from my dog?

Lisa Wogan

August 6, 2008 in Cool stuff, Current Affairs, Dogs and science, Science | Permalink


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I'm so glad to hear that scientists are finally getting up to speed on what we dog lovers have known for years! And, while I am no scientist but solely a mere lover and gaurdian of dogs, I am certain that dogs understand and empathize with human emotions. Here is my proof: (1) they nuzzle and lick us when we are sad, (2) they drop their heads and put their tails between their legs when we are mad and (3) they pant, lick and run all over the place when we are excited and happy. Maybe a little projection on my part, but I would never accept any "scientific proof" to the contrary!

Posted by: kelly | Aug 11, 2008 1:08:39 PM

To answer your question: YES!! I actually have noticed this before your post.. I catch my dog's yawns ALL the time!!!

And I hear that if you "catch" yawns that means you're a nice person because you 'empathize' with the yawner... hmm..

Posted by: Nicole | Aug 6, 2008 7:30:17 PM

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