Dogs recognize human distress and want to help. Even Hildegard von Bingen, the important scholar and healer of the Middle Ages said: “Give people a dog and their souls will heal!” Most dog owners also know that when things go bad, nobody comforts them better than their own fur nose.
Dogs sense their owner’s distress
A new study proves this scientifically. During the course of the study, the researchers examined the behavior of 34 dogs of different breeds and sizes. To do this, the owners had to sit in another room behind a Plexiglas door. So that they could see their dogs. Then they should either hum a lullaby or cry and ask for help. The plexiglass door opened very easily so the animals could get to their owners.
Dogs that heard their owners cry opened the door far more quickly
usually in just a quarter of the time than the others whose owners were more relaxed. But it also happened that dogs, believing their owners to be in trouble, panicked so much that they were unable to act. There were also big differences in the measurement of the heart rate of the dogs. The measurement was supposed to take two minutes, but some dogs were with their owners after 20 minutes. But what was also remarkable was that the clever animals seemed to know exactly whether their people were really sad or just playing it badly!
Of course it could be that dogs wanted to calm their own state of mind.
But wanting to help also points to the more or less stronger bond with one’s people. So the impression of many dog owners is correct that their four-legged friends not only feel the human grief, but that they even take action to cheer up their humans. There have been previous studies, but the existence of animal emotions has long been denied. It is also very difficult, it is explained, to explore this complex. But now, in this and other studies, more and more insights into the emotional world of our four-legged friends have been obtained. And finally, the will to see your best friend happy is mostly mutual.
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