It’s official (again) – dogs yawn more often in response to their owners than to other people.
Last year, researchers in Sweden published research on contagious yawning in dogs. This year, researchers at the University of Tokyo have published additional research in the open journal PLoS One.
Their research focuses on a ‘familiarity bias’ in contagious yawning by dogs.
Pet dogs in the study watched their owner or a stranger yawn. They responded more in response to their owners than to the strangers.
The researchers conclude that the dogs have an emotional connection to their owners, which is exhibited through empathy with the yawning movements.