Have you ever wondered if it is just a co-incidence when you yawn around your dog and your dog then yawns? The team at pups4sale have often wondered that ourselves. Now it seems there is some verification of our suspicions, with a study by the University of Tokyo confirming dogs yawn in response to their owner’s yawns.
Interestingly though, dogs were three times as likely to yawn when their owners yawned (compared to a stranger’s yawns) and five times as likely to yawn when people really yawned instead of opening their mouths in a fake yawn. In the opinion of The Daily Dog it just goes to show how perceptive our dogs are and how closely they watch our every move. When in our garden we often lightheartedly remark, “do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched?” Sure enough, even if our dogs are flat out, catching some rays, as soon as we attempt to move out of sight, the dogs are right behind us.
Most dogs owners know our dogs watch our facial and other non-verbal expressions closely, but the fact they can spot a fake yawn is truly impressive. The researchers in question think it may be due to the absence of noise when people pretend to yawn that is the giveaway. It would have been interesting therefore to see the comparative results if the researchers also had some people make noise when fake-yawning. We’d like to know what our readers find if they try this with their own dogs. Ours just sit there, rolling their eyes and nudging each other, thinking, “he’s lost the plot again…just be patient, humour him, keep wagging our tails and a frozen bone will appear shortly” – or words to that effect 🙂
The researchers also said dogs don’t “catch” yawns from other dogs; only people. In our experience however (and we suspect many other dog owners) this is not correct. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.