Your Dog Knows If You're Upset And Will Try To Comfort You

Your Dog Knows If You're Upset And Will Try To Comfort You

But is there any scientific evidence behind these sorts of tales?

'Dog owners can tell that their dogs sense their feelings.

As for the dogs who didn't push open the door, it wasn't because they didn't care ― it seemed they cared too much. Dogs included a variety of breeds and ages, from an elderly golden retriever therapy dog to an adolescent spaniel mix. The researchers took a video of how the dogs behaved in both scenarios and measured the dogs' heart rates for variability between beats, which could indicate stress.

In the experimental setup, dogs could see and hear their owners. While sitting behind the door, the people were asked to either hum "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" or cry. And she's stuck behind a odd Perspex door in a USA laboratory? And according to a new study, your pet dog may be happy to help. So we adapted this straightforward task from previous research in rats.

What's more, the dogs were also able to get through to door to their owners: The door was held shut by three small magnets, so to open it, the dogs just had to lightly touch it, such as with their paws or noses. "That tells us that no one should be concerned if their dog doesn't open the door if they're crying", says co-author Emily Sanford, a doctoral candidate in psychology at Johns Hopkins University.

I'm on my way!

Not necessarily. While about the same number of dogs in each group opened the door, dogs responding to owner distress did so much faster - after an average of 23 seconds, compared to nearly 96 seconds in the humming group.

Other interesting results came when we looked into how the dogs were behaving in each condition.

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In a paper called "Timmy's in the well: Empathy and prosocial helping in dogs", researchers showed that dogs with strong bonds with their owners hurried to push through a door when they heard their person crying.

In contrast, dogs in the humming condition showed a slight tendency to open more quickly if they were reported to be more anxious. So does that mean dogs have no empathy? Both the owners and the strangers stood still and stared diagonally across the room; they didn't make eye contact with the dog. The results suggest that your pooch may empathize with and care for you even more than you know.

Hey, a little help down here for your furry friend?

In this task, the dog learns to tip over a jar to get to a treat; then we lock the jar onto a board with a treat inside and record whether the dog gazes at its owner or a stranger. It turned out that the dogs that simply didn't open the door were too stressed out by their owner's crying to do anything.

The pets could see their owners through the door as the study was run. This suggests that openers in the crying condition and non-openers in the humming condition had the strongest relationships with their owners.

It appears to be the case with these dogs as well.

An experiment has shown that dogs will rush to "rescue" their owners when they think they are in distress. "It might be that they love you too much".

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