More Evidence That Proves Your Dog Will Do Anything to Help When You’re Distressed

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More Evidence That Proves Your Dog Will Do Anything to Help When You’re Distressed

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:27 pm

Most people would insist that their canine companions are good dogs – but this sweet new piece of research may prove that they’re even better than you think.

A study that was conducted at the Ripon College in Wisconsin researches whether dogs are empathetic animals who are upset by their owner’s pain. In order to study this claim, the researchers recruited 34 dogs and their owners for a social experiment. The dogs, who were of varying degrees of age, breed and training, were kept in one room while their owners were kept in another room that was separated by a transparent plexiglass door.

Half of the owners were asked to say the word “help” every 15 seconds in a distressed tone, and make crying noises in between. The other half of the owners were asked to say “help” in a normal tone, and hum “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” in between. The researchers then studied the dogs’ reactions to their owners.

Since the plexiglass was only secured by three small magnets, the dogs could easily open the doors as a means of getting to their owners. Roughly half of the dogs opened the doors for their owners – and although there was no difference between the dogs who opened their doors for the calm owners versus the distressed owners, the time it took for them to open the doors varied greatly.

It only took the dogs in the crying group an average of 23 seconds to open the doors, while the dogs in the humming group took an average of 96 seconds.

Additionally, dogs who did not end up opening the door in the crying group showed very clear signs of distress, such as panting and pacing, which imply that the canines were too anxious to know how to help because they may “love you too much”. The dogs who did end up opening the door showed lower signs of stress which implies that they were trying to keep a calm head in order to optimize their assistance.

“The idea is that if you can perceive someone else being in distress but it doesn’t overwhelmingly stress you personally, then you’re more likely to be able to provide help,” the study’s co-author, Emily Sanford, a doctoral candidate in psychology at Johns Hopkins University, told CNN.

Plus, the researchers say that owners should not be concerned about their dogs not opening the doors, because if humans experience varying degrees of empathy, then dogs probably would as well.

“There are some people who just don’t have as strong empathy toward other people,” said Sanford, according to TIME. “So we are not surprised at all to find that there’s a range in other species besides our own.”

The study, which was published in Learning & Behavior on Tuesday, is being hailed as an endearing new piece of evidence that dogs really are man’s best friend.

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/more-evidence-that-proves-your-dog-will-do-anything-to-help-when-youre-distressed/

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Re: More Evidence That Proves Your Dog Will Do Anything to Help When You’re Distressed

Post by Vintage on Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:06 pm

My mother in law had a dog which was extremely loyal and protective of her, (she wasn't in good health) she used to like to walk, and insisted on going alone except for the dog, stating she would take her time and be careful, the dog would walk beside her however slow her pace. One day the dog came home by itself and went to my father in law making a great fuss barking and going to the door and pulling at his sleeve, he realised something was wrong and followed the dog eventually finding his wife had fallen into a storm ditch and was too weak to get out by herself.

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Re: More Evidence That Proves Your Dog Will Do Anything to Help When You’re Distressed

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:49 am

Vintage wrote:My mother in law had a dog which was extremely loyal and protective of her, (she wasn't in good health) she used to like to walk, and insisted on going alone except for the dog, stating she would take her time and be careful, the dog would walk beside her however slow her pace. One day the dog came home by itself and went to my father in law making a great fuss barking and going to the door and pulling at his sleeve, he realised something was wrong and followed the dog eventually finding his wife had fallen into a storm ditch and was too weak to get out by herself.

Thanks for sharing that story Vintage

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