Dogs really are man’s best friend who else really cares that you have had a bad day and just wants to make it better. They give us unconditional love, and they don’t care that we just want to hang out in our trackies watching really bad reality TV. What you might not even realise is just how in-tune to us they are.
Neuroscientists from Atlanta’s Emory University looked at how connected we are to our dogs. They looked at whether a dog valued more: a food reward, or praise from their owner. Dogs were trained to associate a pink truck toy with food, and a blue knight toy with praise and loves. After they had the associations down, they started monitoring brain activity to see just how happy they were with praise or food. Out of the 13 dogs in the study, 4 were happier with love and attention from their people, while 9 were equally happy no matter what they got. Only 2 made food their priority. They also set up a test where dogs could choose to go to their owners or a bowl of food, and found that again, the overwhelming majority chose their owners.
If you’re not sure how close you and your dog are, try yawning in front of him, and see what he does. We know with people that yawning is contagious but a study from Duke University’s Dognition website found that dogs who share an incredibly close bond with their owners tend to share their emotions. That’s most obvious with yawning, and if you and your dog share a close emotional bond, you’re more likely to catch a yawn from each other.
Dogs who score high in cunning, emotional manipulation, and attention-seeking behaviours are also more likely to yawn. As to which category your dog falls into I’ll leave that up to you, my two I’m sure are cunning they would never emotionally manipulate me???