Monday, February 21, 2011

Dog Behavior: Does Your Pooch Act Like You?

We all know that yawning can be contagious, especially in late afternoon meetings. Same thing seems to happen to dogs, according to one study. In it, dogs were paired with a person they'd never met before and placed sitting face to face. Researchers found when people yawned, the majority of pups yawned back, which suggests a certain level of empathy in the dogs.

Another study found dogs actually may be more interested in doing what their owners do than in getting food rewards. In the study, dogs were trained by their owners to open a sliding glass door using either their head or paw. Half of the dogs received treats when they opened the door the same way their owners did. The other half were rewarded only when they opened it the opposite way their owners did. Researchers found that the dogs seemed to be more motivated to open the door exactly as their owners had than to open it differently and get a treat.

If you tune in to some of your dog's subtle behaviors, you'll probably notice other human-like qualities. Heck, he may even remind you of yourself!

1 comment:

parlance said...

Very interesting. I'll have to do some research. Look out, Penny, we're going to be watching you...