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Science Confirms It - Your Dog Knows What You're Feeling

A new study finds that dogs use their senses to recognize human emotions.


A team of British and Brazilian researchers published a new study this month in Biology Letters detailing how dogs can determine human emotions through their canine senses. This has not been found in any study previously outside of studies on humans and primates.

The research involved presenting dogs with images and sounds of humans displaying happy or angry emotions. They found that if the images of a human's face was paired with the sounds associated with the facial emotion, the dogs focused much longer on the photos. This held true for similar photos and sounds of dogs instead of humans.

As a result, the researchers determined that dogs must be able to have representations in their head of a human and another dog's mental state formed through visual and auditory information.

You can read the full study on the Biology Letters site.

References - Albuquerque N, Guo K, Wilkinson A, Savalli C, Otta E, Mills D. Dogs recognize dog and human emotions. Biol. Lett., 2016.

Photo credit: Happy Dog! via photopin (license)

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