Why Your Dog Yawns When You Yawn
Smile and the world smiles with you. Yawn and your dog yawns with you. Maybe. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have determined that yawning, long known to be contagious among humans and chimpanzees, also compels man’s best friend to copy man. A Lund University news release reports that researchers at the school worked with 35 dogs, aged between 4 and 14 months, in bouts of play and cuddling and observed the dogs’ responses when a human repeatedly yawned or gaped or performed neither of the two expressions. The researchers found that dogs (but only dogs older than seven months) yawned when their human companions yawned, a mimickry of the emotional response of others that they attribute to empathy. Or, they suggest, there could be another reason the dogs were yawning: they may have been bored. Read more from Lund University.