Animals

New Research Shows Dogs Can Feel Your Pain

It's been said for a long time that dogs start to look like their owners after a few years, but there's proof that they feel like their owners as well.

New research from the University of Vienna in Austria shows that when people are anxious or feeling down in the dumps, their dogs will pick up on this and feel bad too. But friendly, happy dogs can also cheer up their owners.

This supports a study from a few years ago that shows dogs also "mirror" other dog's facial expressions to make friends. It turns out our four-legged friends have a lot more empathy than we give them credit for.

To discover this, scientists tested more than 100 dogs, including measuring their heart rates and taking a saliva sample (to test their stress levels).

They also gave each dog a questionnaire to test their personality. We're guessing the owners answered the questions, because the dogs would have a hard time holding the pencils.

Dr. Iris Schoberl, who ran the study, says that the emotion sharing effects go both ways, but humans have a bigger influence on their pets - so smile next time you see your dog!

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